Over 150 new laws will took effect on July 1, including requirements aimed at curbing Tennessee’s opioid epidemic.
Gov. Bill Haslam’s “TN Together” opioid plan kicked off Sunday, when many laws take effect annually and a new budget year begins.
Tennessee will limit initial opioid prescriptions to a three-day supply, with exceptions for major surgical procedures, cancer and hospice treatment, sickle cell disease and treatment in certain licensed facilities.
Among other components, the laws will incentivize offenders to complete substance use treatment programs in prison and make dealing fentanyl and similar dangerous substances second-degree murder when it causes a death.
The $37.5 billion budget includes $16 million-plus in new opioid services money, $30.2 million more for school safety and $3 million to help schools equip new buses with seatbelts.
New laws at a glance
- HB0222 Driver Licenses – As enacted, requires a person to establish proof of United States citizenship; lawful permanent resident status; or, in the case of a temporary driver license, a specified period of authorized stay in the United States, if the person, for purposes of obtaining a Tennessee driver license, presents a driver license from another state that issues driver licenses to illegal aliens.
- SB1885 Pest Control – As enacted, requires applicators to notify the department of agriculture prior to making aerial applications of pesticides via an online reporting system, instead of notifying county sheriff’s offices.
- HB2068 Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation – As enacted, imposes suspension or revocation of license for violations in the marketing of alcohol and drug treatment services.
- HB1939 Firearms and Ammunition – As enacted, allows county commissioner in the actual discharge of the commissioner’s duties who has a valid handgun carry permit to carry in buildings in which county commission meetings are held, but not in room in which judicial proceeding in progress; not applicable to member of legislative body of metropolitan government.
- HB2024 Criminal Procedure – As enacted, revises and makes permanent and applicable statewide the Knox County pilot project that allows indigent criminal defendants to pay their court costs and litigation taxes through the performance of public service.
- HB2330 Students – As enacted, prohibits the use of corporal punishment against a student with a disability who has an IEP or a Section 504 plan, with certain exceptions.
- SB1875 Sentencing – As enacted, enacts “Henry’s Law,” which requires that a person convicted for second-degree murder resulting from unlawful distribution of Schedule I or II drug where victim is a minor be punished from within one range higher than the sentencing range otherwise appropriate for the person. Henry’s Law, which is named after Henry Granju who died from an opioid overdose at age 18, essentially creates stiffer prison sentences for people convicted of second-degree murder by distributing drugs to minors.
- HB2348 Controlled Substances – As enacted, requires a prescriber to provide certain information prior to prescribing more than a three-day supply of an opioid or an opioid dosage that exceeds a total of a 180 morphine milligram equivalent dose to a woman of childbearing age.
- SB2030 Criminal Offenses – As enacted, enacts the “Tennessee Stolen Valor Act”. It makes wearing military medals that aren’t your own a criminal impersonation.
- SB2015 Local Education Agencies – As enacted, prohibits LEAs from entering into a non-disclosure agreement during, or as a prerequisite to, settlement for any act of sexual misconduct; prohibits employees from assisting others in obtaining employment if the employee knows that the person has engaged in sexual misconduct involving a minor or student.
- SB2359 Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation – As enacted, authorizes county or district health department to operate a needle and hypodermic syringe exchange program on petition of the county legislative body and approval by the department of health
- SB0777 Controlled Substances – As enacted, makes various changes and additions to law concerning opioids; creates task force with duty to promulgate rules that create a uniform minimum disciplinary action that will apply to any healthcare practitioner who treats a human patient with an opioid and that healthcare practitioner’s licensing board or agency finds that the healthcare practitioner engaged in a significant deviation or pattern of deviation from sound medical judgment; requires comptroller to conduct certain studies
- SB1717 Criminal Offenses – As enacted, revises various provisions of the Organized Retail Crime Prevention Act.
- SB1787 Criminal Offenses – As enacted, classifies as second-degree murder the killing of another by unlawful distribution or unlawful delivery or unlawful dispensation of fentanyl or carfentanil, when those substances alone, or in combination with any scheduled controlled substance, including controlled substance analogs, are the proximate cause of the death of the user
- SB2591 Education – As enacted, creates the “Homeless Student Stability and Opportunity Gap Act.”
- HB0521 Education – As enacted, requires all public high schools to place automated external defibrillator (AED) devices in schools; encourages public middle and elementary schools and private schools to place AED devices in schools.
- HB2271 Juvenile Offenders – As enacted, enacts the “Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018.
- HB2326 Dept. of Economic and Community Development – As enacted, enacts the “Tennessee Rural Hospital Transformation Act of 2018.”
See more about TN Together on Page 4A.