First of 2 Parts

130 new state laws in effect in Tennessee as of July 1

Legislation range: taxes to silencers

By BRIAN GRAVES Staff Writer
Posted 7/5/17

Tennesseans now have more than 130 new laws with which to contend as the month of July begins.

The highlights of what the state General Assembly did this session include an increase in fuel …

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First of 2 Parts

130 new state laws in effect in Tennessee as of July 1

Legislation range: taxes to silencers

Posted

Tennesseans now have more than 130 new laws with which to contend as the month of July begins.

The highlights of what the state General Assembly did this session include an increase in fuel taxes; a decrease in food taxes; a law legalizing the sale, use, and possession of silencers for firearms; and a law banning abortions after 20 weeks if a doctor determines the fetus is viable.

The tax on a gallon of gasoline went up by 4 cents on Saturday, as part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act and will go up 1 cent each of the next two years for a total overall increase of 6 cents. The tax on diesel fuel will increase by a total of 10 cents over the next three years.

The cost to register a vehicle in Tennessee increased by $5 for passenger vehicles, $10 for taxis and buses, and $20 for tractor-trailers as part of the IMPROVE Act. Residents registering an electric vehicle will have an additional $100 registration fee.

The IMPROVE Act also cut taxes in a number of areas, including lowering the sales tax on food by 1 percent.

The Tennessee Hearing Protection Act of 2017 will allow gun owners to possess and use silencers on firearms. Supporters of the measure claimed the legislation would help protect sportsmen’s hearing.

Another of the new laws now in effect bans abortions in Tennessee after 20 weeks of gestation if a doctor determines the fetus is viable. The law also requires the doctor to perform specific tests in reaching that determination. Doctors face felony penalties if they violate this law but an exception is made if the mother faces risks of death or serious damage to a major bodily function.

Other new laws that went into effect on July 1 across the state include:

• Increased sentencing for people who target law enforcement officers or military personnel — People convicted of committing a violent offense against a uniformed law enforcement officer or uniformed member of the military where the victim was chosen because of their occupation will face stiffer sentencing penalties for the offense. An amendment to the state’s sentencing law allows the defendant’s sentence to be increased if it is shown they targeted law enforcement or military personnel.

• Desecrating a place of worship or burial is now a felony — A change to the laws regarding the desecration of a place of worship or burial upgrades the crime from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class E felony, which means those convicted of the offense will face larger fines and longer prison sentences.

• Purple paint is now a legal notice for no trespassing — This law allows property owners to use purple paint on trees or posts as an alternative to posting “no trespassing” signs. Under the change in the law, the property owner must post at least one sign at a major point that specifies the use of purple paint signifies “no trespassing.”

• Blocking a public street is now a crime: A traffic safety bill passed through the Legislature made blocking public highways and streets in an area that restricts emergency vehicle access a misdemeanor. The offense is punishable by a fine of $200. The law could have an impact on protestors who stand in the street and block or restrict access to emergency vehicles.

• Move Over Law expanded to include non-emergency vehicles: As enacted, this law requires a motor vehicle to yield the right-of-way by making a lane change, if possible, or reduce speed and proceed with caution when approaching a vehicle sitting stationary on shoulder, emergency lane or median if that vehicle is giving signal by use of flashing lights.

• Spoofing is illegal: Consumers can utilize Caller ID to avoid unwanted callers or to know who is on the other end of the line before they answer. However, the Caller ID feature can be manipulated by “spoofers” who masquerade as representatives of government agencies, banks, creditors, and other businesses by altering the name and phone number displayed. This law creates a tougher punishment for those manipulating Caller ID or text messages and makes “spoofing” a Class A Misdemeanor.

• Public employees who commit crimes while on the job now face tougher rules: A change to state law is making it harder for public employees accused of a misdemeanor crime during their employment to avoid punishment or a criminal record. The new law makes public employees ineligible for “suspended prosecution” and “pretrial diversion” if they commit a misdemeanor offense during their employment.

“Pretrial Diversion” is a voluntary program for defendants charged with misdemeanors or criminal violations. When a defendant successfully completes the program, a recommendation is made to the court to dismiss the charges.

“Suspended Prosecution” allows the case to be put on hold for a period of six months. After that time has elapsed, the case can be dismissed if there were no similar offenses during that six-month period.

• Credit cards can charge 30 percent interest: An amendment to existing state law changes the maximum annual interest rate a bank may charge on a credit cart from 21 percent to 30 percent.

The full list of the new laws going into effect appears below:

SB0047 Election Laws: As enacted, reorders the presidential primary ballots to allow for candidates for state, county, and municipal offices to immediately follow the names of the presidential candidates; increases the number of vertical columns for each respective party’s primary election on the ballot from two to three. Amends TCA Title 2, Chapter 13 and Title 2, Chapter 5.

SB0341 Teachers, Principals and School Personnel: As enacted, authorizes a school counselor to refer or help facilitate a referral of a parent or legal guardian’s student to a counselor or therapist for mental health assessments or services.. Amends TCA Title 4; Title 49 and Title 63.

SB0598 Education : As enacted, requires LEAs to ensure schools provide parents and guardians with information about influenza and the effectiveness of vaccination at the beginning of each school year; requires nonpublic schools to provide parents and guardians with information about influenza and the effectiveness of vaccination at the beginning of each school year. Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 50 and Title 49, Chapter 6.

SB0782 TennCare: As enacted, adds additional parties who are required to provide certain information to the commissioner of finance and administration, the bureau of TennCare, or managed care organization regarding recovery of benefits; amends related reporting requirements. Amends TCA Section 71-5-117.

SB0809 Teachers, Principals and School Personnel: As enacted, moves up the deadline for the state board of education to release the teacher preparation training report from November 1 of each year to February 15 of each year. Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 5.

SB0461 Pharmacy, Pharmacists: As enacted, expands to include pharmacists in the prohibition on discrimination by managed health insurance issuers against optometrists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, and chiropractors solely on the basis of their license or certification, if such providers are acting within the scope of their license or certification. Amends TCA Section 56-32-129.

SB0016 Criminal Procedure: As enacted, clarifies that a person petitioning for a certificate of employability does not have to be in the process of restoring the person’s rights of citizenship. Amends TCA Title 40, Chapter 29, Part 1.

SB0167 Dept. of Correction: As enacted, authorizes the commissioner, for good cause, to extend the six-month period within which a claim against the state for costs must be submitted to the department by an additional six months; effective until June 30, 2018. Amends TCA Section 40-25-144.

SB0199 Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities: As enacted, establishes the Tennessee Council on Autism Spectrum Disorder. Amends TCA Title 4 and Title 68.

SB0518 Pharmacy, Pharmacists: As enacted, removes the board of pharmacy’s oversight of facilities that distribute dialysate and devices necessary to perform peritoneal kidney dialysis to patients with end stage renal disease if the facility meets certain criteria. Amends TCA Title 63, Chapter 10.

SB0690 Sentencing: As enacted, adds public employees to the list of those ineligible for suspended prosecution and pretrial diversion for a misdemeanor offense committed in the course of the person’s employment, under the same provisions currently applicable to elected and appointed state and local officials so charged. Amends TCA Title 40, Chapter 15.

SB0996 Traffic Safety: As enacted, requires a motor vehicle to yield the right-of-way by making a lane change, if possible, or reduce speed and proceed with due caution when approaching a stationary motor vehicle that is giving signal by use of flashing lights and located on the shoulder, emergency lane, or median. Amends TCA Title 55.

SB1266 Tennessee Regulatory Authority: As enacted, limits the TRA’s jurisdiction over an investor-owned electric power company serving Tennessee customers on the western side of the Mississippi River to hearing complaints alleging certain levels of service and rate violations and granting appropriate relief. Amends TCA Title 65, Chapter 4, Part 1.

SB0139 Equalization Board: As enacted, revises notice requirements for final decisions reached by county boards of equalization to require inclusion of the taxpayer’s right to electronically file an appeal to the state board, the current address of the state board, all relevant statutory deadlines, and other information required by the state board. Amends TCA Section 67-5-1411.

SB0377 Campaigns and Campaign Finance: As enacted, requires that campaign funds be deposited into a financial institution insured by the FDIC or the national credit union administration that is authorized to do business in this state. Amends TCA Title 2,Chapter 10.

SB0902 Traffic Safety: As enacted, makes the offense of obstructing public highways and streets where the obstruction restricts emergency vehicle access a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $200. Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17; Title 54 and Title 55.

SB1202 Dept. of Financial Institutions: As enacted, revises various provisions relating to the licensing of certain non-depository financial institutions. Amends TCA Title 45, Chapter 13; Title 45, Chapter 15; Title 45, Chapter 18; Title 45, Chapter 5 and Title 56, Chapter 37.

HB0520 Libraries: As enacted, revises provisions related to the operation of local libraries and the state regional library system; specifies terms for board service. Amends TCA Title 3, Chapter 1; Title 10, Chapter 3; Title 10, Chapter 5; Title 10, Chapter 8; Title 10, Chapter 1 and Title 40, Chapter 39.

HB1112 Domestic Violence: As enacted, requires the court to give a defendant intending to plead guilty to a domestic violence offense notice of the firearm dispossession consequences of a domestic violence conviction and sets out a procedure for a person convicted of domestic violence to terminate possession of all firearms. Amends TCA Section 39-13-111 and Section 40-14-109.

SB0238 Equalization Board: As enacted, changes the standard of review for property tax appeals by limiting review to the record before the hearing examiner. Amends TCA Section 67-5-1505 and Section 67-5-1506.

SB0274 Criminal Offenses: As enacted, revises offense of criminal trespass in regard to grounds and common areas of housing and apartment complexes. Amends TCA Section 39-11-106 and Section 39-14-405.

SB0293 Children: As enacted, authorizes a physician to provide peripartum analgesia and peripartum care to a minor who is at least 14 years of age without the knowledge or consent of a parent. Amends TCA Title 63, Chapter 6.

SB0433 Juvenile Courts: As enacted, revises provisions governing certain juvenile-related reporting requirements. Amends TCA Title 37.

SB0693 Charitable Solicitations: As enacted, deletes registration requirement for professional fund raising counsel, which are persons who, for compensation, plan, manage, advise, consult, or prepare material for a charitable organization for the solicitation of contributions in this state, but do not engage any person to solicit contributions on behalf of a charitable organization. Amends TCA Title 48, Chapter 101.

SB1191 Dept. of Commerce and Insurance: As enacted, adds universities, colleges, community colleges, and colleges of applied technology to the list of educational institution types for which the POST commission provides services; authorizes the POST commission to collect police recruit fingerprints for criminal record checks by the TBI and FBI; and revises the circumstances under which the POST commission must issue a certificate of compliance to a recruit. Amends TCA Section 38-8-104 and Section 38-8-107.

SB1305 Funeral Directors and Embalmers: As enacted, requires that of the 10 hours of continuing education coursework required for renewal of licensure of funeral directors and embalmers, 5 of those hours must be attended in person, which means the coursework is either completed in the physical presence of the provider of the coursework or through an interactive virtual program that requires participants to confirm their presence during the program. Amends TCA Title 62, Chapter 5.

SB1318 Property Assessors: As enacted, clarifies that property assessors may retain electronic or digital copies of property tax exemption applications to comply with existing retention requirement. Amends TCA Section 67-5-212.

SB0019 Funeral Directors and Embalmers: As enacted, establishes requirements regarding the custody and transfer of remains in certain circumstances. Amends TCA Title 38, Chapter 7; Title 62, Chapter 5 and Title 68.

SB0448 Boards and Commissions: As enacted, requires the board of podiatric medical examiners to establish a registration process for certain residents continuing their clinical education; authorizes a licensed orthotist or prosthetist to utilize one or more non-licensed persons to assist in the performance of minor repairs on devices that have been previously dispensed to patients and the performance of other tasks approved by the board. Amends TCA Title 63, Chapter 3.

HB0534 Revenue: As enacted, enacts the “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act” or the “2017 Tax Cut Act.” -Amends TCA Title 55, Chapter 4, Part 1; Title 55, Chapter 6; Title 67, Chapter 2; Title 67, Chapter 3; Title 67, Chapter 4; Title 67, Chapter 5 and Title 67, Chapter 6.

HB0029 Victims’ Rights: As enacted, deletes the provision giving an alleged offender the right to have notice of and suspend all action concerning a claim for compensation by the victim under the criminal injuries compensation fund. Amends TCA Section 29-13-108.

HB0056 Criminal Offenses: As enacted, expands the offense of theft to include evading a component of an anti-shoplifting device, interfering with a fire alarm system, or using any artifice or article to commit or facilitate a theft, and makes other various changes; punishes a fifth or subsequent conviction in a two-year period one classification higher and imposes a fine of not less than $300 nor more than the maximum amount established for the appropriate offense classification. Amends TCA Section 39-14-146.

HB0077 Insurance, Motor Vehicles: As enacted, clarifies that off-highway vehicles operated on public roads are covered under the definition of “uninsured motor vehicle” for purposes of being covered under an uninsured motorist policy. Amends TCA Title 55, Chapter 12; Title 55, Chapter 8 and Title 56, Chapter 7.

HB0113 Tobacco, Tobacco Products: As enacted, authorizes municipalities located in Putnam County to prohibit, by local ordinance, smoking on the grounds of an urban park center. Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17.

HB0577 Courts, Juvenile: As enacted, requires an adjudicating court to inform a child of the need to file a motion for expunction of a juvenile record; requires the administrative office of the courts to create a motion that can be completed by a child; requires juvenile court clerks to make the model expunction motion available to all children. Amends TCA Section 37-1-153.

HB0578 Courts, Juvenile: As enacted, requires expunction of certain juvenile records upon motion; requires an adjudicating court to inform a child of the need to file a motion for expunction of a juvenile record; requires the administrative office of the courts to create a motion that can be completed by a child; requires juvenile court clerks to make the model expunction motion available to all children. Amends TCA Section 37-1-153.

HB0579 Taxes, Real Property: As enacted, specifies that return of the receipt for a mailed summons or notice that is either signed by the defendant or marked refused is grounds for a default judgment in a delinquent property tax case. Amends TCA Section 67-5-2415.

HB0636 Juvenile Offenders: As enacted, makes various changes to the expunction of juvenile court records, including creating a process for the expunction of juvenile court records for cases in which the juvenile successfully completed pretrial or judicial diversion. Amends TCA Section 37-1-153 and Section 40-32-101.

HB0688 Firearms and Ammunition: As enacted, expands the exception to unlawful carrying or possession of a firearm or firearm ammunition to include carrying or possession in a boat; clarifies that the exception includes a loaded firearm, as well as a firearm or ammunition. Amends TCA Section 39-17-1307.

HB0733 Game and Fish Laws: As enacted, establishes that requirements on the size, placement and inspection of steel traps used in the taking of wildlife be set by rule or proclamation of the fish and wildlife commission, as necessary, rather than by statute. Amends TCA Title 70, Chapter 1, Part 1 and Section 70-4-120.

SB0154 Physicians and Surgeons: As enacted, revises certain requirements governing pain management clinics and pain management specialists. Amends TCA Title 63.

SB0305 Consumer Protection: As enacted, revises certain provisions regarding a litigation financier. Amends TCA Section 47-16-105 and Section 47-16-109.

SB0818 Water: As enacted, extends to a person who has contracted for the right to store water in a reservoir owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the exclusive rights to any return flows generated directly or indirectly to that reservoir by the person. Amends TCA Title 69 and Title 70.

SB0837 TennCare: As enacted, requires managed care organizations participating in the TennCare program to annually report to the bureau of TennCare certain information regarding treatment of claims for mental health and alcoholism or drug dependence benefits in relation to the requirements of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Amends TCA Title 56 and Title 71.

SB0997 Banks and Financial Institutions: As enacted, increases the maximum annual interest rate (or equivalent daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly rate) that a bank may charge and collect with respect to extensions of credit made on credit card accounts from 21 percent to 30 percent. Amends TCA Title 45, Chapter 2, Part 19.

SB1188 Professions and Occupations: As enacted, revises various professional regulatory provisions, including provisions regarding cosmetologists, home inspectors, and engineers. Amends TCA Title 62.

HB0058 Public Records: As enacted, revises certain provisions governing open records requests, including the manner in which such requests may be made. Amends TCA Title 10, Chapter 7, Part 5.

HB0376 Statutes of Limitations and Repose: As enacted, limits any action to recover damages against a real estate appraiser arising out of the appraiser’s real estate appraisal activity to being brought within one year from a person’s discovery of the act or omission giving rise to the action; limits any disciplinary action against a real estate appraisal by the Board of Real Estate Appraisers from three years from the date the appraisal was completed. Amends TCA Title 28 and Title 62, Chapter 39.

HB0044 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation: As enacted, enacts the “Help Find the Missing Act.” Amends TCA Title 38.

HB0434 Orders of Protection: As enacted, requires a divorce court that modifies or makes an existing order of protection part of the divorce decree to issue a separate order of protection; requires the clerk to send a copy of the order to the petitioner, respondent, and the law enforcement agency. Amends TCA Title 36, Chapter 3, Part 6.

HB0584 TennCare: As enacted, authorizes the TennCare program to provide medical assistance for language interpreter services. Amends TCA Title 71, Chapter 5.

HB0686 Election Laws: As enacted, requires a court to impose an additional $1,000 fine for a conviction for voter fraud; provides a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for voter fraud. Amends TCA Title 2 and Title 40.

SB0458 Drugs, Prescription: As enacted, authorizes local education agencies and nonpublic schools to maintain opioid antagonists in schools. Amends TCA Title 49 and Title 63.

SB0511 Consumer Protection: As enacted, creates a Class A misdemeanor, civil penalties enforceable by the attorney general and reporter, and a private right of action related to “spoofing” of caller identification, facsimile, and text messaging services. Amends TCA Title 29; Title 39, Chapter 17; Title 47, Chapter 18 and Title 65, Chapter 4, Part 4.

SB0704 TennCare: As enacted, enacts the “Ground Ambulance Service Provider Assessment Act.” Amends TCA Title 56; Title 68 and Title 71.

SB0845 Medical Occupations: As enacted, clarifies that the exemptions from the licensure and regulatory requirements for medical physicians apply to surgeons of the United States army, navy, air force or marine hospital service regardless of the hospital or practice site, if the surgeon’s practice is part of the surgeon’s authorized military service or training. Amends TCA Section 63-6-204.

SB1252 Children: As enacted, amends the requirements for what is to be included in a petition filed in juvenile court; clarifies the requirement that a court conducting a termination of parental rights hearing admit evidence pursuant to the Tennessee Rules of Evidence. Amends TCA Section 36-1-113; Section 37-1-120; Section 37-1-129 and Section 37-1-183.

SB1267 Dept. of Financial Institutions: As enacted, enacts the “Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Financial Exploitation Prevention Act.” Amends TCA Title 39; Title 45; Title 47, Chapter 30; Title 48, Chapter 1 and Title 71, Chapter 6.

SB1342 Sentencing: As enacted, creates an enhancement factor, by which the defendant’s sentence can be increased, where the defendant is convicted of committing a violent offense against a uniformed law enforcement officer or uniformed member of the military or national guard and the defendant intentionally selected the victim because of the victim’s status as a law enforcement officer or service member. Amends TCA Title 39 and Title 40.

SB0150 Nurses, Nursing: As enacted, authorizes physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives who are advanced practice registered nurses to treat minors with sexually transmitted diseases to the full extent of the person’s authority, including the authority to prescribe and dispense drugs relating to a sexually transmitted disease. Amends TCA Title 63 and Title 68.

SB0524 State Board of Education: As enacted, requires the state board to adopt a policy allowing American sign language courses to satisfy the foreign language credits required for graduation. Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10.

SB1032 Welfare: As enacted, expands the licensure requirement for adult day care providers to include those who provide service to five or more, instead of 10 or more, adult recipients. Amends TCA Title 4, Chapter 3, Part 12; Title 49; Title 68 and Title 71.

SB1163 Estates: As enacted, makes various changes to probate law, including requiring that the receipt of a distributee or legatee be executed under penalty of perjury or sworn before the clerk or a notary public. Amends TCA Title 30.

HB0078 Criminal Offenses: As enacted, authorizes property owners to provide notice that trespassing is prohibited on their property by marking trees and posts with purple paint as an alternative to posting signs. Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 14.

HB0166 Pensions and Retirement Benefits: As enacted, removes the 90-day limitation on a retired member of the Tennessee consolidated retirement system working as a substitute teacher. – Amends TCA Title 8, Chapter 36 and Title 49.

HB0615 Child Abuse: As enacted, adds the commission of trafficking for commercial sex act to the definitions of child sexual abuse and severe child abuse; redefines “caregiver” for the purposes of the laws governing the placement and custody of juveniles. – Amends TCA Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 1 and Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 6.

HB1199 Election Laws: As enacted, enacts the “Tennessee Freedom of Speech Act.” – Amends TCA Title 2 and Title 66.

HB0560 Criminal Offenses: As enacted, creates the misdemeanor offense of unauthorized release of a law enforcement officer’s residential address to the public, punishable as a Class B misdemeanor if the release is criminally negligent or a Class A misdemeanor if intentional. – Amends TCA Title 10, Chapter 7 and Title 39.

HB0934 Taxes, Real Property: As enacted, revises various provisions of property tax law. -Amends TCA Title 28 and Title 67, Chapter 5.

HB1049 Police: As enacted, imposes certain requirements to report to POST commission and employing agency on officers arrested for any offense; establishes minimum attendance requirement for commission members and requires removal of members who do not meet the requirement. – Amends TCA Title 4 and Title 38, Chapter 8, Part 1.

HB0039 DUI Offenses: As enacted, requires search warrant or written consent prior to a blood test being performed to determine alcoholic or drug content of a driver’s blood; creates certain exceptions. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 13; Title 40, Chapter 7, Part 1 and Title 55, Chapter 10, Part 4.

HB0310 Charter Schools: As enacted, enacts the “Tennessee High-Quality Charter Schools Act.” – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 13.

HB0344 Victims’ Rights: As enacted, makes the identifying information of the minor victim of a criminal offense confidential and not open to inspection by members of the public, unless a court waives the confidentiality at the request of the minor’s custodial parent or legal guardian; creates certain exceptions. – Amends TCA Title 10, Chapter 7; Title 37; Title 38 and Title 39.

HB0348 Divorce, Annulment and Alimony: As enacted, requires courts in making equitable division of marital property to consider all relevant evidence, including valuation methods typically used with regard to such assets without regard to whether the sale of the asset is reasonably foreseeable, in determining the value of an interest in a closely held business or similar asset. – Amends TCA Title 36, Chapter 4.

HB0393 Criminal Offenses: As enacted, expands the offense of theft to include new home construction contractors who fail to refund amounts paid under contract under certain circumstances or deviate from or disregard plans or specifications in any material respect that are contained in a new home construction contract. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 14.

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