NASHVILLE, TN. (WLAF)- As of July 1, Tennessee passed a number of new laws. Over this week, WLAF has highlighted some of the new laws.
Other laws passed included increasing criminal penalties for some crimes, ‘bathroom bills” and education laws.
Drag Racing: The new law is aimed at stopping drag racing. It increases the penalty from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor. (Senate Bill 14)
Spencer Bristol Act: The new law not only increases protection for police officers but also, increases penalties for criminals who evade arrest. The bill is named after Hendersonville Master Patrol Officer Spencer Bristol, who was hit and killed in 2019 while running after a suspect. The penalty has been increased to a Class C felony if evading arrest results in serious bodily injury of an officer. If an officer is killed, then the penalty is increased to a Class A felony. (Senate Bill 129)
Boating Under the Influence: Under this law, the consequences of BUI rises to be consistent with penalties associated with driving under the influence, DUI. (Senate Bill 246)
Tennessee Accommodations for All Children: The new law requires schools to try to offer a single-occupancy or employee facility for anyone who wants more privacy, but it specifically bars letting transgender people use multi-person facilities that don’t align with their sex at birth. (Senate Bill 1367)
Transgender Public Restrooms: The law makes Tennessee the first state in the U.S. to require businesses and government facilities open to the public to post a sign if they let transgender people use multi-person bathrooms, locker rooms, or changing rooms associated with their gender identity. (Senate Bill 1224)
Safe Stars Act: The bill creates health standards and metrics to improve student-athlete safety. It also aims to prevent cardiac arrest and concussions. (Senate Bill 1259)
Student’s Right to Know Act: The new legislation requires Tennessee Higher Education Commission to create a web-based dashboard for students considering college and career options. The dashboard will include education cost options and expected occupation wages. (Senate Bill 1521)
HOPE Scholarship: The new law extends eligibility to homeschool students who want to apply for HOPE Scholarships. (Senate Bill 458)
Adoption Health Check: The law requires adoptive parents who receive subsidies to provide DCS with medical or school records in order to get a health check. If they fail to do so, the law allows DCS to initiate a face-to-face visit. This follows the deaths of two children in Roane County Police believe were buried for several years. The adoptive parents continued receiving benefits after their deaths. (Senate Bill 270)
Child Care Task Force: The bill creates a task force designed to come up with a strategic plan that addresses the challenges of providing high-quality affordable child care. (Senate Bill 677)
Animal Cruelty: A new law removes barriers in order to prosecute aggravated animal cruelty cases in Tennessee. The law no longer requires prosecutors to prove the act was done in a “depraved or sadistic manner.” (Senate Bill 166)
Tractor Lemon Law: The legislation helps farmers when it comes to replacing or refunding farm machinery. The law requires manufacturers to cover any repair or costs, replacement, or refund that are not the result of the normal wear and tear of equipment. (Senate Bill 831) (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 07/09/2021- 6AM)