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Additional Legislation We're Tracking During Session

Alyssa Hansen
19 Feb, 2021
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While SJR 0002 and the ongoing push to enshrine Tennessee's "Right to Work" law in the state constitution are rightfully taking up the bulk of our attention this session, it's not the only piece of legislation that we're tracking this year. 

As of today, over 1300 bills have been filed in the House and over 1600 bills have been filed in the Senate (note that some Senate bills do not currently have a House sponsor just yet). We've been reading through everything that comes in as it's filed and are currently keeping an eye on just under 300 bills. This is something that we'll continue to do up until the bill filing deadline in the House on Wednesday (February 24th) and throughout the remainder of the legislative session.

Below is a short list of bills (five that we support and five that we oppose) this year. Please keep in mind that this is just a snapshot of the many pieces of legislation that we're watching; we simply chose to spotlight these 10. For more details about each one, simply click on the bill number. We're also keeping a eye on dozens of caption bills for future amendments and more information. If your organization is advocating for a bill, please let us know so that we can ensure that it's on our tracked list.

"Good" Legislation That We're Tracking 

-HB 110/SB 348: This enacts the "Save Tennessee Call Center Jobs Act of 2021." 

-SB 195: This bill would increase Tennessee's minimum wage to $12.00/hour. 

-HB 816/SB 635: A piece of legislation that has been filed every year, this would enact the "Tennessee Pay Equality Act." 

-HB 868/SB 816: This bill would make needed improvements and updates to Tennessee's unemployment system. 

-HB 458/SB 1348: A bipartisan piece of legislation, this bill would require specific employers (for example, those in essential infrastructure or manufacturing) to adopt an essential workers' bill of rights during a state of emergency.

"Bad" Legislation That We're Tracking 

-HB 1239/SB 1162: This bill would require voters to provide fingerprints before being able to cast their ballot.

-SB 1510: Another attempt by the Republican supermajority to disenfranchise the voices of voters of color and lower-income voters, this bill would abolish early voting.

-HB 37/SB 1573: This bill prohibits local and state governments from classifying any worker as "essential" or "non-essential."

-HB 225/SB 103: A direct attack on Shelby County Schools, this piece of legislation would allow an executive order by the governor to supersede a local board of education's decision to close in-person learning during an emergency. 

-HB 7/SB 15: Targeted at the state's six largest counties, this bill would give county mayors the sole authority to implement public health policies during an emergency. This would effectively take the teeth of these specific boards of health.