TENNESSEE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
TN State Rep. Gloria Johnson
The Tennessee Legislature will vote on these Bills the week of March 7, 2022
Take action to be heard by representatives! An action can be in the form of a phone call, email or both to voice your position on bills. Click on the links provided to contact the legislators who will make deciding votes on these bills.
Paid Family Leave HB1295: This bill will be heard on March 8th at 9am Central. Click to contact Legislators on the Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee. This bill would allow every worker in the state to have Paid Family Leave at no cost to the state or business. The worker would contribute $3-$4 weekly and after a year, would be eligible for 12 weeks paid leave for their own illness, maternity/paternity leave, or a sick family member.
Department of Children’s Services Worker Caseload Cap to 12 HB1974:
This bill will be heard in committee on March 8th at 2:00 Central. Child and Family Subcommittee Legislators to contact. This bill would cap the number of cases for Department of Children Services workers at the industry standard, 12. Currently, DCS workers are supposed to average 20, but Tennessee workers have 60 or more and workers are leaving in droves and those staying are exhausted and contemplating leaving. (NOTE: DCS currently has over 540 openings to be filled. States that have gone with this standard have been able to fill their vacancies and retain workers.)
A Weekly Report on Caseload Numbers HB2690:
This bill will be heard in committee on March 8th at 2pm Central. Legislators to contact on the Child and Family Subcommittee. This bill requires a weekly case count rather than a monthly count in order to be more closely monitored. (NOTE: These numbers are already being collected and would not require any additional work.)
Divisive Concept Bill HB2670:
This is an attempt to whitewash history and scare educators away from discussing important topics the sponsors feel guilty about. In Higher Ed Committee March 8th at noon central. Legislators to contact on the Higher Education Subcommittee. (Note: This is an attempt to remove any kind of critical race theory from public higher education. This trend has already been ridiculous when applied to middle and high schools. Colleges and universities are places where students can learn about more complicated concepts, even if they involve discussing facts that may be uncomfortable for some students.)
Firearms and Ammunition HB1735:
To be heard in Criminal Justice Committee at 9am Central. Legislators to contact in the Criminal Justice Committee. As introduced, lowers the age requirement to obtain an enhanced or concealed handgun carry permit or lawfully carry a handgun in public from 21 to 18 years of age.
Obscenity and Pornography HB1944:
This is a book-banning bill. It will be heard in Criminal Justice Committee on March 9th at 9am Central. Legislators to contact in the Criminal Justice Committee. (NOTE: The book Maus has been in the news recently for this issue. It is a book about a holocaust survivor, but some of the images have been pointed out and used as reasoning to ban this book. The purpose behind the bill doesn’t seem to be prohibiting actual explicit or pornographic material, as that is already illegal, but seems to be designed to allow conservatives to be able to successfully object to and remove legitimate materials they have chosen to disagree with.)
Textbooks-LGBTQ Erasure bill HB0800:
This bill will be heard in Finance, Ways & Means Committee March 9th at 11am Central. Legislators to contact on the Finance, Ways & Means Committee. As introduced, this bill prohibits materials that promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender (LGBTQ) issues or lifestyles to be used by LEAs and public charter schools from adopting or using textbooks and instructional materials or supplemental instructional materials by restricting the state textbook and instructional materials quality commission from listing or recommending; the state board of education from approving for local adoption or granting a waiver. (NOTE: The suicide rate for LGBTQ students is 2-3 times higher than other students and this bill stands to make it much worse.)