Legislative Update April 23, 2019

April 23, 2019

 

SB28/HB37

 

 

Creates the Alzheimer's disease and related dementia advisory council.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Crowe, Rusty , Rep. Whitson, Sam

Summary:

Creates the state Alzheimer's disease and related dementia advisory council and specifies membership of council and terms of members. Specifies that the council is attached to the commission on aging and disability for administrative purposes. Requires the council to develop and submit an Alzheimer's disease state plan to the general assembly that identifies barriers to Alzheimer's disease care, analyzes service utilization data, and includes recommendations, metrics, and best practices to address gaps in service no later than January 15, 2020.

Amendment Summary:

House Health Committee amendment 1 adds the Tennessee Association for Home Care and the Tennessee Nurses Association to the list of groups who may submit qualified nominees to be appointed to the Council. Deletes language of the printed bill that authorized private citizen members of the Council be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred for attending meetings. Deletes requirement that members of the Council attend at least 50 percent of all meetings. Specifies the legislative committees to which the annual report must be submitted.

Fiscal Note:

Increase State Expenditures - $6,100

Senate Status:

04/01/19 - Senate passed with amendment 1.

House Status:

04/18/19 - Set for House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee 04/23/19.  (The small fiscal note is not expected to be a problem in terms of ultimate passage.)

 

SB199/HB249

 

 

Creates elder abuse task force.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Briggs, Richard , Rep. Carr, Dale

Summary:

Creates elder abuse task force charged with examining the current state of financial elder abuse, determining its economic and human impact, and developing recommendations to address problems associated with financial exploitation of the elderly. The task force will consist of 12 members, appointed by the health and financial commissioners, speakers of the legislative houses, district attorney, and TBI, as well as representatives from health and banking associations. The task force will submit its findings and recommendations to the governor and the general assembly no later than January 15, 2021.

Amendment Summary:

House amendment 1 deletes and rewrites all language after the enacting clause such that the only substantive change is removing the legislative members from the taskforce.

Senate Status:

03/18/19 - Senate passed.

House Status:

03/14/19 - House passed with amendment 1.

Executive Status:

04/15/19 - Enacted as Public Chapter 0135 effective April 9, 2019.

 

SB232/HB57

 

 

Registration exemptions for charitable organizations.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Lundberg, Jon , Rep. Hulsey, Bud

Summary:

Increases from over $30,000 to over $50,000 the amount of gross contributions that must be raised or received from the public by a charitable organization in order to trigger registration and reporting requirements with the secretary of state.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated February 9, 2019) Decrease State Revenue - $46,000/Secretary of State

Senate Status:

03/18/19 - Senate passed.

House Status:

03/14/19 - House passed.

Executive Status:

04/15/19 - Enacted as Public Chapter 0132 effective July 1, 2019.

 

SB408/HB280

 

 

Exemptions for certain non-profits.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Stevens, John , Rep. Cepicky, Scott

Summary:

Authorizes property tax exemption for certain nonprofit entities that occupy and use real property owned by another tax-exempt institution, including property occupied by an exempt institution that originated as part of a single exempt institution and continues to use the property for the same purpose or property occupied and actually used by the U.S. government, the state, or any agency or political subdivision of the state. Makes other revisions related to property tax exemptions for nonprofit entities.

Senate Status:

03/18/19 - Senate passed.

House Status:

04/18/19 - Set for House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee 04/23/19.

 

SB476/HB498

 

 

Establishes a new TennCare eligibility category for children.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Roberts, Kerry , Rep. Whitson, Sam

Amendment Summary:

Senate Commerce & Labor Committee amendment 1, House Insurance Committee amendment 1 establishes the Katie Beckett program to provide a Medicaid services eligibility pathway by waiving the parents' income and resources requirements for children under 18 years of age and with medical needs that result in severe functional limitations, would qualify for institutionalization in an acute care hospital, nursing facility, or intermediate care facility, and are likely to last at least 12 months or result in death provided they are not receiving benefits from any alternative waiver, would otherwise qualify for supplemental security income but for the income or resources of the parent, and for whom the cost of care outside of the institution does not exceed the estimated Medicare cost of appropriate institutional care. Requires the Katie Beckett program to provide an integrated program which provides such children, funding permitted, respite care, care coordination, medically necessary care and supporting services.

 

This important bill seems to have a chance to pass.  It has strong bipartisan support even though it expands Medicaid. In spite of a fiscal note indicating no significant cost, the bill as amended apparently has a revised fiscal note and would cost the state around $27,000,000. Still, it has strong support and may pass. Funding was not included in Governor Lee’s supplemental budget, but there could be a big push to include this proposed program in legislative budget decision-making.

 

Senate Status:

04/17/19 - Set for Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee 04/23/19.

House Status:

04/18/19 - Set for House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee 04/23/19.

 

SB758/HB986

 

 

Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Yarbro, Jeff , Rep. Shaw, Johnny

Summary:

Defines reasonable accommodations in respect to employees who are pregnant. Declares that an employer is not required to construct a permanent, dedicated space for pressing milk. Establishes what an employer is not required to do unless the same accommodations are made for other employees including creating a light duty position and compensate an employee for more frequent or longer break periods. Declares it to be discriminatory based on sex for an employer to fail to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, require an employee to take leave if a reasonable accommodation can be made, and take adverse action against an employee for requesting reasonable accommodations. This bill will not pass this year.

Amendment Summary:

House Employee Affairs Subcommittee amendment 1 requires the department of labor and workforce development to provide online educational materials explaining existing employer responsibilities, under both federal and state law, and all rights of employees who have a pregnancy-related health condition. The attorney general must investigate complaints related to the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act or Americans with Disabilities Act and annually report finding to the general assembly and the governor.

Senate Status:

02/07/19 - Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.

House Status:

03/25/19 - Taken off notice in House Consumer & Human Resources Committee.

 

SB795/HB939

 

 

TN Education Savings Accounts Act (ESA) also referred to as the voucher bill

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Johnson, Jack , Rep. Lamberth, William

Summary:

This bill has seen a huge number of changes as the House and Senate have adopted many amendments. I will not attempt to summarize here. The two bodies have very different amendments at this point as supporters seek a way to find a bill that will pass by keeping the program out of counties that don’t want it. The Senate version is now down to two counties, Davidson and Shelby. The overwhelming majority of legislators representing those two counties don’t want it either, but they do not have veto power if the rest of the General Assembly decide to go that way.

Senate Status:

04/17/19 - Set for Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee 04/23/19.

House Status:

04/18/19 - Set for House Floor for 04/23/19.

 

SB796/HB940

 

 

Public Charter Schools Act revision creating state charter school commission.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Johnson, Jack , Rep. Lamberth, William

Amendment Summary:

Senate amendment 6 (007867) adds language to require that a majority of the Commission members must reside within the geographic boundary of an LEA in which at least one public charter school operates. House amendment 3 (007750) revises various provisions of the Tennessee Public Charter Schools Act of 2002, including the following: (1) This amendment creates a nine-member public charter school commission, which will serve as an appellate charter school authorizer and as the LEA for any public charter school that it authorizes.

Senate Status:

04/18/19 - Senate passed with amendment 6 (007867), which adds language to require that a majority of the Commission members must reside within the geographic boundary of an LEA in which at least one public charter school operates.

House Status:

04/18/19 - House concurred in Senate amendment 6..

Executive Status:

04/18/19 - Sent to the speakers for signatures.

 

SB1407/HB658

 

 

Limits authority of community oversight board.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Bell, Mike , Rep. Curcio, Michael

Summary:

Limits the authority of a community oversight board to the review and consideration of matters reported to the board and the issuance of advisory reports and recommendations to the duly elected or appointed officials of the agencies involved in public safety and the administration of justice within the jurisdiction for which the community oversight board is established. Specifies that a community oversight board does not have the power to issue subpoenas for documents or to compel witness testimony. Requires any employee or member of a community oversight board to be a registered voter of the jurisdiction for which the community oversight board is established. Specifies other requirements for a community oversight board.

Amendment Summary:

After the House and Senate passed conflicting amendments regarding subpoena power, a conference committee and subsequently the House and Senate settled on allowing oversight boards to request subpoenas but required the local legislative body to approve.

Senate Status:

04/18/19 - Senate adopted conference committee report (008273).

House Status:

04/17/19 - House adopted conference committee report (008273).

Executive Status:

04/18/19 - Sent to the speakers for signatures.

 

B1428/HB1280

 

Medicaid Block Grant Mandate

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Bailey, Paul , Rep. Hill, Timothy

Summary:

Requires the governor acting through the commissioner of finance and administration to submit to the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid services a waiver amendment to the existing TennCare II waiver, or to submit a new waiver in order to provide medical assistance to the TennCare II waiver population by means of a block grant no later than 180 days (amended from 120) after the effective date of this act. Orders the block grant to convert the federal share of all medical assistance funding into an allotment that is tailored to meet the needs of the state and that is indexed for inflation and population growth. This approach has

:

 

Senate Status:

04/17/19 - Set for Senate Health & Welfare Committee 04/23/19.

House Status:

04/11/19 - House passed with amendment 1 (004786).

 

HJR54

 

 

Opportunities for mentorships and apprenticeships for students.

 

Sponsors:

Rep. Sparks, Mike

Summary:

Encourages schools, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based organizations to increase opportunities for mentorships and apprenticeships for students.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated February 21, 2019) NOT SIGNIFICANT

House Status:

04/17/19 - House adopted.

 

HJR84

 

 

Constitutional amendment - annual charitable gaming events.

 

Sponsors:

Rep. Faison, Jeremy

Summary:

Amends Article XI, Section 5 of the state constitution to increase, from one to two, the number of charitable gaming events that a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) organization may conduct for the benefit of the organization per year with the approval of two-thirds of each house of the general assembly.

House Status:

01/30/19 - Referred to House Department & Agencies Subcommittee.

 

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