Action List

News and Information on Actions of the Tennessee General Assembly

(Updated January 30, 2015)


These are bills that the Tennessee Bar Association has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a position on the bill or has a policy on the issue.

To track a bill's status between updates, visit the General Assembly's web site. There you can track each bill by its number and also find contact information on each senator and representative.


Campaigns & Lobbying - 1


SB141 Lobbyists - contacting a legislator during session or committee.
CategoryCampaigns & Lobbying
SponsorsSen. Reginald Tate
DescriptionProhibits a lobbyist or any employee or employer of a lobbyist from knowingly sending a text message or placing a telephone call to an official of the legislative branch while the official is participating in a legislative committee meeting or floor session, except in response to a prior request by the official.
Senate Status01/17/2015 - Introduced in the Senate.
House StatusNone

Commercial Law - 1


SB144 Merger voting and payment of claims by dissolved corporation.
CategoryCommercial Law
SponsorsSen. Jack Johnson
DescriptionSpecifies information required in written notice to voting shareholders regarding actions taken by non-unanimous written consent. Revises time for shareholder dissenting to merger to give notice of withdrawal. Revises when mergers require separate voting by voting groups for for-profit and non-profit organizations. Clarifies definition of fair value regarding value given for dissenter's shares. Requires director of dissolved corporation to make reasonable arrangements for the payment of claims and distribution of assets to shareholders. Defines "sign" and "signature" to include electronic sounds, symbols, or processes used with present intent to authenticate or adopt a document. Broadly Captioned.
Senate Status01/17/2015 - Filed for Introduction.
House StatusNone

Criminal Law - 1


HB41 Prohibits the waiving of the 12 hour jail period for domestic abusers.
CategoryCriminal Law
SponsorsRep. William G. Lamberth
DescriptionRemoves provisions allowing judges or magistrates to waive the current 12-hour period during which a defendant charged with a domestic violence offense or an elder abuse offense cannot be released on bail.
Senate StatusNone
House Status01/16/2015 - Held on House clerk's desk pending committee appointments.

Family Law - 1


SB161 Divorce - marital property treated as separate property.
CategoryFamily Law
SponsorsSen. Becky Duncan Massey
DescriptionRequires account balances, accrued benefits, or other values of vested and unvested pension benefits, vested and unvested stock option rights, retirement and other fringe benefits relating to employment prior to the date of marriage together with the appreciation of the value be treated as separate property for purposes of division of property in a divorce or legal separation. Provides that in determining appreciation in related cases, the court shall utilize any reasonably reliable method of attributing postmarital appreciation to the value of the premarital benefits, regardless of whether contributions were made to the account and contributions have appreciated in value during the marriage. Establishes requirements for withdrawing such assets for the purpose of acquiring separate assets of the employee spouse or marital assets.
Senate Status01/26/2015 - Filed for Introduction
House StatusNone

Judiciary - 9


SB1 / HB142 Appellate court judges - appointment process.
CategoryJudiciary
SponsorsSen. Brian K. Kelsey / Rep. Jon Lundberg
DescriptionEstablishes the procedure for the appointment, confirmation and retention of appellate court judges pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution of Tennessee. Provides that appellate judges shall be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the general assembly. Replaces the judicial nomination commission with the judicial confirmation committee, and outlines its organizational structure and duties with regards to the appointment of appellate judges. Establishes that upon receiving a recommendation through a resolution brought by a member of the judicial confirmation committee, both the house of representatives and senate shall vote to confirm or reject the appointee; if either of the two houses votes to reject the appointee, than the appointee is rejected regardless of whether the other houses votes on the question. Outlines the criteria to be followed for an incumbent appellate judge seeking reelection by retention. (15 pp.)
Senate Status01/14/2015 - Held on Senate clerk's desk pending committee appointment.
House StatusNone
SB37 Attorney general investigations concerning public officials.
CategoryJudiciary
SponsorsSen. Brian K. Kelsey
DescriptionGives the attorney general and reporter concurrent jurisdiction with the appropriate district attorney general to investigate and initiate the criminal prosecution of public officials for corruption and misuse of public office. Defines "public official" as any person who holds an elected office in any branch of the state government or political subdivision.
Senate Status01/16/2015 - Held on Senate clerk's desk pending committee appointments.
House StatusNone
SB41 / HB144 Creation of task force on e-filing of documents in court system.
CategoryJudiciary
SponsorsSen. Brian K. Kelsey / Rep. Jon Lundberg
DescriptionRequires the speaker of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the chief justice of the supreme court to establish an advisory task force to review and propose a process to implement e-filing of documents in the state court system and to recommend any necessary statutory revisions and any funding required to effectuate e-filing in state courts. Also, requires the speaker of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the chief justice of the supreme court to establish an advisory task force to review and propose any necessary statutory revisions regarding the appointment of counsel for indigent defendants.
Senate Status01/16/2015 - Held on Senate clerk's desk pending committee appointments.
House StatusNone
SB166 Allowing use of victim's photograph in trial.
CategoryJudiciary
SponsorsSen. Janice Bowling
DescriptionAllows for the admittance of a victim's photograph at trial in cases involving the death of the victim, if the photograph is a reasonable depiction of the victim.
Senate Status01/27/2015 - Filed for Introduction
House StatusNone
SJR17 Constitutional amendment - popular election of attorney general and reporter.
CategoryJudiciary
SponsorsSen. Mae Beavers
DescriptionProposes an amendment to Article VI, Section 5 of the state constitution to provide for popular election of the attorney general and reporter for a regular term of four years.
Senate Status01/15/2015 - Held on Senate clerk's desk pending committee appointments.
House StatusNone
SJR63 Popular election of attorney general.
CategoryJudiciary
SponsorsSen. Mae Beavers
DescriptionProposes amendment of Article VI, Section 5, to provide for popular election of the attorney general and reporter for a regular term of six years.
Senate Status01/28/2015 - Filed for Introduction.
House StatusNone
HB141 Task force on implementing e-filing in Tennessee's court system.
CategoryJudiciary
SponsorsRep. Jon Lundberg
DescriptionRequires the speaker of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the chief justice of the supreme court to establish an advisory task force to review and propose a process to implement e-filing of documents in the court system by July 1, 2015. Creates a task force on revising the process of appointment of counsel for indigent defendants.
Senate StatusNone
House Status01/22/2015 - Filed for Introduction.
HB160 General assembly - direct attorney general to file civil action.
CategoryJudiciary
SponsorsRep. Glen Casada
DescriptionAuthorizes the general assembly to direct the attorney general and reporter to initiate or withdraw from a civil action on behalf of the state. Allows the general assembly to employ legal counsel to advise it on matters related to such actions.
Senate StatusNone
House Status01/27/2015 - Filed for Introduction.
HJR10 Constitutional amendment - popular election of attorney general and reporter.
CategoryJudiciary
SponsorsRep. Craig Fitzhugh
DescriptionProposes an amendment to Article VI, Section 5 of the state constitution to provide for popular election of the attorney general and reporter for a regular term of eight years.
Senate StatusNone
House Status01/14/2015 - Filed for Introduction

Property & Housing - 1


SB67 / HB29 Eviction notice for certain actions.
CategoryProperty & Housing
SponsorsSen. John Stevens / Rep. Bill Sanderson
DescriptionAllows a landlord to provide three days' notice, as sufficient notice of termination of tenancy, for eviction of certain residential tenants if the tenants engage in certain violent activities.
Senate Status01/17/2015 - Held on Senate clerk's desk pending committee appointments.
House Status01/15/2015 - Caption bill held on House clerk's desk pending committee appointments.

Public Employees - 1


SB25 Notary public- record keeping.
CategoryPublic Employees
SponsorsSen. Brian K. Kelsey
DescriptionProvides that only if a notary public charges a fee for services, must the notary public record, either electronically or in a well-bound book, each of the notary's acts, attestations, protestations, and other instruments of publication. If the notary public does not demand or receive a fee then no recordation is required.
Senate Status01/15/2015 - Held on Senate clerk's desk pending committee appointments.
House StatusNone

Workers Compensation - 1


SB105 / HB94 Revisions to the Workers' Compensation Law.
CategoryWorkers Compensation
SponsorsSen. Mark S. Norris / Rep. Gerald McCormick
DescriptionMakes various revisions to the Workers Compensation Law. Requires the administrator of the division of worker's compensation to create utilization review system to select outpatient and inpatient healthcare providers for employees claiming benefits under the chapter. Requires all providers to be accredited by specified utilization review organizations. Extends the statute of limitations for claims based on permanent partial disability to two years from the date of last payment of disability benefits where permanent partial disability benefits were paid, but the employer and employee had not entered into a settlement agreement approved by a worker's compensation judge. Redefines "qualified physician" for the purpose of the panel of physicians an employee is entitled to for pain management. Specifies procedures for filing an interlocutory appeal. Revises deadlines for filing certain papers when appealing a compensation order. Allows appeals board to modify or reverse a decision by the worker's compensation judge under certain conditions. Allows the appeals board in exceptional circumstances to extend a deadline to perform an act, excluding the filing of a notice of appeal, by five business days for interlocutory appeals, and 21 calendar days for compensation orders. Authorizes administrator to assess filing fees to fund the administration of the division. Adds swearing in witnesses at hearings and other court of worker's compensation claims functions to the list of actions worker's compensation judges have the authority to perform. Allows judge to appoint a guardian ad litem for a claim of death benefits. Grants judges of workers' compensation claims certain execution authority. Requires approval from a worker's compensation judge to settle a claim for permanent disability benefits and specifies that agreements without the requisite approval are void. Makes other technical modifications.
Senate Status01/17/2015 - Held on Senate clerk's desk pending committee appointments.
House Status01/17/2015 - Held on House clerk's desk pending committee appointments.

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