By the end of the week, as the policy director for Family Action of Tennessee, FACT’s legislative arm, I had met with all but two of the 31 new members of the General Assembly and the key leadership in both the House and Senate. Many of the new members I had not met during the primaries were already aware and supportive of Family Action of Tennessee’s work.
Family Action of Tennessee also began the process of moving the following three pieces of legislation that we brought to legislators for sponsorship:
- Senate Bill 316 by Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixon)/House Bill 194 by Representative Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) – Legislative Intervention Bill, which would authorize the General Assembly to intervene in certain existing legal proceedings where the constitutionality of a state statute is challenged or in which a “new” or novel interpretation to expand the constitutional or statutory rights are being advocated.
- Senate Bill 364 by Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga)/House Bill 569 by Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) – The Business Protection Act, which is referenced in the Nashville LGBT Businesses Get Legally Recognized story.
- Senate Bill 1499 by Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald)/House Bill 1274 by Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) – The School Protection Act, which will protect a local school board and its employees from lawsuits arising out of the school board’s policy of protecting students from exposure to the opposite sex when in states of undress by designating locker rooms and shower facilities or bathrooms on the basis of sex.
Look for detailed talking points and FAQs for each of these bills on our website sometime next week. I will keep you apprised of their progress through the session.
There are two bills of interest related to abortion scheduled to be heard next week. The House Public Health Subcommittee is scheduled to hear the “Heartbeat Bill,” House Bill 77 by Representative Micah Van Huss (R-Johnson City), which will prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Also on the subcommittee’s calendar is the “Human Life Protection Act,” House Bill 1029 by Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet), which would make most abortions illegal in the event the U.S. Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, or if the U.S. Constitution is amended to allow states to prohibit abortion. Family Action of Tennessee is tracking both of these bills.
Will Burns is FACT’s Public Policy Director.