Legislative Update April 5, 2019

April 9, 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 (004088) 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. Senate amendment 1, House Government Operations Committee amendment 1 (005741) deletes and replaces all language after the enacting clause such that the only substantive changes are: (1) to add 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; (2) to delete language of the original bill that authorized private citizen members of the council be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred for attending meetings; (3) to delete the requirement that members of the Council attend at least 50 percent of all meetings; and (4) to specify the legislative committees to which the annual report must be submitted.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated February 2, 2019) Increase State Expenditures - $6,100

Senate Status:

04/01/19 - Senate passed with amendment 1 (005741), which deletes and replaces all language after the enacting clause such that the only substantive changes are: (1) to add 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; (2) to delete language of the original bill that authorized private citizen members of the council be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred for attending meetings; (3) to delete the requirement that members of the Council attend at least 50 percent of all meetings; and (4) to specify the legislative committees to which the annual report must be submitted.

House Status:

03/27/19 - House Finance Subcommittee placed behind the budget.

(Bill will pass and be funded in the budget I believe. Passed Senate 31-0.)

 

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 (004311) deletes and rewrites all language after the enacting clause such that the only substantive change is removing the legislative members from the taskforce.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated February 7, 2019) Increase State Expenditures - $2,100/FY19-20 $1,400/FY20-21

Senate Status:

03/18/19 - Senate passed.

House Status:

03/14/19 - House passed with amendment 1 (004311).

Executive Status:

04/01/19 - Sent to governor.

 

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:

04/01/19 - Sent to governor.

 

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.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated March 7, 2019) Decrease Local Revenue Exceeds $15,900

Senate Status:

03/18/19 - Senate passed.

House Status:

03/27/19 - House Finance Subcommittee placed behind the budget.

(Placing a bill behind the budget is not necessarily an indicator that the bill is in trouble. It just means the budget bill must be amended for to include this amount. The fact that it is a small amount and that the impact is on local and not state government indicates to me that the bill will probably be included in the budget and thus pass.)

 

SB476/HB498

 

 

Reduces time for mailing documentation - TennCare applications.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Roberts, Kerry , Rep. Whitson, Sam

Summary:

Reduces from 30 to 15 days the time for a medical assistance applicant to mail documentation of a material change affecting their TennCare application. Broadly captioned.

Amendment Summary:

Senate Commerce & Labor Committee amendment 1, House Insurance Committee amendment 1 (006388) 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. Clarifies requirements for continued enrollment. Establishes a Medicaid diversion plan that offers a capped package of essential wraparound services and supports as well as premium assistance using a sliding scale based on parent income for children meeting the previous criteria. Requires this program provide services to support and sustain child health, family caregiving, and prepare the child for transition to employment and community living with as much independence as possible in the most integrated setting appropriate and cost-effective way. Requires the bureau of TennCare and intellectual and developmental disabilities department issue and annual joint report on the status of the program to the health committees of both legislative chambers.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated February 3, 2019) NOT SIGNIFICANT

Senate Status:

03/26/19 - Senate Commerce & Labor Committee recommended with amendment 1 (006388). Sent to Senate Finance.

House Status:

04/04/19 - Set for House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee 04/10/19

(This is an important bill which seems to have a good chance to pass. I think. It has strong bipartisan support even though it expands Medicaid. In spite of the listed 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. I am happy to discuss with anyone who wants more details.)

 

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.

Amendment Summary:

House Employee Affairs Subcommittee amendment 1 (006245) 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.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated February 24, 2019) NOT SIGNIFICANT

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.

(Bill is dead for this year.)

 

SB795/HB939

 

 

Tennessee Education Savings Accounts Act (ESA).  

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Johnson, Jack , Rep. Lamberth, William

Amendment Summary:

House Government Operations Committee amendment 1 deletes all language after the enacting clause. Creates the Tennessee Education Savings Accounts Act (ESA). Requires a participating student to participate in the program until the student enrolls in a public school, graduates or withdraws from high school, or reaches 22 years of age between the commencement of the school year and the conclusion of the school year, whichever occurs first, unless the student is suspended or terminated from participating in the program. Authorizes a participating student to return to the student’s LEA after enrolling in the program, and after returning, requires the student’s ESA to be closed and any remaining funds to be returned to the State Treasurer. Requires returned funds to the State Treasurer be placed in the Basic Education Program (BEP) Education Trust Fund of 1992, if the student ceases to be a resident of Tennessee. Sets parameters for the use of funds in a student’s ESA upon the student graduating high school or exiting the program by reaching 22 years of age and applying those funds to a postsecondary institution. Requires the Department of Education (DOE) to establish procedures to determine student eligibility and develop an application form and approval process. Requires the program to begin enrolling participating students by the 2021-22 school year. Limits program participation to an exact number of students for various years. Requires DOE to select students for participation in the program through a random enrollment lottery process, if the number of program applications received by the department exceeds the maximum number of students that may participate in the program for that school year. Requires the maximum annual amount that a student is entitled under the program to be equal to the per pupil state and local funds generated through the BEP for the LEA in which the student resides. Establishes a school improvement fund to be administered by DOE for the three fiscal years in which the program accepts students. Requires 2 HB 939 - SB 795 disbursements in the form of an annual grant to each LEA with participating students to be used for school improvements. Requires DOE to post on its website the list of participating schools, the grades taught, and other information that may assist parents in selecting a participating school. Authorizes DOE to deduct six percent from the annual ESA award amount to cover the costs of overseeing the funds and administering the program. Authorizes DOE to contract with a non-profit organization to administer some or all portions of the program. At the conclusion of the third fiscal year that the program enrolls students, requires DOE to publish an annual report on its website that contains information about the program for the previous school year.

Senate Status:

04/03/19 - Set for Senate Education Committee 04/10/19.

House Status:

04/04/19 - Set for House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee 04/10/19.

 

SB796/HB940

 

 

Tennessee Public Charter School Commission.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Johnson, Jack , Rep. Lamberth, William

Amendment Summary:

House Education Committee amendment 1 (006140) deletes all language after the enacting clause. Creates the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission as an independent state entity for the purpose of serving as an appellate charter school authorizer and the local education agency (LEA) for any public charter school it authorizes. Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, empowers the Commission to authorize public charter schools on appeal of a local board of education’s decision to deny a public charter school application. Authorizes the Commission to adopt policies and procedures for the Commission and the Commission’s authorized charter schools. Requires the Commission to be composed of nine members that must be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Requires the Commission to meet at least quarterly and prohibits members from receiving compensation.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated February 12, 2019) NOT SIGNIFICANT

Senate Status:

04/03/19 - Set for Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee 04/09/19.

House Status:

04/04/19 - Set for House Finance, Ways & Means Committee 04/09/19.

 

SB1279/HB1238

 

 

Verification of citizenship required for certain public benefits.

 

Sponsors:

Sen. Pody, Mark , Rep. Griffey, Bruce

Summary:

Requires verification of citizenship or lawful presence for each applicant 18 years of age or older, who applies for prenatal care and the special supplemental food program for women, infants and children when administered by the department of health. Broadly captioned.

Amendment Summary:

House Criminal Justice Subcommittee amendment 1 (005958) rewrites the bill to: (1) require the District Attorney General (DAG) prosecuting a criminal case, the investigator assigned to a criminal case, or the official of the jail in which the defendant in a criminal case is held, to take affirmative steps to determine the defendant's immigration status with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the United States Department of Homeland Security prior to a preliminary proceedings in the criminal case. (2) Require the judge of the court of general sessions presiding over a criminal case to inquire at a preliminary proceeding as to whether the DAG, the investigator or the official of the jail has determined the defendant's immigration status. (3) Establish that a defendant charged with a criminal offense who is determined to be unlawfully present in the United States is presumed to be a flight risk. (4) Require a judge to set bail at an amount sufficient enough to cover the cost of retrieving the defendant from outside of the United States. (5) Require all state and local law enforcement, prisons, jails, detention centers, jail administrations and similar agencies to cooperate to the fullest extent possible with any detention detainers of ICE, within the limits of state and federal law.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated March 8, 2019) Other Fiscal Impact The provisions of this legislation will likely result in a decrease in eligible participants in the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and could jeopardize a significant portion of the federal funding received for WIC; however, the extent and timing for any such impacts cannot be reasonably determined.

Senate Status:

02/11/19 - Referred to Senate Health & Welfare Committee.

House Status:

03/27/19 - Failed in House Criminal Justice Subcommittee after adopting amendment 1.

 

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:

Senate amendment 1 (005209) deletes language from the original bill establishing that the COB did not have subpoena power and replaces it with language authorizing a court to issue a subpoena if petitioned by certain officials. House amendment 1 (004252) adds that a community oversight board in existence as of the effective date of this bill will have one year from this bill's effective date to comply with the bill's requirements that an employee or member of a community oversight board must be a registered voter of the jurisdiction for which the community oversight board is established and that the community oversight board must not restrict or otherwise limit membership based upon demographics, economic status, or employment history.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated February 14, 2019) NOT SIGNIFICANT

Senate Status:

04/01/19 - Senate refused to recede from its actions in Senate amendment 1.

House Status:

04/04/19 - House appoints conference committee: Rep. Curcio (R), Rep. Lamberth (R), and Rep. Shaw (D).

(Important bill for Nashville, as well as other3 or 4 local governments which have such oversight boards. The Senate favors a role for these boards to initiate action to have a subpoena issued if a judge agrees it should be issue. The House version does not allow any role these boards relative to subpoenas, as I understand it.)

 

SB1428/HB1280

 

 

TennCare II funding by means of a block grant indexed for inflation and population growth.

 

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 120 days 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. Broadly captioned.

Amendment Summary:

House Insurance Committee amendment 1 (004786) requires any negotiated agreement between the federal government and the finance and administration commissioner be approved by a general assembly joint resolution.

Fiscal Note:

(Dated February 25, 2019) Increase State Expenditures Not Significant Other Fiscal Impact - If approved by the federal government, the level of federal funding that would be approved for the Medicaid program is unknown. The current federal funding level for FY18-19 is approximately $7,544,537,000.

Senate Status:

04/03/19 - Set for Senate Commerce & Labor Committee 04/09/19.

House Status:

04/04/19 - Set for House Floor for 04/11/19.

(Opposed by numerous health related organizations. It would seem to eliminate from the TennCare system certain regulatory safeguard that benefit health consumers. It also sets a cap on federal contributions which could be devastating if TennCare costs go up.)

 

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:

04/04/19 - Set for House Consent 04/08/19.

 

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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