The 108th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee convened at noon on January 8, 2013. After two weeks of reorganizing the Assembly began committee hearings and conducted weekly floor sessions. Session is expected to end in late April or early May.
Bill filling deadline for the Senate and House was February 14, 2013. Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) imposed a 15 bill rule for each of the 99 house members. 9 after 10th day.
Governor's Legislative package introduced Jan. 1 2013 and included 59 bills.
A successful "Day on the Hill" was conducted February 6, 2013, which included a legislative reception held that evening in conjunction with Children's Hospital Alliance of Tennessee (CHAT).
TNAAP had 29 attendees and met with 19 legislators, including Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and a host of committee chairs, on key legislation.
SUPPORT Concussion Legislation Senate Bill 0882 Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) House Bill 0867 Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville)- As introduced, requires schools and other organizations conducting youth athletic programs to adopt concussion policies. If a player meets one or more items on a pre-approved checklist, they will be removed from the game. The child will not be permitted to return to play until cleared by an approved medical provider. As of March 4th, the bill appears to be moving toward passage within the next few weeks.
OPPOSE Motorcycle Helmet Repeal Legislation HB 0044 Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) SB 0548 Mike Bell (R-Riceville) As introduced, permits motorcycle operators who have certain minimum insurance coverage, a motorcycle safety course, and other requirements upon payment of $50.00 fee to receive special sticker upon renewal of registration permitting the person to ride motorcycle without a crash helmet. We also strongly OPPOSE HB 0894 Kelly Kiesling (R-Byrdstown) SB 1143 Mark Green (R-Clarksville) known as the "Motorcyclist Liberty Restoration Act". Under present law, the driver of a motorcycle, motorized bicycle, or motor-driven cycle, and any passenger on any of these, must wear a crash helmet. This bill specifies that this helmet requirement would only apply to such drivers or passengers who are less than 21 years of age. When required, such helmet must meet certain federal standards. As of publication, these bills are making their way through the committee process with very close vote margins, making its passage more possible during this session than in previous years.
SUPPORT for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome through the "Safe Harbor Act of 2013" HB 0277 Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) SB 0459 Ken Yager (R-Harriman) The bill Establishes a procedure for pregnant women referred to drug addiction treatment that receives public funding to be a priority user of available treatment. The bill requires department of mental health and substance abuse services to ensure that certain treatment is available. It also prohibits certain treatment centers from refusing treatment solely because the person is pregnant. Additionally requires certain medical providers to encourage pregnant women to seek drug addiction treatment. It prohibits DCS from petitioning for the newborn's protection solely because of the patient's use of prescription drugs for non-medical purposes during the term of her pregnancy if the pregnant mother is compliant within the program. The bill provides civil immunity for certain providers. The bill is broadly captioned.
SUPPORT for Medicaid Expansion in Tennessee as part of the federal Affordable Care Act requires us to OPPOSE SB001 Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown). As introduced, prohibits Tennessee from participating in the Medicaid expansion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The bill was withdrawn on March 7th and did not have a House sponsor.
We are currently tracking over ninety bills in the categories of:
|TNAAP Day on the Hill ~ February 6, 2013: TNAAP President Dr. Allen Coffman and University Of Tennessee Residents with Rep. Mike Turner||TNAAP Day on the Hill ~ February 6, 2013: Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey meets with UT and ETSU residents accompanied by (from right of Lt. Gov) TNAAP President Dr. Allen Coffman, Dr. Annamaria Church, ETSU resident Dr. Jeremy Bradley, TNAAP Executive Director Ruth Allen and TNAAP lobbyist Chris Ford||TNAAP Day on the Hill - February 6, 2013: Senator Jim Tracy with (from left to right) Chris Ford, Lora Harnack, Ruth Allen, Dr. Jeremy Bradley, Dr. Andrew Gregory, Dr. Shelley Fiscus, and Dr. Eddie Hamilton|
The Tennessee General Assembly meets in Nashville each year beginning at noon on the second Tuesday of January. Each General Assembly meets ninety (90) session days over a two-year period. Generally, legislative sessions last from mid-January through May of each year.
The bicameral Tennessee General Assembly consists of a thirty-three (33) member Senate and a ninety-nine (99) member House of Representatives.
For over fifty years, the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has maintained relationships with legislators of the Tennessee General Assembly and policymakers within the executive branch. TNAAP's lobbying presence on "the Hill" assures that the interests of children and pediatricians are protected in vital areas such as exposure to tobacco, disease prevention, injury prevention, TennCare/Medicaid reform and school-related issues. We encourage you to reach out to your elected officials and be an advocate for change!
Do you want to know your state senator? Your state representative? Want to learn more about the Tennessee General Assembly and the types of bills being considered this year that impact children and pediatricians? Click here www.capitol.tn.gov to visit the revamped website of the Tennessee General Assembly.