Legislative Update - Week of February 10, 2020

Governor Lee Presents His Second State of the State Address

Last Monday evening, Governor Bill Lee presented his second State of the State Address to a Joint Convention of the Tennessee General Assembly. This presentation was the Governor’s public rollout of his proposed budget and legislative priorities for the year which focus largely on education, economic and workforce development, and promoting and supporting rural Tennessee communities. 

The following are some highlights from his speech:

  • Investing an additional $117 million in teacher salaries
  • Creating the K-12 Mental Health Trust Fund through $250 million in one-time funds to support the growth and placement of mental health services for students
  • Cutting the professional privilege tax by 50%
  • Returning over $100 million to cities and counties
  • Investing $160 million for capital improvements and $70 million for capital maintenance projects on higher education campuses
  • Increasing broadband accessibility through an additional $25 million investment
  • Investing $20 million in the Rural Opportunity Fund which supports site development, main-street development, and critical infrastructure assistance

To view the full transcript from the speech, click here. To see a detailed PowerPoint of the Governor’s proposed 2020-2021 budget as presented last week by Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, click here.

Bills to Watch This Week

SJR 0648 by *Kelsey, McNally, Johnson, Yager, Bailey, Watson, Bell, White, Powers, Rose, Roberts, Jackson, Stevens, Swann, Crowe, Haile, Bowling.

Proposes adding a provision to the Tennessee Constitution establishing right to work regardless of status of affiliation with any labor union or employee organization.

Under the Tennessee Constitution, proposed resolutions to amend the Tennessee Constitution must be read publicly on three separate days of session. At 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 10, the Senate will hear the third reading of this resolution, which paves the way for the full Senate to adopt it and refer it to the House later this week. To watch the live or archived video of this Senate Floor session, click here.  

*HB1944 by Daniel. (SB2451 by Roberts.)

As introduced, enacts the "Licensing Independence for Future Tennesseans Act."

This legislation would require licensing authorities under the Department of Commerce and Insurance and Department of Health to issue a license to an applicant that holds a current and similar license in another state, as determined by the licensing authority in this state, if certain conditions are met.

This bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Business Subcommittee on Tuesday, February 11 at 3:00 p.m.  To watch the live or archived video of the hearing, click here

*Next week’s legislative update will provide a link to dozens of bills being tracked by the business community as well as an update on the status of each of the bills.   

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