Bill Watch is a service of the Knoxville Bar Association Legislative Committee. During each week of the legislative session, the KBA will distribute an updated report, through the support of Stephanie D. Coleman of Owings, Wilson & Coleman. The report will indicate progress and recent actions taken on the bills of interest to KBA members.
You can also get information about the General Assembly, including the text of bills and floor and committee calendars, by accessing the legislative web site at www.capitol.tn.gov.
February 10, 2020
PSYPACT - The Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved legislation this week aiding efforts to help U.S. Armed Forces service members and their spouses practice their occupation when stationed in Tennessee. Senate Bill 1142 calls for Tennessee to join the Interjurisdictional Compact for Psychology (PSYPACT) to give service members in the profession the privilege to practice in compact states using improved endorsement methods, a common understanding of standards, and shared responsibility to oversee occupational practice. Similar legislation has already been adopted in Tennessee to expedite licensure for service members through the Emergency Medical Services (REPLICA) Compact, the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (ENLC), and the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC). The legislation also offers the opportunity for tele-practice opportunities using technology to work across state boundaries. Eleven states have passed the PSYPACT language, with four more states considering the proposal.
Property tax appeals process – The Senate State and Local Government Committee approved legislation on Tuesday to update and clarify the property tax appeals process. Senate Bill 1625 standardizes appeals to the State Board of Equalization. It expands to all counties the option to appeal commercial and industrial property valuations directly to the State Board with the consent of the local assessor. The legislation defines key terms related to tax payments on properties that are being appealed. The bill also clarifies that once an initial order has been filed by a judge an appeal can no longer be withdrawn.
Accommodations for IEP students - The Senate Education Committee approved legislation this week allowing reasonable accommodations for students with an individual Education Plan (IEP). SB 1637 permits a student whose IEP provides testing accommodations to use the same accommodations when taking an assessment under the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) or an end-of-course examination, unless it undermines the relevant portion of the exam. The bill now moves to the Senate floor for final consideration.
Volunteer State nickname — The full Senate acted on Monday night to embed into state law the nickname Tennessee has enjoyed since 1812 as the “Volunteer State.” Senate Bill 1552 honors the state’s heritage. The Volunteer State moniker dates back to the War of 1812 because of the prominent role played by volunteer soldiers from Tennessee. It also refers to the state’s response to President Polk’s call for 2,600 volunteers at the beginning of the Mexican-American War, which resulted in 30,000 volunteering from Tennessee alone. The bill is pending final action on the floor of the House of Representatives.