2021 TN Legislation

The WCDP Legislative Committee will post periodic updates about significant pieces of legislation and reporting on how the Williamson County delegation members vote. If you would like to learn more about how bills become laws in Tennessee, visit the General Assembly website

If you have strong feelings about any of these bills, positive or negative, we encourage you to Contact your Legislator, or write a letter to the Editor of The Tennessean or The Williamson Herald. We can all take action to create change in Tennessee. 

Call to Action for the week of March 1-5, 2021

We urge everyone to take action by contacting committee members about these bills, even if they are not your Representative or Senator. This document compiled by Indivisible TN District 7 includes sample scripts and the email addresses of the legislators. Did you know you can watch House and Senate committee hearings? You can view the livestream on the TN General Assembly website.

Monday Senate Floor Vote

SJR002, which proposes a TN Constitutional Amendment to make a Tennessee a “Right to Work for Less” state. Labor unions across the state oppose this initiative and the TN AFL-CIO has an email campaign for you to contact your legislators. Learn more about the racist roots of “Right to Work” laws and why we should all oppose them.

SB228 discriminates against transgender student-athletes. The Tennessee Equality Project opposes the bill and has an email campaign to help you contact your Senator.

Tuesday hearings

HB0010 would allow people to object to vaccinations, immunizations, or other medical procedures on religious grounds at all times including a pandemic. 

HJR0010 would recognize racism as a public health threat.

HB0667 allows commercial, industrial & multi-family property owners to finance energy efficiency & renewable energy improvements through property tax payments. This bill is a step forward for energy efficiency and is supported by the TN League of Conservation Voters.   

SB0153 would prevent governmental agencies from taking adverse action against people based on a positive urine test for THC. Creates a presumption that a parent/guardian who gives hemp product to a child in a form other than smoking, is not an act of abuse or neglect. This bill is supported by the ACLU of Tennessee.

SB0765 the "Permitless Carry" bill would allow people to carry firearms without obtaining a state carry permit. This bill is opposed by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, TN Association of Chiefs of Police and TN Sheriff’s Association. Moms Demand has an email campaign to help you contact your legislators.

Wednesday hearings

HB0578 would prohibit sexual identity change therapy for pre-pubescent minors and punishes violations as child abuse by parents/guardians and professional misconduct by medical professionals. The Tennessee Equality Project opposes the bill and has an email campaign to help you contact legislators.

SB0914 would require school districts to provide voter registration forms to students who are eligible to vote.

HB0597 would allow college students to use college IDs as voter ID and removes requirement that a person who registers to vote by mail must vote in person when voting for the first time.

HB0374 filed by Rep. Glen Casada requires members of a community oversight board to complete local police citizen’s academy within 6 months and removes authority of the board until all members have completed training.

SB0230 enacts the “Teacher’s Discipline Act” and creates a process for teachers to request a student be removed from classroom based on behavior. This bill could have unintended consequences for students with disabilities and students of color.

SB0415 enacts the “Keep Kids in Schools Act” and tries to counteract the “Teacher’s Discipline Act” by requiring the TN Dept. of Education to issue guidance & recommendations on developing a school discipline policy and requires local school boards to adopt discipline policies that align with TN Dept. of Ed guidance.

HB0018 & HB0786 are the House versions of the “Permitless Carry” bill and would allow people to carry firearms without obtaining a state carry permit. This bill is opposed by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, TN Association of Chiefs of Police and TN Sheriff’s Association.

HB0001 would allow a defendant sentenced with the death penalty to petition the court to determine ineligibility for death penalty due to intellectual disability.

HB0047 enacts the “Good Samaritan Sentencing Enhancement Act," which provides that a defendant convicted of first degree murder is eligible for the death penalty if the victim was rendering assistance to a person in need at the time of their death.

Legislation to follow

The Good

Bill No. What it does Filed by Status

HB061/

SB0025

Allows use of medical marijuana if a patient carries a valid prescription from another state

Hodges (D)  Kyle (D)

Assigned to House Criminal Justice Subcommittee & Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB1283/

SB0023

Expands acceptable forms of Voter identification to include college IDS

Beck (D)

Kyle (D)

Filed in House; Referred to Senate State & Local Gov't Committee

HB0561/

SB0018

Restoration of voting rights for convicted felons

Dixie (D)

Gilmore (D)

Assigned to House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee; Referred to Senate State & Local Gov't Committee

HB0971/

SB0003

"Fair Maps Act," establishes non-partisan process of redistricting congressional & general assembly districts

Dixie (D)

Yarbro (D)

Passed on 1st Consideration in House; Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB0221/

SB1475

Decriminalizes possession of less than one ounce of marijuana Chism (D) Akbari (D) Assigned to House Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Passed on 1st Consideration in Senate

HB0420/

SB1438

Establishes an ad hoc committee to to review the current laws, rules, and policies of cash bail in TN 

Harris (D)

 Akbari (D)

Assigned to House Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Passed on 1st Consideration in Senate

HB0602/

SB0418

Enacts the "Medicaid Buy-In Act" creates a Medicaid buy in plan for eligible Tennesseans

Hodges (D)

Yarbro (D)

Assigned to House Insurance Subcommittee; Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee

HB0721/

SB0308

Authorizes DHS to partner with minority & community organizations to find ways to use surplus TANF funds to benefit minority & low-income families Hakeem (D) Robinson (D) Assigned to House Health Subcommittee; Referred to Senate Health & Welfare Committee

HB1588/

SB412

Allows courts to issue Extreme Risk Protection Order to remove firearms from a person who is a threat to themselves or others Gilmore (D) Camper (D) Passed 1st Consideration in House, not yet assigned to committee; Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB1295/

SB0548

Enacts the "Tennessee Family Insurance Act", offering paid family leave for all Tennessee workers 

G. Johnson (D)

Kyle (D)

Filed in House; Referred to Senate Finance & Labor Committee

HB0551/

SB0420

Raises minimum wage for essential workers at tiered rate starting at $15/hour rising to $20/hour by 2022

G. Johnson (D) Yarbro (D)

Passed on 1st Consideration in House; Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee

HB0553/

SB0995

Gives emergency first responders disability suffered in the line of duty if they contract virus identified as a pandemic by WHO, CDC, or declared as state of emergency by the Governor Whitson (R) Gardenire (R) Assigned to House Cities & Counties Subcommittee; Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee

HB0451/

SB0522

Caps out of pocket cost for insulin at $100 for 30-day supply

Hodges (D)

Briggs (R)

Assigned to House Insurance Subcommittee; Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee
The Bad      

HB0047/

SB0226

"Good Samaritan Sentencing Enhancement Act", expands the use of the Death Penalty by making defendant convicted of first degree murder eligible for the death penalty if the victim was helping person in need at the time of their death Ogles (R) Hensley (R) Will be heard in House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on 3/3; Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB0374/

SB0457

Requires members of Community Oversight Board to complete local police force Citizen's Academy & removes authority of the board until all members have complete the course

Casada (R)

Bell (R)

Will be heard in House Criminal Justice Committee on 3/3; Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB0035/

SB0467

Prohibits governmental entities and officials from mandating or limiting the number of persons who may congregate in a residence, or in a church if the number of congregants complies with occupancy limits applicable to the church

Ogles (R)

Rose (R)

Passed on 2nd Consideration in House; Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee

HB0037/

SB1537

Prohibits a state or local governmental entity, the governor, or the executive head of a local government from classifying a category of workers as essential or nonessential Ogles (R) Bailey (R) Assigned to House Public Service subcommittee; Passed on 1st Consideration in Senate

HB0351/

SB0296

A healthcare caption bill that will be the GOP alternative to expanding Medicaid access outside of the ACA, no details available Whitson (R) Briggs (R) Passed on 2nd Consideration, held pending amendment; Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee

HB0372/

SB0193

Allows state employees & teachers to opt out of trainings that conflict with their morals, ethics, values, or religious beliefs Casada (R) Bowling (R) Will be heard in House Public Service Committee on 3/17; Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee
The Ugly      

HB0724/

SB0204

Enacts the "Rule of Life Law" bans abortions if a fetal heartbeat or serial human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is detected Howell (R) Pody (R) Assigned to House Rules & Calendar Committee; Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

HB003/

SB0228

Requires that a student's gender on their original birth certificate determines which sports team (boys or girls) they can play on  Cepicky (R) Hensley (R) Passed House K-12 Subcommittee & Education Admin. Committee, referred to Calendars & Rules Committee, Up for Senate Floor vote on 3/1

HB0018/

SB0318

Loosens gun carry permissions by allowing people who hold gun carry permits in other states to carry in TN without obtaining a TN Gun carry permit Griffey (R) Hensley (R) Assigned to House Criminal Justice subcommittee, Filed in Senate

HB0786/

SB0765

Allows people who can lawfully posses a firearm to carry firearms in public without requiring a handgun permit

Lamberth (R) 

Johnson (R)

Will be heard in House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on 3/3; Will be heard in Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/3
HB0011 Permits use of deadly force to protect property Reedy (R) Assigned to House Criminal Justice subcommittee; no Senate bill; will not advance

HB0021/

SB1328

Requires TN to refuse to consent to receive any refugees for purposes of resettlement

Griffey (R)

Hensley (R)

House bill Withdrawn; Referred to Senate State & Local Gov't Committee; will not advance

SB1510

Abolishes early voting; prohibits use of voting machines; requires use of watermarked paper ballots hand-marked by voter 

Bowling (R)

Withdrawn, will not advance