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Legislative Update May 3, 2021

Community Impact, Nonprofit Leadership

May 3, 2021

The information below provides current updates on legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly that may impact local nonprofits. For more information on the bills below, visit the Tennessee General Assembly website.

To find your legislator, visit this page and type in your address. For more information on a specific piece of legislation, click on this link and type in the bill number.



SB230/HB16 Teacher’s Discipline Act

Broadens teacher authority to enforce student disciplinary policy and request removal of student from classroom in certain situations.
Enacted as Public Chapter 77 effective 1.1.22.


SB677/HB598 Tennessee child care task force

Creates new task force is to recommend a strategic action plan to address challenges of quality, affordability and accessibility.
Passed in the Senate, set for the House floor on 5/3/21.


Health and Public Benefits

SB102/HB119 “Silver Alert” program

Requires TBI to implement a program to assist in locating missing and vulnerable citizens.

Has passed in both the House and the Senate. Will become law.


SB751/HB142 TANF bill on funding and spending accumulating surplus reserves.

Increases benefits and programs including community grants, opportunity pilot programs, increases in monthly grants and lifetime benefits. Provides funding for some major contracts with nonprofit groups.

Governor’s bill. Passed in the House and set for the Senate floor on 5/3/21. Will pass.


Nonprofit (bills primarily impacting nonprofits and charitable organizations)

SB426/HB820 Funds collected by the department of state

Specifies how funds from charitable organizations will be used.

Has passed and awaits Governor’s signature.


SB664/HB720 Nonprofit organization’s ability to conduct a bingo game as its annual event

Passed in the Senate; set for the House floor on 5/3/21.


SB1608/HB159 Personal Privacy Protection Act

Prohibits public agencies from requiring an individual, 501(c)s, or contractors with the agency from providing personal information. Protections for personal info will be confidential.

Passed in the House, set for the Senate floor on 5/3/21.


HJR3 Constitutional amendment – bingo games conducted by 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) organizations

Proposes an amendment to Article XI, Section 5 of the Constitution of Tennessee, to allow for bingo games conducted by 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) organizations,

Outcome unclear. Would still need to pass voter referendum, as do all constitutional amendments.


Miscellaneous and General Interest

SB765/HB786 Handgun carry permits and offenses involving handguns

Detailed bill creates exemption for unlawful carrying of firearm if person meets qualifications for enhanced handgun carry permit, lawfully possesses handgun and is in a place where they have a right to be. Must be 21 (18 if member of armed services). Sets out some exceptions.

Governor backed this bill. Passed and will become law effective 7.1.21.


SB1402/HB1039 Unemployment insurance benefits reduced

Reduces from 26 to 12 weeks for some recipients. Current law  provides up to 26 weeks. 12 is fewer than any other state. Increases weekly benefits. Expected to pass.


Racial and Social Justice

SB600/HB1227 Tennessee historical commissioners replaced

Vacates current membership of TN Historical Commission. Motivated by Commission’s vote to recommend removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest statue from the Capitol to the State Museum. Deferred to a summer study committee. Will not become law this year.


SB1101/HB1460 Age-appropriate instruction for students on Black history and culture

Requires instruction for students in grades 5-8 on Black history and culture. Deferred to summer study in the House. Will not become law this year.