Second Extraordinary Special Session Legislative update, August 13, 2020

 

Tennessee General Assembly information, click HERE. For information on State Senators, including phone numbers and email addresses, click HERE; for House members, click HERE. For information on legislation, click HERE.
Don't forget that you can now watch the Senate committee meetings and floor sessions online by going HERE; House committee meetings and floor sessions online HERE.
Phone calls can go to the legislative Switchboard at 615-741-3011 or to the Toll Free number 1-800-449-8366+1 last four digits of office phone number (available online)

 

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever . . . ."  Thomas Jefferson




FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
Sen. Mark Pody's wife had major surgery this week.  Please keep her in your prayers. A few of the older or clearly 'at risk' lawmakers were not at the capitol this week. Do remember them.



 

The Second Extraordinary Special Session of the 111th General Assembly convened for business at 4:00 pm on Monday afternoon.


During the House floor session on Wednesday as the bill dealing with the criminal laws impacting peaceful demonstrations (HB8005) was being debated, Rep. John DeBerry rose to speak--when he does that, his colleagues listen.  He spoke about the civil rights movement as HE and his Father lived it and discussed the difference between peaceful protests and anarchy.  I challenge you to view this few minutes and I challenge you to sit your children down to view it too.



When he finished, his colleagues gave him a well deserved and long standing ovation.

The First Day of Special Session Reveals Legislation That Will be Considered Regarding COVID-19 Liability, Telemedicine and Protesting .

Here are your special House committees .


BILLS THAT PASSED BOTH HOUSES AND SENT TO THE GOVERNOR:

SB 8001 by Hensley - HB 8006 by *Ogles

Local Government, General - As introduced, prohibits a governmental entity from intentionally preventing or prohibiting law enforcement or fire and rescue services from accessing a specifically bounded area within the governmental entity's jurisdiction during a public demonstration; declares a governmental entity may be held liable for injury proximately caused by the governmental entity intentionally The First Day of Special Session Reveals Legislation That Will be Considered Regarding COVID-19 Liability, Telemedicine and Protesting .eventing or prohibiting law enforcement or fire and rescue services from accessing a specifically bounded area during a public demonstration

ON AUGUST 12, 2020, THE SENATE ADOPTED AMENDMENT #1 AND PASSED SENATE BILL #1, AS AMENDED.
AMENDMENT #1 adds "mayor" and "chief executive officer" to the definition of "governmental entity" for purposes of this bill. This amendment clarifies that a governmental entity's liability under this bill will be subject to the limits contained in the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act. This amendment also adds that this bill's provisions do not apply to tactical decisions made by law enforcement or fire and rescue services personnel based on the risks to or safety of the public.

PASSED THE HOUSED 68-19-1
          Representatives voting aye were: Baum, Boyd, Bricken, Byrd, Calfee, Carr, Cepicky, Crawford, Curcio, Daniel, Doggett, Dunn, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Gant, Garrett, Griffey, Grills, Halford, Hall, Haston, Hawk, Helton, Hicks, Hill M, Hill T, Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Hurt, Johnson C, Keisling, Kumar, Lafferty, Lamberth, Leatherwood, Littleton, Lynn, Marsh, Moody, Moon, Ogles, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rudd, Rudder, Russell, Sexton J, Sherrell, Smith, Sparks, Terry, Tillis, Todd, Travis, Van Huss, Vaughan, Weaver, White, Williams, Windle, Wright, Zachary, Mr. Speaker Sexton C -- 68.
          Representatives voting no were: Beck, Chism, Clemmons, Freeman, Hakeem, Hardaway, Hodges, Jernigan, Johnson G, Lamar, Miller, Mitchell, Potts, Powell, Shaw, Staples, Stewart, Thompson, Towns -- 19.
          Representatives present and not voting were: DeBerry -- 1.

PASSED THE SENATE AS AMENDED  27-4
 Senators voting aye were: Bailey, Bell, Bowling, Briggs, Crowe, Dickerson, Gardenhire, Gresham, Haile, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Kelsey, Lundberg, Massey, Niceley, Powers, Reeves, Roberts, Rose, Southerland, Stevens, Swann, Watson, White, Yager, Mr. Speaker McNally -- 27.
         Senators voting no were: Akbari, Gilmore, Kyle, Yarbro -- 4.



SB 8002 by Johnson - HB 8001 by *Lamberth, Gant, Curcio, Smith
Tort Liability and Reform - As introduced, enacts "Tennessee COVID-19 Recovery Act." - Amends TCA Title 9, Chapter 8, Part 3; Title 29, Chapter 34; Title 29, Chapter 20 and Title 49, Chapter 7, Part 1.

Some of the main points of the Bill:
In the Act, an individual or legal entity (a "person") will not be liable for loss, damage, injury, or death (collectively referred to hereinafter as an "injury") that arises from COVID-19 unless the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the person caused the injury by an act or omission constituting gross negligence or willful misconduct.

The Act requires that a claimant in any action alleging injury arising from COVID-19 must file a verified complaint pleading specific facts with particularity from which a trier could reasonably conclude that the injury was caused by the defendant's gross negligence or willful misconduct. In an action alleging injury based on exposure to or contraction of COVID-19, the Act further requires that the claimant file a certificate of good faith stating that the claimant or claimant's counsel has obtained a signed, written expert medical opinion that the claimant's injury was caused by the alleged act or omission of the defendant. A claimant's failure to comply with the Act's pleading requirements will, upon motion, make the claim subject to dismissal with prejudice.

This bill makes the following additions pertaining to COVID-19-related claims to present law limited liability provisions:

(1) Extends immunity, under the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, for governmental entities in connection with any injury arising from COVID-19, unless the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the injury was caused by an act or omission of the governmental entity or the entity's employees constituting gross negligence;
For additional information, go HERE and click on SUMMARY.

PASSED THE HOUSE 80-10-1
          Representatives voting aye were: Baum, Boyd, Bricken, Byrd, Calfee, Carr, Cepicky, Chism, Cochran, Crawford, Curcio, Daniel, DeBerry, Doggett, Dunn, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Freeman, Gant, Garrett, Griffey, Grills, Halford, Hall, Haston, Hawk, Hazlewood, Helton, Hicks, Hill M, Hill T, Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Hurt, Johnson C, Keisling, Kumar, Lafferty, Lamar, Lamberth, Leatherwood, Littleton, Lynn, Marsh, Miller, Moody, Moon, Ogles, Potts, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rudd, Rudder, Russell, Sexton J, Shaw, Sherrell, Smith, Sparks, Staples, Terry, Thompson, Tillis, Todd, Travis, Van Huss, Vaughan, Weaver, White, Whitson, Williams, Windle, Wright, Zachary, Mr. Speaker Sexton C -- 80.
          Representatives voting no were: Beck, Clemmons, Dixie, Hakeem, Hardaway, Johnson G, Mitchell, Powell, Stewart, Towns -- 10.
          Representatives present and not voting were: Jernigan -- 1.

PASSED THE SENATE 27-4
Senators voting aye were: Bailey, Bell, Bowling, Briggs, Crowe, Dickerson, Gardenhire, Gresham, Haile, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Kelsey, Lundberg, Massey, Niceley, Powers, Reeves, Roberts, Rose, Southerland, Stevens, Swann, Watson, White, Yager, Mr. Speaker McNally -- 27.
          Senators voting no were: Akbari, Gilmore, Kyle, Yarbro -- 4.
 

SB 8003 by Johnson - HB 8002 by *Lamberth, Gant, Smith
Insurance, Health, Accident - As introduced, makes various changes to the law concerning the electronic delivery of health care and its coverage under certain insurance policies and TennCare.

This is a very long and complicated bill that adds that telehealth is subject to utilization review in the same manner as an in-person encounter under the Health Care Service Utilization Review Act [See Section 1] and specifies that the provisions apply to the basic group health insurance plan for state and local public employees [See Section 4]. For more details, go HERE and click on SUMMARY.

PASSED THE HOUSE 91-0-1
          Representatives voting aye were: Baum, Beck, Boyd, Bricken, Byrd, Calfee, Carr, Cepicky, Chism, Clemmons, Cochran, Crawford, Curcio, Daniel, DeBerry, Dixie, Doggett, Dunn, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Freeman, Gant, Garrett, Griffey, Grills, Hakeem, Halford, Hall, Hardaway, Haston, Hawk, Hazlewood, Helton, Hicks, Hill M, Hill T, Hodges, Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Hurt, Jernigan, Johnson C, Johnson G, Keisling, Kumar, Lafferty, Lamar, Lamberth, Leatherwood, Littleton, Lynn, Marsh, Miller, Moody, Moon, Ogles, Potts, Powell, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rudd, Rudder, Russell, Sexton J, Shaw, Sherrell, Smith, Sparks, Staples, Stewart, Terry, Thompson, Tillis, Todd, Towns, Travis, Van Huss, Vaughan, Weaver, White, Whitson, Williams, Windle, Wright, Zachary, Mr. Speaker Sexton C -- 91.
          Representatives present and not voting were: Mitchell -- 1.

PASSED THE SENATE 30-1
          Senators voting aye were: Akbari, Bailey, Bell, Bowling, Briggs, Crowe, Dickerson, Gardenhire, Gilmore, Gresham, Haile, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Kelsey, Kyle, Massey, Niceley, Powers, Reeves, Roberts, Rose, Southerland, Stevens, Swann, Watson, White, Yager, Yarbro, Mr. Speaker McNally -- 30.
          Senators voting no were: Lundberg -- 1.


SB8004 by Johnson HB 8003 by *Lamberth
Appropriations - As introduced, makes appropriations for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the second extraordinary session of the 111th General Assembly.
This bill to appropriate money to pay for the session passed the House 71-9; passed the Senate 28-3


SB8005 by Johnson - HB 8005 by *Lamberth
Criminal Offenses - As introduced, revises certain criminal laws impacting peaceful demonstrations; authorizes the attorney general to investigate and prosecute crimes when the victim is a state employee, state property was damaged, or the administration of state government was delayed as a result of the crime.

This is a lengthy bill, for more information, go HERE and click on SUMMARY.

Among other things, this bill creates the Class C felony offense of aggravated assault against a first responder who is discharging or attempting to discharge the first responder's official duties. A person commits this offense by committing assault against a first responder, as described in (2), and the assault results in serious bodily injury or death of the first responder, involved the use or display of a deadly weapon, or involved strangulation. The punishment for aggravated assault of a first responder will be a $15,000 fine and a mandatory minimum 90-day prison sentence;
(4) Under present law, the offense of aggravated assault is generally a Class C or Class D felony. The maximum fine for a Class C felony is generally $10,000 and the maximum fine for a Class D felony is generally $5,000. Present law sets the maximum fine amount for an aggravated assault against a first responder, healthcare provider, or employee or contractor of a utility at $15,000. This bill changes the maximum fine that is generally applicable to aggravated assault to $15,000 regardless of the victim's occupation;
(5) This bill adds to the punishment for a person convicted of vandalism against government property or merchandise offered for retail sale by a retail merchant by requiring that the court order restitution for property damage or loss;
(6) This bill changes present law definitions applicable to the offenses of disorderly conduct and rioting to clarify that a person's mere assembling or presence at the scene of such an event does not constitute an offense;This bill creates the Class C felony offense of aggravated assault against a first responder who is discharging or attempting to discharge the first responder's official duties. A person commits this offense by committing assault against a first responder, as described in (2), and the assault results in serious bodily injury or death of the first responder, involved the use or display of a deadly weapon, or involved strangulation. The punishment for aggravated assault of a first responder will be a $15,000 fine and a mandatory minimum 90-day prison sentence;
(4) Under present law, the offense of aggravated assault is generally a Class C or Class D felony. The maximum fine for a Class C felony is generally $10,000 and the maximum fine for a Class D felony is generally $5,000. Present law sets the maximum fine amount for an aggravated assault against a first responder, healthcare provider, or employee or contractor of a utility at $15,000. This bill changes the maximum fine that is generally applicable to aggravated assault to $15,000 regardless of the victim's occupation;


PASSED THE HOUSE 71-20
          Representatives voting aye were: Baum, Boyd, Bricken, Byrd, Calfee, Carr, Cepicky, Crawford, Curcio, Daniel, DeBerry, Doggett, Dunn, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Gant, Garrett, Griffey, Grills, Halford, Hall, Haston, Hawk, Hazlewood, Helton, Hicks, Hill M, Hill T, Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Hurt, Johnson C, Keisling, Kumar, Lafferty, Lamberth, Leatherwood, Littleton, Lynn, Marsh, Moody, Moon, Ogles, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rudd, Rudder, Russell, Sexton J, Sherrell, Smith, Sparks, Terry, Tillis, Todd, Travis, Van Huss, Vaughan, Weaver, White, Whitson, Williams, Windle, Wright, Zachary, Mr. Speaker Sexton C -- 71.
          Representatives voting no were: Beck, Chism, Clemmons, Dixie, Freeman, Hakeem, Hardaway, Hodges, Jernigan, Johnson G, Lamar, Miller, Mitchell, Potts, Powell, Shaw, Staples, Stewart, Thompson, Towns -- 20.

PASSED THE SENATE 26-5
          Senators voting aye were: Bailey, Bell, Bowling, Briggs, Crowe, Gardenhire, Gresham, Haile, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Kelsey, Lundberg, Massey, Niceley, Powers, Reeves, Roberts, Rose, Southerland, Stevens, Swann, Watson, White, Yager, Mr. Speaker McNally -- 26.
          Senators voting no were: Akbari, Dickerson, Gilmore, Kyle, Yarbro


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Facebook to build $800M datacenter in Gallatin .

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