2019 Legislation


Bills in TSEA’s Legislative Agenda:

(*indicates legislation also applies to Higher Education employees)

Longevity for All

SB0689 Sen. Jackson
HB0900 Rep. Sparks
TSEA believes employees should not be divided into two classifications for pay and benefits. The first step in correcting this is to bring back longevity for all state employees.
Status:
Senate: 02/07/19 – Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee.
House: 03/12/19 – House State Committee recommended. Sent to House Finance

Burden of Proof

SB0621 Sen. Hensley, Co-Prime Sponsor: Sen. Yager
HB0644 Rep. T. Hill
TSEA believes the State of Tennessee bears the burden of proof when they take disciplinary action against an employee that is appealable. This bill would clarify the relevant language in state statute.
Status:
Senate: 02/07/19 – Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee.
House: 03/12/19 – Taken off notice in House State Committee.

DCS Caseloads

SB0616 Sen. Hensley
HB0921 Rep. Cepicky, Co-Prime Sponsor: Rep. M. Hill
This bill requires the maximum caseload in some cases to be 20 instead of the average of 20, and 10 cases for foster care workers.
Status:
Senate: 02/07/19 – Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.
House: 03/13/19 House Judiciary Committee recommended. Sent to House Finance Committee.

TEAM Act improvements

SB1269 Sen. Pody
HB0778 Rep. Ramsey
Will seek to correct deficiencies found in the application of the TEAM Act bill regarding several different areas of the preferred service section for employees.
Status::
Senate: 02/11/19 – Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee.
House: Awaiting assignment.

*TCRS Oversight by Treasurer

SB1182 Sen. Bowling      
HB1304 Rep. Baum
This bill enables the Treasurer of the State of Tennessee to have input regarding the impact on TCRS from outsourcing state jobs.
Status:
Senate: 02/11/19 – Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee.
House: Awaiting assignment

Across the Board Raises

SB0622 Sen. Hensley
HB1251 Rep. Byrd
This bill addresses across-the-board pay raises.
Status:
Senate: 02/07/19 – Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee.
House: Awaiting assignment


Other Bills We Support

(*indicates legislation also applies to Higher Education employees)

Prohibitions in statements to fiscal review committee

SB0428 Sen. Gardenhire
HB1069 Rep. Sanderson
Prohibits any executive level state employee, lobbyist or employee of a contractor from providing false information to the fiscal review committee.
Status:
Senate: 02/06/19 – Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee.
House: 03/05/19 – House State Committee recommended with amendment 1 (004986), which adds the word “knowingly” to decrease liability for any executive level state employee, lobbyist or employee of a contractor that is unaware they are providing misinformation to the fiscal review committee. Sent to House Calendar & Rules.

*Daycare for employees

SB0741 Sen. Kyle
HB 1207 Rep. Mitchell
Daycare for state employees administered through their departments or institution.
Status:
Senate: 02/07/19 – Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee.
House: 02/13/19 – Referred to House Public Service & Employee Subcommittee.

*Grievance procedure for higher ed support staff made available on institution’s website

SB0188 Sen. Gresham
HB0116 Rep. Sparks
Requires each institution governed by the board of regents or a state university board to make available on its website the grievance procedure for its support staff.
Status:
Senate: 02/01/19 – Referred to Senate Education Committee.
House: Awaiting assignment

*Tennessee State Family Leave Act

SB0647 Sen. Kyle
HB514 Rep. Johnson
This bill deals with family and medical leave insurance benefits.
Status:
Senate: 02/07/19 – Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.
House: 02/11/19 – Referred to House Employee Affairs Subcommittee.

*TCRS – death benefits

SB1371 Sen. Yager
HB1177 Rep. Weaver
Grants a retirement allowance to surviving spouses who are designated beneficiaries if the deceased TCRS member is vested.
Status:
Senate: 03/05/19 – Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee recommended. Sent to Senate Calendar Committee.
House: 03/06/19 – House Public Service & Employee Subcommittee recommended. Sent to
full committee.

TCA Requirement Amendment

Requires state agencies to produce an economic impact statement prior to entering a contract with a private party if either the contract is in excess of $2.5 million or the contract will result in the furlough or layoff of any state employees, instead of both; authorizes the chair of the appropriate standing committee to schedule a hearing to review the economic impact statement. Broadly captioned.


Bills We Are Monitoring:

(*indicates legislation also applies to Higher Education employees)

*Revises Public Employee Political Freedom Act of 1980

SB0569 Sen. Bowling
HB1087 Rep. Bricken
Would require the court to sanction an employee for a frivolous suit.
TSEA opposes this bill as introduced but have met with the sponsor to express our concerns and are working to find a compromise solution that will achieve the sponsors goals without affecting state employees.
Status:
Senate: 03/19/19 – Senate Judiciary Committee recommended with amendment 1 (005007), which rewrites the bill and defines “public employer” or “employer” as this state or an agency or office thereof when considering public employee’s communication with elected public officials. Sent to Senate Calendar Committee.
House: 03/19/19 – House State Committee deferred to 03/26/19.

Compensation of adjunct professors

SB0775 Sen. Yarbro
HB0707 Rep. Thompson
Requires the board of regents, the board of trustees of the University of Tennessee, and the state university boards to create and approve a policy requiring public institutions of higher education to compensate adjunct professors at least $1,000 per credit hour taught.
Status:
Senate: 02/07/19 – Referred to Senate Education Committee.
House: 02/11/19 – Referred to House Higher Education Subcommittee.

Reports on the effects of and plans for reductions in federal funding

SB0662 Sen. Watson
HB1270 Rep. Holt
Requires certain state agencies and political subdivisions prepare and submit reports to the department of finance and administration regarding the effects of and plans for reductions in federal funding.
Status:
Senate: 02/07/19 – Referred to Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee.
House: 03/05/19 – House State Committee recommended with amendment 1 (004929), which removes “political subdivisions” and all under the category, from the bill. Sent to House Calendar & Rules..

Creation of deaf mentor pilot project

SB0310 Sen. Massey
HB0567 Rep M. White
Requires the Tennessee School for the Deaf, together with the West Tennessee School for the Deaf, to establish a two-year deaf mentor pilot project to assist families and agencies in implementing bilingual and bicultural home-based programming for young children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. Requires the department of education to evaluate the pilot project and report its findings to the education committees of the senate and the house.
Status:
Senate: 02/28/19 – Set for Senate Education Committee 03/06/19.
House: 02/11/19 – Referred to House Education Administration Subcommittee.

Report on higher education opportunities for incarcerated individuals

SB1061 Sen. Dickerson
HB1303 Rep. Baum
Requires corrections department, in partnership with the higher education commission and the board of regents, develop and submit to the general assembly a report detailing the higher education opportunities available to incarcerated individuals. Broadly captioned.
Status:
Senate: 02/11/19 – Referred to Senate Education Committee. House
:Passed House: 03/05/19 – House Corrections Subcommittee recommended with amendment 1 (005187), which specifies that the report pertains to eligible incarcerated individuals who have a high school education. Sent to full committee.

Expands the offense of indecent exposure in a penal institution

SB0080 Sen. Rosalind
HB0127 Rep. Hodges
Expands the offense of indecent exposure by those confined in a penal institution to include offenses against staff members employed by the institution, including clergy, educators, and medical professionals.
Status:
Senate: Passed the Senate 30-0 on 2/21/19
House: Passed House Judiciary Committee 03/06/19. Sent to Calendar and Rules Committee.

Addresses salary increases or decreases for employees of the general assembly

SB0814 Sen. Akbari
HB0142 Rep. Parkinson
Requires the salaries of all employees of the general assembly to be reflective of percentage pay increases or decreases for members of the general assembly. Any adjustments occurring do not go into effect until the election of the next general assembly.
Status:
Senate: 02/11/19 – Referred to Senate State & Local Government Committee.
House: 03/06/19 – House Public Service & Employee Subcommittee deferred to 03/13/19.

TCRS – revisions to optional retirement program

SB0633 Sen. Watson
HB1022 Rep. Lynn
Prohibits a current early service retiree from changing to disability retirement. Makes other changes to provisions governing TCRS.
Status:
Senate: 03/05/19 – Set for Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee 03/12/19.
House: 02/13/19 – Referred to House Public Service & Employee Subcommittee.

Service credits and salary increases for assistant public defenders and district attorneys

SB0799 Sen. Johnson
HB0943 Rep. Lamberth
Reinstates service credits and salary increases suspended during 2003-2004 and 2009-2010 for assistant public defenders and assistant district attorneys.
Status:
Senate: 03/05/19 – Senate Judiciary Committee recommended. Sent to Senate Finance.
House: 02/28/19 – Set for House Criminal Justice Subcommittee 03/06/19.

Proton Therapy Access Act

SB0195 Sen. Massey
HB0184 Rep. Smith
Enacts the “Proton Therapy Access Act,” which requires health insurance coverage to cover hypofractionated proton therapy in the same manner as it covers intensity modulated radiation therapy under certain conditions, including patients being a part of a clinical trial or registry.
Status:
Senate: 02/01/19 – Referred to Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.
House: 02/01/19 – Referred to House Life & Health Insurance Subcommittee.


For live-streaming committee hearings, calendars, and other legislative information, visit the Legislature’s website here:

http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/