finger pointing to a vote button checkmark

On our bill tracking section, we provide information about the bills related to marriage, family, life, and religious liberty that we believe are important to you as a conservative in Tennessee and that are particularly important to us as well.  As part of that information, we always link to our state legislative website, capitol.tn.gov, for each bill so that you can quickly see what is going on. With a little help, deciphering votes and tracking the passage of a bill on the Tennessee General Assembly website is fairly simple.

How can I see how someone voted on the TN General Assembly website?

Go directly to capitol.tn.gov. From there, select “Legislation” and then “Bill Search” from the navigation bar above and search for a bill by number or keyword. Once you are on the correct bill page, look for the tab called “Votes.” Under the “Votes” tab, you will see every vote taken on that bill, including subcommittee, full committee, and floor votes.

If a voice vote is taken, all members present are “deemed” to have voted with the prevailing side unless a member asks to be recorded differently than the prevailing vote. Then that member’s vote will be specifically noted. In this case, you may see: “Voice Vote, Ayes Prevail. Smith requested to be recorded as voting not” or “Voice Vote, Nos Prevail. Smith requested to be recorded as voting yes. Jones requested to be recorded as PNV” (which means “Present Not Voting”).

If a roll call vote is taken, each committee or subcommittee member’s vote is recorded and tallied.

How do I know if a bill has passed and when it goes into effect?

When you find the bill page on the state website, terminology such as “Passed H., Ayes 73, Nays 24” means the House passed the bill. Terminology such as “Passed S. as am., Ayes 21, Nays 8, PNV1” means the Senate passed the bill, with an amendment, with one person present and not voting (PNV). Click on “votes” to see who voted which way.

The effective date of legislation is stated in the final clause of the bill. The most common effective date clause is “This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.” This indicates a bill will take effect upon signature by the Governor or 10 days after it reached the Governor’s desk if the Governor takes no action.

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