happy family in park in autumn

Keep Family First

Our culture has forgotten that family was instituted by God to serve as a bulwark for liberty. Help us stand for marriage, save babies, and defend your religious liberty so we can Keep Family First. LEARN MORE
We need your generous year-end gift.
DONATE
Close Open

Bill Tracking

Tracking key Tennessee legislation from conservative, faith-based perspective

Every year during our state’s legislative session (January – April), FACT tracks bills making their way through the Tennessee General Assembly that concern marriage, the family, life, religious liberty, and more. Each bill that FACT tracks is listed by its individual Senate bill and House bill number within a specific category. If there is a certain bill you are particularly interested in, remember to contact your legislator about it, since your input can influence his or her decision.

Bills we are tracking

Bills About Constitutional Government

Bills About Constitutional Government

*SB 316/HB 194 - Legislative Right to Intervene in Lawsuits

Allows the Speaker of the House and Speaker of the Senate, jointly, or a majority of the members of both houses to intervene in certain existing legal proceedings where the constitutionality of a state statute is challenged or in which “new” or novel interpretations to expand constitutional or statutory rights are being advocated.

Sponsors: Watson in the Senate, Dunn in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Talking Points

Status: No action taken by the House or Senate in 2019.

SJR 1 - Method of Selecting Attorney General

Identical to HJR 81. This resolution seeks to amend Article VI, Section 5 of the Tennessee Constitution regarding the selection of the state attorney general. Currently, the attorney general is appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court. This would provide that the Supreme Court shall submit a nomination to the General Assembly, which must then vote to confirm the nomination by a majority of both the House and Senate. The Supreme Court must vote on its nominee in open court. The resolution makes provisions for subsequent nominees if either body rejects a nominee.

Sponsors: Yager in the Senate

Full Text: Senate Joint Resolution

Status: Passed in both Senate and House in 2019. It must now pass by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and House during 112th General Assembly before it be placed on the November 2022 ballot.

HJR 81 - Method of Selecting Attorney General

Identical to SJR 1. This resolution seeks to amend Article VI, Section 5 of the Tennessee Constitution regarding the selection of the state attorney general. Currently, the attorney general is appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court. This would provide that the Supreme Court shall submit a nomination to the General Assembly, which must then vote to confirm the nomination by a majority of both the House and Senate. The Supreme Court must vote on its nominee in open court. The resolution makes provisions for subsequent nominees if either body rejects a nominee.

Sponsors: Carter in the House

Full Text: House Joint Resolution

Status: Did not pass in either the House or Senate in 2019.

SJR 174 - Constitutional Amendment for Popular Election of Attorney General

This joint resolution would amend the constitution to allow the popular election of the attorney general. Identical to SJR 179.

Sponsors: Yarbro in the Senate

Full Text: Senate Joint Resolution

Status: No action taken by the House or Senate.

SJR 179 - Constitutional Amendment for Popular Election of Attorney General

This joint resolution would amend the constitution to allow the popular election of the attorney general. Identical to SJR 174.

Sponsors: Pody in the Senate

Full Text: Senate Joint Resolution

Status: No action taken in either the House or Senate.

Bills About Education

Bills About Education

SB 19/HB 301 - Retention Election on Director of Schools

The county or city governing body may by a two-thirds vote of the body require the director of schools to face a retention election. The election shall be held at the regular August election immediately prior to the expiration of the director’s contract. If the majority vote against retention, then the LEA shall not extend the director’s term/contract.

Sponsors: Gresham in the Senate, Van Huss in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: No action taken in either the House or Senate in 2019.

SB 1373/HB 307 - Elective Religious Courses for Credit

This bill as passed will extend the current provisions of allowing students to receive release time to take non-credit religious courses to allow local boards of education to develop release time religious elective courses offered for credit. It further requires that teachers for elective credit courses must be licensed as a teacher by the state.

Sponsors: Yager in the Senate, Powers in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Public Chapter 272

*SB 1499/HB 1274 - School Protection Act

This bill will authorize the attorney general to represent a local board of education and/or its employees if either are sued due to the adoption and/or implementation of a policy that designates locker rooms, shower facilities, and bathrooms to be used based on biological sex. It provides that the board and/or employees may obtain outside counsel if the attorney general determines there is a conflict of interest in representing them. The bill also provides that the board and/or employees will not be entitled to representation if they are guilty of willful or malicious misconduct.

Sponsors: Hensley in the Senate, Holt in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Talking Points

Status: Passed the House; Passed Senate Judiciary Committee, referred to Senate State and Local Government Committee to be heard in 2020.

Bills About Family

Bills About Family

SB 1282/HB 1369 - Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act

Declares that Tennessee will only recognize and give effect to marriages between one man and one woman and will not recognize any court decision that purports to strike down natural marriage.

Sponsors: Mark Pody in the Senate, Jerry Sexton in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: No action in either the House or Senate in 2019.

SB 1297/HB 1151 - Indecent Exposure Law in Single-Sex Restrooms

The bill as passed amends the indecent exposure criminal statute to include a restroom, locker room, dressing room or shower that is designated for multi-person, single-sex use in the definition of public place in which the offense of criminal exposure can occur.

Sponsors: Pody in the Senate, Ragan in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Public Chapter 251

SB 1376/HB 189 - Clarification on Marriage of Minors

The bill clarifies that no one under the age of 17 may be legally married in Tennessee and clarifies who is a parent for the purposes of consent to marriage of a 17-year-old.

Sponsors: Yager in the Senate, Carter in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Public Chapter 93

Bills About Life

Bills About Life

SB 487/HB 574 - Amends the Child Rape Protection Act

This bill amends the Child Rape Protection Act of 2006 by providing that a physician has reasonable cause to report sexual abuse of a minor when asked to perform an abortion on a minor of any age. The current law provides that reasonable cause is established when the abortion is performed on a minor under the age of 13.

Sponsors: Bowling in the Senate, Faison in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Public Chapter 424

SB 1236/HB 77 - Fetal Heartbeat Bill

This bill as amended in the House subcommittee would prohibit abortions, except in extreme situations, once a fetal heartbeat is detected. The person performing the abortion would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor; there is no penalty for the woman. If a baby survives an attempted abortion, the person performing the abortion is obligated to take steps to preserve the life and health of the baby.

Sponsors: Pody in the Senate, Van Huss in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Passed the House, Senate deferred the bill to a summer study.

SB 1257/HB 1029 - Human Life Protection Act

This bill would implement the Human Life Protection Act that would, except in extreme situations, prohibit abortion after fertilization or a pregnancy is confirmed. But the act would go into effect only if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade or if an amendment to the U.S. Constitution restoring to the states the authority to prohibit abortion is adopted. Exceptions would be made where the abortion was necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or “prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.” A person who performs an abortion in violation of the law would be guilty of a Class C felony. The pregnant woman would not be criminally liable.

Sponsors: Gresham in the Senate, Lynn in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Public Chapter 351

SB 1389/HB 966 - Commemorative Certificates of Nonviable Birth

This bill would authorize the issuance of a commemorative certificate of a nonviable birth by the Department of Health. A patient who experiences a nonviable birth prior to the twentieth week of gestation shall be notified by the attending healthcare provider or healthcare facility that the patient may request a commemorative certificate of a nonviable birth.

Sponsors: Bell in the Senate, Cochran in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Public Chapter 156

SB 1418/HB 1490 - Life Appropriation Act

This bill would enact the Life Appropriation Act to prohibit state appropriations or grants to entities that provide abortions. The bill links abortion to secular humanism and because the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed secular humanism as a religion, the bill establishes that it is a violation of the Establishment Clause for the state to appropriate funds or issue grants to entities that perform “convenience” or elective abortions. The bill exempts funding of a hospital, medical school, or university or funding available through Medicaid.

Sponsors: Jackson in the Senate, Ragan in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Passed the House; Senate deferred the bill to a summer study.

Bills About Marijuana

Bills About Marijuana

SB 360/HB 1284 - Prohibition of Minors Smoking Hemp

Utilizing the definition of industrial hemp, this bill amends the criminal statute on smoking tobacco and vapor products by minors to include hemp.

Sponsors: Southerland in the Senate, Mitchell in the House

Full Text: Senate Joint Resolution

Status: Passed House and Senate; transmitted to Governor for action.

SB 486/HB 637 - Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act

This bill would create the Medical Cannabis Commission charged to regulate all aspects of the commerce in medical marijuana to include cultivation, processing, dispensing, and use of medical cannabis in any form. It will allow the dispensing of medical cannabis to individuals who are diagnosed with a qualifying condition and has qualified for a medical cannabis card. The bill provides a list of more than 20 qualifying conditions including four applicable to minors.

Sponsors: Bowling in the Senate, Travis in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: No action taken by the House or Senate.

SB 256/HB 235 - Decriminalization of Marijuana

This bill would specifically provide that possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is not a criminal offense.

Sponsors: Kyle in the Senate, Gloria Johnson in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status:

SB 260/HB 234 - Use of Marijuana Authorized for Use by Another State

This bill would provide that possession of no more than one-half ounce of marijuana by a person with a valid medical marijuana patient identification card issued by another state is not a criminal offense.

Sponsors: Kyle in the Senate, Gloria Johnson in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: No action taken by either the House or Senate.

Bills About Gambling

Bills About Gambling

SB 16/HB 1 - Tennessee Sports Gaming Act

This bill as amended would authorize online wagering on sporting events in Tennessee.

Sponsors: Dickerson in the Senate, Staples in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Public Chapter 507

SB 522/HB 1294 - Authorization of Racing of Certain Breeds of Horses

This bill would create the Tennessee Horse Racing Commission that would regulate the industry, license horse races, and regulate the associated pari-mutuel wagering activities to include wagering on simulcast races at other locations, both inside and outside of Tennessee. The bill would have statewide application.

Sponsors: Niceley in the Senate, Farmer in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: No action taken in either the House or Senate.

SB 817/HB 1421 - Authorization of Horse Racing

This bill would create the Tennessee Horse Racing Commission that would regulate the industry, license horse races, and regulate the associated gambling activities to include pari-mutuel wagering on simulcast races at other locations, both inside and outside of Tennessee. Pari-mutuel wagering on either live races or simulcast races will only be authorized where a locality has passed a local option referendum on the respective types of racing.

Sponsors: Akbari in the Senate, Towns in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: No action taken in either the House or Senate.

SB 1055/HB 666 - Sports Wagering for Stronger Schools Act

This bill would create the Tennessee Sports Wagering Commission that would regulate wagering on sporting events. Under the bill, sports gambling would be authorized in locations that pass a local option referendum. Wagers can be initiated only with cash by those 18 years of age or older. Proceeds would be earmarked and allocated for K-12 education funding and deposited in the Education Trust Fund.

Sponsors: Dickerson in the Senate, Staples in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: No action taken in either the House or Senate.

SB 1057/HB 1033 - March Madness and Fantasy Football Freedom

This bill would authorize sports gambling involving events such as fantasy football and tournament betting pools.

Sponsors: Dickerson in the Senate, Terry in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Public Chapter 126

SB 1463/HB 1012 - Economic Impact Study of Sports Gambling

This bill would require the secretary of state and comptroller to study the economic impact of sports gambling in the state. The findings of the joint report shall be delivered to both the House and Senate State and Local Government Committees no later than January 15, 2020.

Sponsors: Bailey in the Senate, Coley in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: No action taken in either the House or Senate.

SJR 97 - Constitutional Amendment to Authorize Bingo

This joint resolution would amend the constitution to authorize bingo games in the state with the proceeds going to benefit public and private schools.

Sponsors: Niceley in the Senate

Full Text: Senate Joint Resolution

Status: Passed Senate; no action in the House.

HJR 102 - Constitutional Amendment to Authorize Bingo

This joint resolution would amend the constitution to authorize bingo games in the state if conducted by an authorized 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) organization. The Secretary of State shall have sole authority in regulating the activity and the courts shall not have jurisdiction over any aspect of its authority or decisions.

Sponsors: Griffey in the House

Full Text: House Joint Resolution

Status: Failed in House Departments and Agencies Subcommittee of the State Government Committee.

HJR 130 - Constitutional Amendment to Authorize Casino Gambling

This resolution would amend the constitution to allow casino gambling in the state to be implemented and administered in the state as determined by the legislature.

Sponsors: Miller in the House

Full Text: House Joint Resolution

Status: No action in either the House or Senate.

SJR 165 - Constitutional Amendment to Authorize Casino Gambling

This resolution would amend the constitution to allow casino gambling in the state to be implemented and administered in the state as determined by the legislature. Identical to HJR 130.

Sponsors: Kyle in the Senate

Full Text: Senate Joint Resolution

Status: No action taken in either the House or Senate.

Bills About Religious Liberty

Bills About Religious Liberty

*SB 364/HB 563 - Business Protection Act

This bill will ensure there is a single, uniform standard for businesses to meet regarding employee health benefit, wage, family leave, and anti-discrimination policies and ensure that a state or local government entity cannot discriminate against a business that meets the state and federal standards in those areas in the awarding of grants, contracts, or other benefits.

Sponsors: Rose in the Senate, Zachary in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Talking Points

Status: Passed in the House, 68-22. Deferred to 2020 in the Senate.

SB 848/HB 1152 - Conscience Provision for Child-Placing Agencies

This bill provides that a child-placing agency shall not be required to facilitate adoptions in a manner that conflicts with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. Additionally, an agency of state or local government cannot take adverse action against such agency for declining to provide or facilitate adoption services that conflict with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. The agency must have a written policy or statement of faith outlining its sincerely held religious beliefs to receive the protection in this bill.

Sponsors: Hensley in the Senate, Ragan in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: No action taken in the House or Senate.

SB 1304/HB 836 - Conscience Provision for Child-Placing Agencies

This bill provides that a child-placing agency shall not be required to facilitate adoptions in a manner that conflicts with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. Additionally, an agency of state or local government cannot take adverse action against such agency for declining to provide or facilitate adoption services that conflict with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs.

Sponsors: Rose in the Senate, Rudd in the House

Full Text: Senate Bill/House Bill

Status: Passed House; deferred in Senate Judiciary Committee to 2020.

HJR 17 - Acknowledging God as the Source of Our Liberties

This joint resolution would amend the Tennessee Constitution to acknowledge that God is the source of our liberties.

Sponsors: Van Huss in the House

Full Text: House Joint Resolution

Status: Passed House; no action in Senate.

2017-2018 Bill Results

Want to print off our bill tracking information to share with your family, friends, Bible study, and prayer group? We have what you need.

Understanding How it Works

How Tennessee Bills Become Law

The following represents the normal procedure in the Tennessee General Assembly of transforming bills into law. The steps below describe the passage of general bills. The procedure for local bills, listed following general bills, is somewhat dif...
Continue Reading

Deciphering Legislative Bill Abbreviations

Sometimes abbreviations used for tracking bills on the Tennessee General Assembly (capitol.tn.gov) website can be confusing, so let’s first go through the most used bill abbreviations and what they mean, and then we will track a sampl...
Continue Reading

Tracking Votes and Bill Passage

On our bill tracking section, we provide information about the bills related to marriage, family, life, and religious liberty that we believe are important to you as a conservative in Tennessee and that are particularly important to us as well.  ...
Continue Reading

Subscribe to Email Updates

Subscribe

Donate to FACT

Make a Donation
Subscribe