Business Protection Act Scheduled for Full House Next Thursday

There was legislative activity this week in addition to the heartbeat bill discussed in today’s blog post. Specifically, the Business Protection Act, House Bill 563, by Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) passed out of the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday. It is now scheduled to be heard by the full House on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the House Departments and Agencies Subcommittee was scheduled to hear House Bill 998 by Representative Bill Beck (D-Nashville) that, as amended, would have been a first step toward establishing sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in Tennessee. Sensing the subcommittee’s resistance to his bill, Rep. Beck took the bill off notice. We are grateful to those subcommittee members who expressed their concerns with the bill.

Of the bills mentioned last week, Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) took off notice his two bills, House Bill 1151 to apply indecent exposure law to activity in restrooms and locker rooms and House Bill 1152 to provide conscience protection to faith-based adoption agencies. However, Representative Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) will present a nearly identical conscience protection bill, House Bill 836, to the Children and Families Subcommittee on Tuesday.

Also scheduled for next week are the following:

  • House Bill 307 by Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) that would extend the current law that allows students to receive release time to take non-credit religious courses to allow local boards of education to develop release time religious elective courses offered for credit.
  • House Bill 1 by Representative Rick Staples (D-Knoxville) that would authorize sports wagering will be in the House State Committee.
  • House Bill 1033 by Representative Brian Terry (R-Murfreesboro) and its Senate companion bill, Senate Bill 1057, by Senator Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) that would decriminalize wagering in fantasy sports leagues and sports pools will be heard in the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, respectively.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will also hear SJR 97 that would authorize the operation of bingo games to benefit public and private schools. A similar measure, HJR 102, by Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) was defeated in the House Departments and Agencies Subcommittee last week.
  • Senate Bill 1389 by Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) that would authorize the development and issuance of a commemorative certificate of a nonviable birth by the Department of Health will be heard by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

To see more about the Business Protection Act, click on the plus sign next to SB 364/HB 563 under the “Bills About Religious Liberty” section on our Bill Tracking page.


Will Burns is FACT’s Public Policy Director.

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