We expect next week to be quite busy as two bills initiated by Family Action of Tennessee are set to be heard by the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.
The first is HB 194 by Representative Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville). It was originally scheduled to be heard this week, but it was deferred for one week to address questions about how best to word the bill. The bill would require state court judges to let the two Speakers intervene into certain lawsuits to protect the people from de facto lawmaking by activist judges.
The second, HB 1274 by Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden), will protect local school boards from vexatious and expensive lawsuits over policies regarding the use of locker rooms/restrooms based on biological sex. The bill would allow the school to have the state’s attorney general represent them or, if representation is declined, be reimbursed by the state for its defense costs.
None of the other bills we told you about last week were favorably acted upon. Specifically, HB 1029 by Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet), referred to at the Trigger Bill because it would operate to ban most abortions in Tennessee if Roe v. Wade is overturned, failed in the House Public Health Subcommittee by a vote of three in favor and four against. The Senate companion bill, SB 1257 by Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), is on the Senate Judiciary Committee calendar next week, although it would be unusual for the Senate to act given the action of the House subcommittee.
Also on the Senate Judiciary Committee calendar for next week is SB 1236 by Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), which is the heartbeat bill prohibiting most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Finally, after discussing HB 1 by Representative Rick Staples (D-Knoxville) for more than an hour, the House State Committee delayed action on it for at least another week. This is the bill that would authorize sports betting. Meanwhile, the Senate companion bill, SB 16 by Senator Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville), passed out of the Senate Government Operations Committee with a negative recommendation. It is scheduled to be heard in the Senate State and Local Government Committee next week.
Will Burns is FACT’s Public Policy Director.