The Senate is restarting Wednesday morning sessions this week and the governor’s office will present the new, previously unannounced budget spending – two more signs of session’s end. Text me at 615-613-2598 if you need to amendments or interviews set up with Democratic senators. –Brandon Top Senate StoriesMonday, March 28, 2022 4 p.m. Senate Regular Calendar

  • Republicans target immigrant workers with push to expand E-Verify 
    • SB  1780 by Lundberg would require more businesses to use the federal E-Verify program, presumably to target immigrants who are undocumented. 
    • But experts say E-Verify mandates don’t meaningfully reduce the undocumented workforce, rather, these restrictions likely push more undocumented people to work off the books with no labor law enforcement, or use someone else’s identification information to pass the employment verification process. [Vox, 2/2/2021]
  • Bill tilts the courts in favor of business over health, safety regulations
    • SB  2285 by Bell would force judges to give special consideration to the liberty of business owners who are challenging state health and safety regulations. 
    • The legislation comes from the right-wing Pacific Legal Foundation, a California-based law firm that sues governments to oppose affirmative action, environmental protections, health rights and government regulation. 
    • This law wants the courts to assume that government regulation, for any purpose, represses liberty. 


  • Gov. Lee’s to announce additional budget priorities
    • Gov. Bill Lee’s team is expected to present on Tuesday the “administration amendment” to the budget. 
    • The administration amendment typically contains new spending for previously unannounced programs and sometimes items the governor’s office didn’t want to publish in the easy-to-access budget documents published in February. 

4 p.m.        Senate Regular Calendar1.SB  2196 *Bowling (HB  2208 by *Hicks T, Howell)Motor Vehicles- As introduced, requires that motor vehicles or trailers transporting intrastate a load of logs or long pulpwood display flashing amber lights at all times rather than between sunset and sunrise and during poor weather conditions; adds that an alternative fluorescent orange flag may be displayed in lieu of a red flag on such vehicles at all times; makes other related revisions.  Not controversial.  2.SB2233 by Jackson. (*HB2236 by Littleton.)Child Abuse – Amends TCA Title 36, Chapter 3, Part 6; Title 37 and Title 39, Chapter 15, Part 4. As introduced, expands the definition of child abuse to include a person under the age of 18 witnessing the abuse of another child in the child’s immediate family or household or domestic abuse of a member of the child’s immediate family or household. Watch. The sponsor was working on an amendment. The original bill was well intentioned, but could result in a child being separated from a supportive parent who also witnessed abuse committed by their spouse. Healthy and Free Tennessee has details. 3.SB  2401 *Johnson, Crowe (HB  2148 by *Lamberth, Gant, Helton, Carringer, Gillespie, Eldridge, Alexander, Ramsey, Rudder, Byrd, Hall, Leatherwood, Cochran, Hakeem, Hurt, Lafferty, Haston, Moon, Casada, Vital, Chism, Cepicky, Love, Ragan, White, Parkinson, Whitson, Mannis, Clemmons, Harris)State Universities- As introduced, creates the Tennessee Center for Nursing Advancement within East Tennessee State University to address issues of nursing workforce needs and makes other related changes. – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 8, Part 5; Title 63 and Title 68. Not controversial. 4.SB  2570 *Crowe (HB  2103 by *Alexander)Funeral Directors and Embalmers- As introduced, authorizes licensed funeral directors to sell pre-need funeral contracts and prearrangement insurance policies without registering with the commissioner of commerce and insurance; requires that continuing education completed virtually for renewal of embalmer and funeral director licenses involve continuous two-way transfer of information; defines unlicensed assistants for funeral establishment licensure laws.  Not controversial. 5.*HB1946 by Haston. (SB1945 by Hensley.)Real Property – Amends TCA Title 8; Title 13; Title 39; Title 47; Title 66 and Title 71. As introduced, authorizes an offeree to cancel a contract or agreement that was entered into following an unsolicited offer to purchase the offeree’s real property that was sent through the mail.

Good bill. Consumer protection.

6.*SJR1365 by MasseyMemorials, Death – Morgan Brown Ayres, Jr. Not controversial.  7. SB  0670 *Kyle (HB  0685 by *Beck)Motor Vehicles- As introduced, requires, at the time of hire, that if an entity that employs drivers or that contracts with drivers who use the drivers’ personal vehicles for the delivery of the entity’s goods or services, does not provide automobile insurance coverage to those drivers, the entity must inform the driver that the drivers’ automobile insurance may not cover commercial uses. – Amends TCA Title 55, Chapter 12 and Title 56. Good bill. Commercial driver insurance notification.  8. SB  1780 *Lundberg (HB  1853 by *Boyd, Griffey, Zachary, Bricken, Hawk, Smith, Lynn, Terry, Moody, Littleton, Cochran)Employees, Employers- As introduced, lowers the threshold for employers having to verify work authorization status of new hires through E-Verify from those with 50 or more employees to those with 25 or more employees; requires the office of employment verification assistance to offer, at no charge, E-Verify sign ups and work authorization status checks for employers with less than 50 employees; protects employers acting upon false results generated by E-Verify; prohibits certain wrongful or retaliatory discharge or discrimination actions; prohibits certain rehires. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 12; Title 39; Title 50 and Title 67. Bad bill.  9. SB  1798 *Stevens (HB  1884 by *Rudd)Real Property- As introduced, allows a court, upon a showing of good cause, to grant an additional width of 15 feet for a private easement or right-of-way for the purpose of extending utility lines. Watch. Appears to take rights away from homeowners.  10. SB  1855 *Niceley (HB  1772 by *Powers)Commerce and Insurance, Dept. of- As introduced, changes, from 18 to 19 years, the minimum age someone must be for the commissioner to be authorized to approve the individual’s application for an insurance producer license. – Amends TCA Title 56, Chapter 6, Part 1. Watch. Exempts a Medicare supplement product from insurance licensure.  11. SB  2035 *Southerland (HB  2058 by *Gant, Ramsey)Tobacco, Tobacco Products- As introduced, defines “smokeless nicotine product”; adds smokeless nicotine products to type of products that are age-restricted to persons aged 21 years and older under the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco, Smoking Hemp, and Vapor Products Act. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 15. Not controversial.  12. SB  2132 *Reeves (HB  2288 by *Boyd)Real Property- As introduced, increases, from 60 to 65 days, the time prior to the date a price increase of time-share intervals may be announced.  – Amends TCA Title 66. Good bill.  13. SB  2134 *Reeves (HB  2048 by *Jernigan)Insurance, Health, Accident- As introduced, prohibits a health insurer from considering the location where complex rehabilitation technology will be used when making a medical necessity determination; requires health insurers to offer a prior authorization process for complex rehabilitation technology coverage determinations; requires, if a health insurer notifies a covered person that complex rehabilitation technology will be fully covered under a health benefit plan, the insurer to pay the full cost of the complex rehabilitation technology.  Good bill. 14. SB  2150 *Massey, Lamar (HB  2109 by *Love, Dixie)TennCare- As introduced, requires that doula services be provided to recipients of TennCare; requires that the doula services be performed by a person who has received certification from the department of health. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 8; Title 56; Title 63 and Title 71. Good bill. 15. SB  2219 *Briggs (HB  2705 by *Carringer, Sherrell, Hall, Byrd, Ramsey, Kumar, Jernigan, Gillespie, Freeman)Tobacco, Tobacco Products- As introduced, authorizes local governments to regulate, including the prohibition of, smoking and the use of vapor products in age-restricted venues; defines the terms “age-restricted venue” and “retail tobacco store” for the purposes of the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco, Smoking Hemp, and Vapor Products Act.  Good bill.  16. SB  2228 *Pody (HB  2225 by *Powers)Insurance Companies, Agents, Brokers, Policies- As introduced, limits the time a prior misdemeanor or Class E felony may be considered for purposes of issuing an insurance producer license to within 10 years of the date upon which an individual applies for an insurance producer license.  – Amends TCA Title 56, Chapter 6, Part 1. Not controversial.  17.*SB2262 by Briggs. (HB2419 by Mannis.)Alcoholic Beverages – Amends TCA Title 57, Chapter 4. As introduced, requires a liquor-by-the-drink licensee closing a licensed establishment to provide written notice to the alcoholic beverage commission 14 days rather than 10 days in advance of selling or transferring the licensee’s inventory to another licensee.

Not controversial. TACIR restaurant study.

18.SB2269 by Lundberg. (*HB2349 by Holsclaw.)Beer – Amends TCA Title 57, Chapter 5. As introduced, extends the deadline, from 20 days after entering business to 30 days, before which a manufacturer or wholesaler of beer must register the name and address of the manufacturer or wholesaler with the commissioner of revenue.

Not controversial. Allows for more self distribution for breweries.

19. SB  2285 *Bell (HB  1749 by *Ragan, Griffey, Lafferty, Zachary, Eldridge, Carringer, Todd)Administrative Procedure (UAPA)- As introduced, prohibits a court, administrative judge, or hearing officer presiding over a contested case hearing or appeal from deferring to a state agency’s interpretation of a state statute or rule and instead requires the court, administrative judge, or hearing officer to interpret the meaning of the statute or rule de novo; requires, in an action brought by or against a state agency, that the court, administrative judge, or hearing officer, after applying all customary tools of interpretation, exercise any remaining doubt in favor of a reasonable interpretation that limits agency power and maximizes individual liberty. –  Bad bill. Rigs the courts to rule against public health and safety regulations.    20. SB  2282 *Bell (HB  2346 by *Boyd)Utilities, Utility Districts- As introduced, increases, from 30 to 35 days, the time after the first day of the succeeding month of enrollment by a residential telephone subscriber in which enrollment by the subscriber on the Tennessee Do Not Call Registry must take effect.  Not controversial.  21. SB  2299 *Pody (HB  2312 by *Griffey)Education- As introduced, requires an LEA or the department of education to provide testing materials, proposed testing materials, or school records in the LEA’s or department’s possession to a member of the general assembly upon the member’s request to inspect and review the material. – Amends TCA Title 49. Bad bill. Unnecessary micromanaging. 22. SB  2400 *Johnson, White (HB  2147 by *Lamberth, Gant, Moody, Griffey)Sexual Offenses- As introduced,  raises the age of a victim whose testimony the court may allow to be taken outside the courtroom by means of two-way closed circuit television from 13 to 18 years of age; adds human trafficking offenses to those for which a court must extend an order of protection for a definite period of time if the allegation is proved by a preponderance of the evidence; makes various other changes relative to human trafficking.  Not controversial.  23. SB  2402 *Johnson, Stevens (HB  2149 by *Lamberth, Gant, Halford)Regional Authorities and Special Districts- As introduced, changes, from “presiding officer” to “chair,” the member of the Carroll County watershed authority board of directors who notifies the appointing authority of a member who fails to satisfy the attendance requirement for the board. Not controversial.  24. SB  1986 *Rose (HB  2000 by *Cochran)Teachers, Principals and School Personnel- Requires that, under certain conditions, 15 percent of a teacher’s evaluation criteria be comprised of student achievement data based on other measures of student achievement and 85 percent be based on scores derived from the State Board of Education’s evaluation model for the qualitative portion of the teacher’s evaluation. Good bill, maybe. Adjusts the annual evaluation of teachers and principals. Message Calendar 1.SB1782 by Lundberg. (*HB1732 by Hulsey.)County Officers – Amends TCA Title 8, Chapter 10; Title 8, Chapter 47 and Title 16. As introduced, provides for the administrative suspension or removal of constables by criminal court judges under certain circumstances.

Not controversial.  2.*SB2107 by Yager. (HB2223 by Powers.)Boats, Boating – Bans wakesurfing in Tennessee on smaller lakes and under other certain circumstances.  Watch. 3.*SB0693 by Niceley. (HB0813 by Lafferty.)Food and Food Products – Amends TCA Title 5; Title 6; Title 7; Title 43; Title 53 and Title 68. As introduced, enacts the “Tennessee Food Freedom Act” to specify circumstances when persons may sell homemade food products without meeting certain permitting and licensure requirements. Not controversial.