A change in legislators could equate to a change in legislation, if the filing trend of more than 2,000 state bills comes to fruition during the 107th Session of the Tennessee General Assembly. The scope of proposed legislation ranges from harsher crime bills to changing the dates of certain elections across the state.
Other proposals are more district specific as state leaders look to make changes that would immediately and directly impact their district.
The 2,000 pieces of legislation had to be filed by Thursday’s deadline last week. The breakdown of bills that have the potential to become law as early as this year span the gamut of changes within the education system to changes in the election process to changes in the list of criminal offenses.
• A bill that requires each local board of education to adopt an AIDS education program for its high schools as proposed by Rep. Deborah Gilmore (D-Nashville) and Sen. Reginald Tate (D-Memphis).
• A bill that requires any school bus purchased after July 1, 2011 to have an approved restraint system and all buses in use after July 2023 to have a restraint system as proposed by Gilmore.
• A bill that provides for re-establishment of elected office of superintendent for counties or cities upon two-thirds vote of governing body as proposed by Rep. John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) and Sen. Charlotte Burks (D-Monterey).
• A bill that states that a parent, guardian or other person who has control of a truant student commits educational neglect as proposed by Rep. Phillip Johnson (R-Pegram) and Sen. Tim Barnes (D-Adams).
• A bill that would require the school year to begin no earlier than the fourth Monday in August unless the department of education grants a waiver as proposed by Rep. John J. DeBerry Jr. (D-Memphis) and Sen. Barnes.
• A bill that established a report card for parents in order to encourage parental involvement and accountability in public schools as proposed by Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) and Sen. Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis).
• A bill that rewrites requirements that LEAs must integrate a minimum of 90 minutes of physical activity per week to require LEAs to integrate 30 minutes of physical activity per school day for elementary and secondary school students as proposed by Rep. Gary W. Moore (D-Joelton) and Sen. Roy Herron (D-Dresden).
• A bill that requires that members of a school board have bachelor’s degrees as proposed by Rep. Joey Hensley (R-Hoenwald) and Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville).
• A bill that requires that the salary of the director of schools not be higher in any given fiscal year than the salary paid to the county mayor for the same fiscal year as proposed by Rep. Frank Nicely (R-Strawberry Plains) and Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville).
• A bill that abolishes all special school districts on July 1, 2012 and requires municipal school districts and county school districts to attempt to consolidate by July 1, 2014 as proposed by Rep. Larry Miller (D-Memphis) and Sen. Tate.
• A bill that permits Tennessee HOPE scholarships to also be awarded during summer school as proposed by Rep. Harry Tindell (D-Knoxville) and Sen. Jim Kyle (D-Memphis).
• A bill that abolishes teachers’ unions ability to negotiate terms and conditions of professional service with local boards of education as proposed by Rep. Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville) and Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Brentwood).
• A bill that prohibits charging a teacher with a day of leave for any day on which the teacher’s school or school district is closed due to a natural disaster, inclement weather, serious outbreak of contagious illness or other unexpected event as proposed by Rep. Windle and Sen. Burks.
Editor’s note: These are only the tip of the iceberg of bills filed during the state’s 107th legislative session. With so many different categories of proposed bills, the Weakley County Press will spotlight a category in future editions and offer updates on the progress of pending bills. Tuesday’s paper will highlight proposed election legislation.