Democratic View On Top State Senate Issues - April 3, 2024

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2024
  • Brandon Puttbrese

Tenn. Senate will close two more committee today

  • Two more Senate committees are expected to hold their final meetings today – Transportation & Safety and Health & Welfare. 
  • The Judiciary Committee finished its final calendar yesterday. 
  • The bills on these calendars do not appear too controversial, which means the Senate may close for business today by lunchtime.


Senate returns to Gov. Lee’s corporate tax handout, voucher scam and budget 

  • With committees closing, senators will set their eyes on adjournment. 
  • But that means the upper and lower chambers of the legislature need to work out their differences on key legislation – or not.
  • The biggest items leftover are also the most expensive: 
    • Lee’s corporate tax handout: The Senate approved a $1.6 billion corporate handout this year and $400 million annual corporate tax break moving forward. The House bill includes the $400 million annual tax break, but only handouts $700 million this year. 
    • Lee’s voucher scam: The Senate version has a low-ball estimate of $75 million in year one and $278 million by year two. The House version estimates a $397 million price tag in year one. The governor only included $144 million in his budget recommendation to launch this program.

8:30 a.m.   Transportation


1. SB 0915 by Niceley. (*HB1015 by Faison.)

·         Requires businesses engaged in the towing or storing of motor vehicles to remove and secure a firearm left in a stored motor vehicle if the firearm can be removed without causing damage to the motor vehicle. Requires a removed firearm to be tagged or logged in a manner to tie it to the vehicle from which it was removed. Requires the firearm to be stored at the business in a firearm safe or other type of secure storage. Further requires the business to notify the owner with information regarding how the firearm may be retrieved.

10 a.m.      Health & Welfare


1. SB  2299 *Yager (HB  2376 by *Butler)

Public Health- Clarifies that, for the purpose of regulation of health and related facilities, an organization is classified as a home care organization if such organization provides home health services, home medical equipment services, professional support services, or hospice services to one or more patients on an outpatient basis.


2. SB  2340 *Yager (HB  1998 by *Hicks G)

TennCare- As introduced, requires the bureau to reimburse certain public or private ground-based ambulance services that bill for transports at a rate not less than 67.5 percent of the federal medicare program's allowable charge for participating providers for emergency services and 100 percent of the federal medicare program's allowable charge for participating providers for nonemergency services. - Amends TCA Title 71.


3. SB  2246 *Swann (HB  2093 by *Vaughan)

Medical Occupations- As introduced, requires health-related boards that license practitioners authorized to prescribe buprenorphine-containing products to post nonresidential buprenorphine guidelines and standards on the licensing board's website no more than 10 days after receipt of the guidelines. - Amends TCA Title 33; Title 53; Title 63 and Title 68.


4. SB  2864 *Roberts (HB  2297 by *Whitson)

Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities- As introduced, requires Part B of the Katie Beckett program to serve a minimum of 5,000 program participants. - Amends TCA Section 71-5-164.


5. SB  2850 *Roberts (HB  2900 by *Kumar)

Professions and Occupations- As introduced, as an alternative for an applicant for certain professional licenses or certificates having to show United States citizenship or authorization to work in the United States as verified by the SAVE program, allows the applicant to show proof of application for a valid visa that would authorize the applicant to lawfully work in the United States or a valid J-1 or F-1 student visa; requires the board of medical examiners to grant a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine to certain temporary licensees who are in good standing two years after the temporary licensee begins practicing medicine at a healthcare provider in this state as a temporary licensee, rather than two years after the date of initial licensure. - Amends TCA Title 4; Title 63; Title 68; and Chapter 211 of the Public Acts of 2023.


6. SB  1936 *Massey, Yager (HB  2366 by *Carringer, Towns)

Health Care- As introduced, changes the application requirements for international medical school graduates applying for special licenses. - Amends TCA Title 63.


7. SB 1930 *Akbari (HB  2222 by *Love)

DNA and Genetic Testing- As introduced, adds testing for variants of the Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene associated with increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease to the conditions for which the department of health must develop screening programs. - Amends TCA Title 68, Chapter 5.


8. SB  2791 *Watson (HB  2940 by *Hicks T, Jernigan, Gillespie, Behn, Lynn, Whitson, Helton-Haynes, Rudd, Harris, Vital, Alexander, McCalmon, Carringer, Miller, Hardaway, Eldridge, Parkinson)

TennCare- As introduced, enacts the "TennCare for Working Individuals with Disabilities Act." - Amends TCA Title 71, Chapter 5.


9. SB 0459 *Watson, Crowe (HB 0416 by *Hemmer, Clemmons, Vital, Hakeem, Martin B) 

TennCare- As introduced, directs the bureau to establish, by January 1, 2024, a statewide program of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE) to provide comprehensive, integrated acute and long-term care services for qualifying frail, elderly individuals who require nursing facility levels of care; sets minimum program enrollment limits; authorizes the director to seek any federal waiver the director deems necessary to establish the program. - Amends TCA Title 71.


10. SB 1740 *Haile (HB  1723 by *Hazlewood)

TennCare- As introduced, enacts the "Annual Coverage Assessment Act of 2024," which requires each covered hospital licensed as of July 1, 2024 to pay an annual coverage assessment for FY 2024-2025 of a certain percentage of the covered hospital's annual coverage assessment base. - Amends TCA Title 71, Chapter 5.


11. SB  2136 *Reeves (HB  2318 by *Williams, Whitson)

Medical Occupations- As introduced, makes various changes to the authorized scope of practice of physician assistants and advanced practice nurses who meet certain qualifications. - Amends TCA Title 55; Title 63 and Title 68.


12. SB  2139 *Reeves (HB  2358 by *Carringer, Sherrell)

Pharmacy, Pharmacists- As introduced, establishes a procedure for certain specialty medications to be returned to and re-dispensed by certain approved pharmacies. - Amends TCA Title 29; Title 53; Title 56; Title 63; Title 68 and Title 71.


13. SB  1505 *Yarbro (HB  1339 by *Camper, Pearson)

Human Services, Dept. of- As introduced, requires the department to actively seek and apply for federal grants and other available federal funds, and utilize available federal funds, for the purpose of alleviating childhood hunger. - Amends TCA Title 4 and Title 71.


14. SB  2009 *Reeves (HB  2269 by *Boyd)

Health Care- with the amendment, revises the process for reviewing applications submitted to the health facilities commission. Establishes a “contested case process” for applicants.


15. SB  1945 *Crowe (HB  2174 by *Alexander)

Food and Food Products- As introduced, redefines "food service establishment" to exclude an establishment whose primary business is other than food service, that incidentally makes casual, occasional food sales for two days or less while an organized temporary event is being conducted less than one-quarter mile from the establishment, for the purposes of exempting such establishments from regulation by the department of health and local governments.


16. SB 2419 *Crowe (HB  2445 by *Alexander, Hicks T, Helton-Haynes, Rudder)

TennCare- As introduced, enacts "Emma's Bill," which requires that when making a determination of medical necessity, the bureau shall take into consideration the patient's overall condition and use such overall condition as a factor to determine the level of funding and what medical items and services the patient receives, even if such determination does not result in the least costly course of diagnosis or treatment. - Amends TCA Title 4 and Title 71.


17. SB  2293 *Crowe, Campbell (HB  1975 by *Hawk)

Human Services, Dept. of- As introduced, requires the commissioner to include in the annual block grant report information detailing the department's use of federal TANF funds in furtherance of the four purposes of the TANF program. - Amends TCA Title 71, Chapter 1, Part 1.

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