Some Tennessee educators say new measures will prevent them from doing their job — protecting students.
In the middle of a grueling debate on the state legislature’s final day, lawmakers took a recess — and broke into song.
Tennessee’s General Assembly passed several last-minute measures on Wednesday night before adjourning for the year. The measures touch high-interest subjects, including unemployment, constitutional challenges to state laws and the lessons taught in public schools
The state legislature has approved a dramatically different approach to handling lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of Tennessee laws. If approved by the governor, the move would strip power from judges in Davidson County, who have long handled such cases.
Tennessee protestors could face harsher punishments for blocking roadways. One bill, HB 513/SB 843, would raise the offense of obstructing traffic during demonstrations to a felony. Opponents of the bill are concerned of the chilling effect this could have on the state’s freedom of assembly.
A bill that would reinforce the state’s abstinence-focused curriculum in schools is heading to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for his signature. But its sponsors backed away from a provision that would have required parents to give permission before students’ could accept contraceptives in schools.
A so-called bathroom bill cleared the state Senate today. The measure would allow students and teachers to refuse to share restrooms with transgender people. Schools that don’t comply could be opened to the risk of litigation.
A bill that would require fetal remains from abortions to be cremated or buried is heading to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk. After passing 69-22 in the House and 27-6 in the Senate, Lee is the final stop for the bill to be signed into law.
A Tennessee bill aims to prohibit textbooks that acknowledge the LGBT community, though the measure is unlikely to pass this spring.
A bill making its way through the Tennessee legislature would give sexual assault survivors the ability to track the location of their rape kits.