Skip to main content

After Officially Suspending The Rules, Lawmakers Set Their Sights on Adjournment

Alyssa Hansen
Social share icons

Another legislative week is in the books, and we received multiple indications yesterday that the end of session is getting closer.

First and most importantly, flow motion will officially go into effect next week.

This allows for the rules to be suspended and the proceedings to move even faster (and with less restrictions) than they already are.

One of the most dangerous aspects of flow motion is that bills can go from initial introduction to being heard on the floor for a final vote in a matter of hours.

This means that legislation that was assumed to no longer be a threat can become a big problem with little-to-no warning.

We'll be watching both the House and Senate floor sessions VERY closely next week to spot anything that lawmakers may try to sneak past us at the last minute.

The second sign that adjournment isn't too far off is the fact that the budget will be heard beginning on Monday afternoon in the Senate and Tuesday afternoon in the House.

While it takes some time to actually agree on a final version of this must-be-passed legislation, there's a possibility that could happen as soon as the end of next week or early the following week.

Last but not least, there are now two elephants in the room for both the House and Senate.

Originally, the two chambers' disagreement over specifics about the plan to expand Tennessee's school voucher scheme statewide was the main reason for the legislative slowdown.

Now, the bill that seeks to give businesses a billion-dollar tax break (and has already passed in both the House and Senate) is causing issues.

At this point, we expect that a conference committee will likely be appointed at some time next week to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill.

Even though this particular piece of legislation will become law in some form, the voucher expansion proposal has still not come up for a final vote.

As we urged all of you last week, pleaseclick hereto ask your representative and senator to vote "NO" on expanding vouchers statewide.

This link from the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) makes it very easy for you to do so; simply fill out the requested information, and you'll be connected with the elected officials who represent your district.

After being delayed for a week in both the House and Senate,the caption bill that's carrying the proposal to expand Tennessee's school voucher scheme statewide is scheduled for discussion in both chambers again next week, so taking action is more important than ever.

The legislative finish line is in sight, but buckle up and brace yourselves for a wild week ahead!

A Brief Look at Some of the Additional Legislation That We're Watching Next Week

-HB 1183/SB 503: This is the caption bill that's carrying the proposal to expand Tennessee's school voucher scheme statewide. Please note that the legislation is scheduled to be heard in BOTH the Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee and the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee next week.

-HB 1893/SB 2103: One of the most-discussed bills this session, this proposal seeks to give businesses a $2 billion tax cut. Recently, the House indicated that it wants the businesses that receive the tax breaks to be named, which is not part of the Senate proposal.
NOTE: This bill has passed both chambers but will likely go to a conference committee next week to work out the differences.

-HB 2080/SB 1968: A bill that has generated lots of headlines, this would block an individual who currently holds elected office from holding another elected office in Tennessee at the same time. At least one Republican representative already does what the legislation is trying to prevent, but Democrats have said that they believe this is specifically-targeted at Representative Gloria Johnson, who is currently running for both the U.S. Senate and her Tennessee House seat.

NOTE: Some additional pieces of legislation that we've highlighted in previous updates are listed on the "Behind the Budget" calendar. This means that they won't be considered until the budget is passed, meaning that their chances for approval are very low.