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New laws for 2015/2016; preview of initiatives for 2016

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There are a number of new Tennessee state laws that have been signed into measure in 2015 that go into effect for 2016.

Attorney Valerie Epstein with Epstein Law Firm put together a legal roundup list that highlights a number of laws voted on in 2015 and previews some initiatives we might hear discussed in 2016.

2015 Legal Roundup:

  1. Tire Environmental Act---more stringent efforts to prevent tire disposal in our lakes/streams.
  2. One-year suspension of driver's license for failing to stop at the scene of the accident and if not in compliance with the Financial Responsibility law increase penalty to class B misdemeanor
  3. Registered nurse anesthetists can now write prescriptions.
  4. Requires TBI to form human trafficking advisory council.
  5. Registry for medical spas.
  6. High school students must take a civics class/test.
  7. Stem initiatives must go into rural areas.
  8. Allows for Transdermal monitoring for certain persons charged with vehicular assault and prior DUI's
  9. New type of company called a "For Profit Benefit Corporation"
  10. Don't have to wear a motorcycle helmet if in a funeral procession, memorial ride or police escort.
  11. Abortion laws 48 hour waiting period, informed consent, ultrasound and if perform over 50 abortions/year have to be licensed as an ambulatory surgery center.
  12. Kate Webb Act--requires all infants to be tested for specific genetic, metabolic or other inheritable conditions.
  13. More control of medical pain management clinics.
  14. State/government cannot subpoena a clergy member's sermon.
  15. Restrictions on traffic cameras as the basis for speeding tickets.
  16. Univ. of Memphis---can admit with instate tuition individuals who are immediately adjacent to Shelby County and no greater than 30 miles away.
  17. Prohibits production/manufacturing/sale of synthetic cannabis.
  18. TN Animal Abuser Registration Act.
  19. Class a misdemeanor to be a spectator at an animal fight.
  20. Opioid Abuse Reduction Act---study opioid abuse in state.
  21. Lifetime handgun carry permit--$500.00
  22. Diabetic testing supplies are exempt from sales and use taxes.
  23. Under 18--no Vapor product.
  24. If you own a Class 1 carnivore--has to have a microchip.
  25. Driver's license now good for 8 years vs. 5.
  26. Authorizes use of cannabis oil to treat seizures.
  27. "Tennessee Weekend of Prayer over Students" 1st weekend in August--by Governor.
  28. May be absent from your work to vote from 2.5 hours (used to be 3).

2016 Initiatives:  

  1. Maximum lien for towing/storage down from 60 days to 14 days.
  2. Mental health records may be obtained for postmortem exams.
  3. Attorneys paid $75/hour to represent indigent criminal defendants.
  4. 10 years' experience equals a Bachelor's Degree to be a wildlife officer.
  5. National Guard Force Protection Act to increase security at National Guard facilities.
  6. Requirement to have remedial programs for students who test less than ready on ACT
  7. Prevents smoking on state property.
  8. Change sales tax holiday to the last weekend in July.
  9. GPS as a condition of bail for person charged with domestic violence, stalking or violation of order of protection.
  10. Hotel tax up from 5-7 percent.
  11. Greater than 76 years old must pass vision test to renew driver's license--unless have written statement from Dr.
  12. Prohibits inclusion of religious doctrines in classrooms prior to 10th grade.
  13. TN Natural Marriage Defense Act ---policy of TN to defend natural marriage between man/woman regardless of court decisions to the contrary.  
  14. Divest from Iran.
  15. Cannot bring handgun into a public park if ticket or pass required.
  16. In-state tuition for military children, regardless of residency, if died as a result of a targeted attack that occurred in TN.
  17. Prohibits renewal of Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates.
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