Women's Fund of Greater Chattanooga
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News

News from the Women's Fund

Legislative Agenda - Updated April 2, 2018

This TN Legislative Session is winding down quickly, but some bills of interest are still active in committees and moving toward the Floor for votes. The bills listed below are those that the Women’s Fund designated as legislative priorities for this session of the Tennessee General Assembly. Below each bill, we have updated the current progress of the bill in the Senate and House. If you are interested in finding the names and contact information of committee members for each bill, visit the Tennessee General Assembly site. 

POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

HB2372/SB1488 - Election Laws - This bill lengthens the voter registration period to 15 days before an election instead of 30 days before an election. PositionSupport

HB2372 has been assigned to the Local Government subcommittee; SB1488 has been assigned to the general subcommittee of State and Local Government. Neither bill has seen movement since being assigned to committee.

VIOLENCE & SAFETY

HB1984/SB2130 - Sexual Harassment - This bill allows a contract employee to bring a sexual harassment action against the entity to which the person is under contract in certain situations. (Also aligns with the Employment and Earnings measures from 49 to One report.) PositionSupport

HB1984 was taken off notice in the Consumer and Human Resource subcommittee on March 14 because it did not have the support to pass this year. We are hopeful it will be reintroduced next year.  

EMPLOYMENT & EARNINGS

HB1904/SB1863 - Tennessee Pay Equality Act - This bill forbids discrimination by an employer on the basis of sex by paying any employee a wage rate less than than that paid to any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work, performance, skill and responsibility in similar working conditions. (Also aligns with Poverty & Opportunity measures from 49 to One report.) PositionSupport

HB1904 was taken off notice in the Consumer and Human Resource subcommittee on March 14; We do not anticipate any movement for the Tennessee Pay Equality Act this session. 

HB 1861/SB1769 - Employment Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence - This bill establishes employment protections for people who are victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault to attend court, meet with law enforcement, attend counseling, or find new housing. PositionSupport

SB1769 failed in Judiciary Committee. 

WORK & FAMILY

HB1985/SB2092 - Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act - This bill prohibits public employers from discriminating against applicants and employees with pregnancy-related conditions by not providing them with reasonable accommodations. PositionSupport

HB1985 failed in State Government Committee.

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

HB2164/SB1510 - Family Life Curriculum - This bill requires instruction on the detection, intervention, prevention, and treatment of child sexual abuse as part of a family life curriculum and extends immunity from a cause of action to instructors or organizations providing such instruction. PositionSupport

Passed!

HB1506/SB1491 - Infant Mortality Reduction Program Act - This bill enacts the "Infant Mortality Reduction Program Act," which creates a program for the distribution of baby boxes to parents at the birth of their child. PositionSupport

HB1506 was taken off notice in the Health subcommittee on March 7; We anticipate this bill being reintroduced next year with a decreased fiscal note and increased public awareness.  

HB 2627/SB2185 - Insurance Coverage/Access to contraception - This bill requires all health benefit plans to provide coverage for contraception and other women's preventive health services (Also aligns with Health & Well-Being measures from 49 to One report.) PositionSupport

HB2627 failed in the House Insurance and Banking subcommittee. 

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

HB1961/SB1949 - Suicide Mortality Review and Prevention Act - In accordance with the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention as issued by the office of the U.S. Surgeon General, this bill forms and implements the recommended state-based suicide mortality reviews to institute the systemic changes needed to decrease suicide mortality. PositionSupport

HB1961 is on the calendar for Finance, Ways, and Means but is currently placed behind the budget; SB1949 was recommended for passage by committees and sent to the Calendar Committee on March 27. 

ADDITIONAL PRIORITY

HB2521/SB2548 - Marriage Age - This bill restricts marriage to persons 16 years of age or older by removing age waivers for marriage certificates. PositionSupport

UPDATE: HB1785 (minimum marriage age of 18) was amended to include removing all waivers and loopholes that allow children under 18 to be married except in the case of emancipation or the removal of disability of age for 17 year-olds only. The same amendment was added to SB1790 which then failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 27.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: An amendment was added to SB2268 (a bill about adoption fee transparency) that sets a hard minimum marriage age at 16 and that limits marriages of 16 and 17 year olds to spouses not more than 4 years older. SB2268 passed the Judiciary Committee on March 28 and was sent to the Senate Calendar Committee. HB2134, the companion bill, is on the Civil Justice Committee calendar for April 3, where we anticipate the same amendment will be proposed to be added. 

HB2521 is on the Civil Justice subcommittee calendar for April 3; SB2548 was assigned to the Judiciary subcommittee on March 21. 

Jeannine Carpenter