Bills John has Sponsored or Has Co-Sponsored

Bill # Composite Abstract Date
HB3808 Abortion Abortion - As introduced, enacts the "Life Defense Act of 2012." 5/15/2012
HB3197 Adoption Adoption - As introduced, states that either party to an adoption may enforce contract provision providing for open adoption or visitation; allows certain adopted children to be issued new certificate of birth upon reaching age of majority. 3/13/2012
HB2344 Business Economic and Community Development - As introduced, clarifies purposes of FastTrack programs; requires certain reports be submitted to secretary of state; revises other provisions governing The Tennessee Job Growth Act of 2005. 5/9/2012
HB2341 Codes Codes - As enacted, adopts the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design as the standards to be followed to make a building accessible to those with physical disabilities when constructing or altering a public building. 3/2/2012
HB2289 Crime Business and Commerce - As introduced, authorizes the commissioner of revenue to revoke business licenses for the illegal sale of synthetic drugs and the local beer boards to revoke the beer license of a business selling such drugs. 2/29/2012
HB2405 Crime Capital Punishment - As enacted, requires the warden to permit three relatives or close friends of a victim to attend an execution where no surviving immediate family members of the victim over age 18 exist. 3/15/2012
HB2333 Crime Controlled Substances - As introduced, adds offenses the conviction of which requires the offender to be on the methamphetamine registry, makes registry retroactive and revises procedure by which methamphetamine-related convictions are transmitted to TBI from clerk's office. 5/15/2012
HB2286 Crime Criminal Offenses - As enacted, creates Class E felony of manufacturing or selling an imitation controlled substance and the Class A misdemeanors of ingesting an imitation controlled substance and possessing an imitation controlled substance for the purpose of ingesting it. 5/3/2012
HB1051 Crime Criminal Offenses - As enacted, enacts the "I Hate Meth Act." 6/3/2011
HB2645 Crime Criminal Offenses - As enacted, expands the drugs whose production, manufacture, distribution, sale or possession would be a crime under the present law offense regarding synthetic derivatives or analogues of methcathinone. 5/3/2012
HB2638 Crime Criminal Offenses - As enacted, makes it a Class A misdemeanor for a person to engage in camping on property owned by the state knowing that the area on which the camping occurs is not specifically designated for use as a camping area by the department or agency responsible for such land. 3/9/2012
HB2868 Crime Criminal Offenses - As introduced, includes the commission of or attempt to commit a criminal gang offense within the definition of racketeering activity and enterprise for purposes of the Racketeer and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO). 5/1/2012
HB0860 Crime Criminal Procedure - As enacted, provides that venue for the prosecution of the offense of promotion of methamphetamine manufacture is proper in any county in which a drug or chemical used to produce meth or an immediate meth precursor is purchased. 6/3/2011
HB0457 Crime Drugs, Over the Counter - As enacted, creates Class A misdemeanor of producing, manufacturing, selling or offering to sell any product containing any of six listed synthetic derivatives or analogues of the Schedule I controlled substance methcathinone. 5/10/2011
HB2281 Crime Home Improvement Contractors - As enacted, includes as an element of the offense of theft by a home improvement contractor failure to provide a current address to the residential owner until the work to be performed under the contract is completed; changes the requirements for establishing a violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act against a home improvement services provider to enter into a contract for home improvement services without making certain disclosures. 4/27/2012
HB1353 Crime Homeland Security - As enacted, enacts the "Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011." 6/21/2011
HB0773 Crime Jails, Local Lock-ups - As enacted, specifies that if a county has been reimbursed for housing convicted felons for a continuous period of three or more fiscal years and has received the maximum amount allowed per prisoner per day as reasonable allowable costs during this period, then the county would thereafter be presumed to be entitled to the full maximum amount allocated per prisoner per day as reimbursement of reasonable allowable costs for housing such prisoners. 5/25/2011
HB1586 Crime Labor - As enacted, broadens scope of violence in the workplace laws. 6/3/2011
HB0724 Crime Law Enforcement - As enacted, establishes the Blue Alert system to provide rapid dissemination of information to aid in detection of persons when law enforcement officer is killed, injured or suspiciously missing in line of duty. 4/25/2011
HB2684 Crime Medical Occupations - As enacted, provides civil immunity to medical doctor or osteopathic physician who makes a good faith report to law enforcement regarding an employee's unauthorized use of the doctor or physician's DEA registration number to write prescriptions. 4/30/2012
HB0153 Crime Motor Vehicles - As introduced, prohibits passengers under the age of five on motorcycles. 5/15/2012
HB2326 Crime Nuclear Materials, Transportation and Safety - As enacted, authorizes a nuclear security officer to employ deadly force in certain situations. 3/29/2012
HB2830 Crime Probation and Parole - As enacted, permits private probation providers who meet certain qualifications and contract with the department of correction to supervise Class E felony offenders who are granted probation. 4/4/2012
HB2311 Crime Sexual Offenses - As introduced, requires that persons convicted of aggravated rape serve 100 percent of sentence. 5/1/2012
HB2404 Crime Short Term Loans and Lenders - As introduced, adds Anderson County to list of counties requiring pawnshops to maintain computer records of all transactions of goods sold and pledged. 2/22/2012
HB3432 Crime Telecommunications - As enacted, enacts the "Kelsey Smith Act" to require wireless telecommunications service providers to provide geographic information concerning the location of a service user's wireless device to agency responding to call in an emergency situation that that involves the risk of death or serious physical harm. 4/30/2012
HB0149 Drugs Welfare - As enacted, specifies that individual convicted of certain drug offenses will be exempt from prohibition against eligibility for families first program benefits for such convictions, if such person meets certain requirements; an individual convicted of second drug felony involving possession, use or distribution of a controlled substance on or after July 1, 2011, will not be eligible for families first program benefits for a period of three years from the date of conviction. 5/25/2011
HB2805 Education Board of Regents - As introduced, permits a community college to begin operating at a location in the service area of another community college that has ceased operations at the location. 3/20/2012
HB1788 Education Capitol - As introduced, creates David Crockett commission to oversee erection of monument or statue honoring David Crockett. 5/1/2012
HB2873 Education Education - As enacted, allows county boards of education to use the county's centralized purchasing system to provide a life insurance plan for employees. 4/17/2012
HB2229 Education Education - As enacted, requires high schools to forward vaccination records to higher education institution on behalf of dual enrollment student upon request of the student's parent or guardian; authorizes state board of education to promulgate rules to implement this act. 4/11/2012
HB3241 Education Education - As enacted, requires local boards of education to adopt policies concerning a teacher's ability to relocate a student for the safety of the student and the safety of others. 4/17/2012
HB3266 Education Education - As enacted, specifies that LEAs and school administrators may not prohibit personnel from participating in constitutionally permissible religious activities on school grounds that are initiated by students at reasonable times before or after the instructional day so long as such activities are voluntary for all parties and do not conflict with the responsibilities or assignments of such personnel. 4/17/2012
HB1625 Education Education, Curriculum - As enacted, requires the state board of education, in consultation with the department of education, to review the current elementary and secondary curriculum standards for the subject of United States and Tennessee government. 6/3/2011
HB3621 Education Education, Curriculum - As introduced, requires that a family life education curriculum comply with certain restrictions. 5/15/2012
HB1947 Education Education, Higher - As enacted, changes various requirements for registration of athlete agents, providing notice of athlete agent activities to higher education institutions and penalties for violations of Athlete Agent Reform Act of 2011. 6/10/2011
HB3405 Education Education, Higher - As introduced, exempts students entering higher education institutions who were born before January 1, 1970, from any requirement of proof of vaccination against any disease. 2/1/2012
HB0335 Education Education, Higher - As introduced, prohibits certain persons from attending public higher education institutions in this state; requires public higher education institutions in this state to develop a process to determine the lawful presence of each student applicant. 4/13/2011
HB3224 Education Education, Higher - As introduced, prohibits state institutions of higher education from charging a fee to any higher education employee for parking. 4/4/2012
HB3037 Education Education, Higher - As introduced, requires any increase in tuition at public institution of higher education to result in an equal decrease in the institution's annual appropriation and requires office of legislative budget analysis and comptroller to provide comments to the finance, ways and means and education committees on such decreases. 3/28/2012
HB3063 Education Lottery, Corporation - As introduced, limits advertising of ticket sales to retailer premises; prohibits advertising to promote the lottery via media. 1/31/2012
HB3539 Education Schools, Charter - As enacted, makes charter schools subject to open meetings law; requires charter schools to maintain a web site and post certain notices and information on the web site in certain situations; makes charter school records open records to the same extent as records of public schools operated by LEAs. 4/27/2012
HB3540 Education Schools, Charter - As enacted, regulates charter schools' relationships with foreign entities and the use of non-immigrant foreign workers by charter schools. 5/11/2012
HB2450 Education Schools, Home - As introduced, allows home school students, including those in schools conducted by parents associated with an organization that conducts church-related schools, to participate in extracurricular athletics if the student meets the academic and conduct standards required of other participants; prohibits, subject to certain conditions, charging home school students participation fees by public schools and tuition by private schools. 2/1/2012
HB3611 Education Students - As introduced, revises school attendance requirements and truancy. 4/24/2012
HB2328 Education Teachers, Principals and School Personnel - As enacted, revises provisions regarding tenure for teachers transferring from one LEA to another; requires that teacher evaluation information be sent to the LEA to which a teacher is transferring. 3/29/2012
HB0367 Education Teachers, Principals and School Personnel - As introduced, allows the board of education to grant teachers tenure at any time between their third and tenth years of service; eliminates judicial review of decision to suspend or dismiss a teacher for incompetence, inefficiency, neglect of duty, unprofessional conduct or insubordination. 5/5/2011
HB3059 Education Teachers, Principals and School Personnel - As introduced, requires the state board of education to develop a transitional licensure program for professionals interested in teaching in grades 7-12 that does not require pedagogical study. 3/28/2012
HB0306 Education University of Tennessee - As enacted, authorizes the University of Tennessee to enter into certain agreements with foundations that support the university. 4/28/2011
HB1003 Elections Campaigns and Campaign Finance - As enacted, increases contribution limits to reflect change in the CPI; allows corporations to contribute to candidates; revises certain other provisions regarding campaign funds. 6/3/2011
HB2287 Elections Driver Licenses - As introduced, requires all driver licenses issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2012, to bear a photo of the applicant by removing present exemption for persons 60 years of age or older. 5/1/2012
HB1117 Elections Election Laws - As enacted, adds to current list of persons committing felonies or sexual offenses who are never eligible to register to vote, a violation containing the same elements and designated as a felony in any other state or federal court. 5/23/2011
HB0324 Elections Election Laws - As enacted, requires the coordinator of elections to compare the statewide voter registration database with the department of safety database to ensure non-United States citizens are not registered to vote in this state. 5/25/2011
HB2065 Elections Election Laws - As introduced, requires candidates for president of the United States, as a condition of having the candidate's name appear on the ballot, to file a sworn affidavit with the secretary of state together with certain information to prove the candidate meets the constitutional residency requirements. 3/30/2011
HB3195 Elections State Employees - As introduced, allows state employee upon retirement to keep such employee's photo identification card issued by the state; requires sticker or other designation to be placed on the card; specifies such card may be used as valid photo id for voting purposes. 5/15/2012
HB3393 Environment Environmental Preservation - As introduced, requires fines for environmental violations be spent remediating in the county of the areas generating such fines. 3/27/2012
HB0283 Guns Employees, Employers - As enacted, provides that an employer permitting a person with a handgun carry permit to carry a handgun on the employer's property does not constitute an occupational safety and health hazard to the employees. 4/6/2011
HB3559 Guns Employees, Employers - As introduced, prohibits employment discrimination based on an applicant or current employee's ownership, storage, transportation or possession of a firearm that is otherwise in accordance with state and federal law. 4/24/2012
HB3560 Guns Firearms and Ammunition - As introduced, prevents employers and landowners from prohibiting individuals licensed to carry from storing guns in locked, personal vehicles. 4/24/2012
HB1378 Illegals Immigration - As enacted, enacts the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act; revises other provisions of law regarding employment of persons unlawfully present in the country. 6/10/2011
HB1379 Illegals Immigration - As introduced, enacts the "Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act." 5/1/2012
HB1380 Illegals Immigration - As introduced, enacts the "Lawful Immigration Enforcement Act." 4/24/2012
HB1582 Illegals Immigration - As introduced, enacts the "Lawful Presence Enforcement Act." 3/8/2011
HB1834 Insurance Financial Responsibility Law - As introduced, increases penalty for failing to provide evidence of financial responsibility from $100 fine to $250 fine for first offense and $500 fine and mandatory impoundment of driver's motor vehicle for second or subsequent offense. 5/20/2011
HB3781 Insurance Insurance Companies, Agents, Brokers, Policies - As enacted, allows a charitable organization to calculate reserves using the Annuity 2000 Mortality Table and other interest assumption, or other mortality table; allows organization to maintain a separate Tennessee account; allows the commissioner to designate a later time for the organization to submit an audited report. 4/19/2012
HB0115 Insurance Insurance, Health, Accident - As enacted, enacts the "Tennessee Health Freedom Act." 4/6/2011
HB0761 Insurance Insurance, Health, Accident - As enacted, mandates that group and individual insurance policies cover hearing aids for children covered by the policy. 5/25/2011
HB1212 Liberty General Assembly - As introduced, directs the general assembly to appoint a committee to review all federal laws and regulations for constitutionality; requires the committee to submit for a vote of the general assembly all federal laws and regulations it deems to be invalid under the Tennessee or federal constitutions. 3/30/2011
HB2403 Local County Officers - As introduced, allows Anderson County to provide cars for the use of salaried county officials. 4/19/2012
HB3883 Local Oliver Springs - As introduced, subject to local approval, moves the date of the city election to coincide with the November general election; extends the four-year terms of office of the mayor and councilmen elected at the regular city election held in June 2009 and the councilmen elected at the regular city election held in June 2011 to expire on the first Thursday in November in 2013 and 2015 respectively. 5/1/2012
HB3400 Local Planning, Public - As introduced, enacts the "Tennessee Local Land Bank Pilot Program." 4/19/2012
HB0775 Local Public Records - As enacted, allows Anderson County register of deeds to redact social security numbers on recorded documents maintained on computers; also allows register of deeds to redact social security numbers on recorded documents at request of certain persons if practicable. 5/25/2011
HB0776 Local Regional Authorities and Special Districts - As introduced, adds a representative from Oak Ridge to the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Office. 5/2/2011
HB0774 Taxes Anderson County - As introduced, subject to local approval, reallocates proceeds from the hotel/motel tax from the general fund for county general revenue, with 90 percent being allocated to the tourism fund and 10 percent, minus the trustee's commission, being allocated to the Anderson County chamber of commerce for economic development purposes. 5/10/2011
HB0689 Taxes Cooperatives - As enacted, provides for suspension of certain assessments against grain producers; revises other provisions regarding assessments and grain indemnity fund. 4/28/2011
HB1995 Taxes Taxes - As enacted, revises various provisions of law governing taxes, including certain sales tax and franchise/excise tax credit provisions. 6/21/2011
HB1717 Taxes Taxes, Exemption and Credits - As introduced, authorizes a credit against income taxes for any taxpayer in the amount of taxes paid on dividends from stock in Tennessee businesses. 4/5/2012
HB2889 Taxes Taxes, Exemption and Credits - As introduced, authorizes a sales tax refund on purchases made by persons receiving insurance settlements or filing insurance claims for damages resulting from disasters occurring in 2011; extends the filing deadline for applications to June 30, 2012. 4/26/2012
HB2406 Taxes Taxes, Franchise - As enacted, revises provisions governing extensions of time to file francise and excise tax returns. 4/11/2012
HB2840 Taxes Taxes, Inheritance Gift - As introduced, eliminates the gift tax in 2013 and thereafter. 5/1/2012
HB3760 Taxes Taxes, Inheritance Gift - As introduced, increases the maximum allowable exemption from $1 million to $1.25 million. 5/9/2012
HB3064 Taxes Taxes, Privilege - As introduced, abolishes the recordation tax and abolishes the wetland acquistion fund, the local parks land acquisition fund, the state land acquistion fund and the agricultural resource conservation fund, which funds derive funding from the recordation tax. 1/26/2012
HB0362 Taxes Taxes, Sales - As enacted, creates sales and use tax exemption for purchase of building supplies for construction of storm or tornado shelters purchased between July 1, 2011, and December 31, 2011. 6/10/2011
HB2240 Taxes Taxes, Sales - As introduced, changes the date of the sales tax holiday from the first Friday of August to the last Friday of July. 2/15/2012
HB3761 Taxes Taxes, Sales - As introduced, reduces the state sales tax on food and food ingredients from 5.5 percent to 5.3 percent; requires that the local option sales tax, which under existing law can be in an amount of up to 2.75 percent, be at a rate that is a multiple of 0.25 percent. 5/9/2012
HB0567 Tort Reform Livestock - As enacted, limits liability of a bovine owner for injuries, loss, damage or death of another resulting from bovine activities if the bovine owner maintains proper warning notice on signs, and maintains proper fences and enclosures. 4/28/2011
HB2215 Tort Reform Tort Liability and Reform - As enacted, enacts "Jaclyn's Law," which, in certain circumstances, provides civil immunity for first responders when using forcible entry to enter premises to render emergency assistance when responding to 911 call. 5/3/2012
HB0030 Tort Reform Tort Liability and Reform - As enacted, limits liability of apiarists under certain circumstances. 6/21/2011
HB1568 Traffic Safety Traffic Safety - As enacted, authorizes the use of flashing white and/or amber lights displayed to the front of a motor vehicle operated by an organ procurement organization or a person under an agreement with an organ procurement organization when transporting an organ for human transplantation. 5/10/2011
HB1500 Traffic Safety Traffic Safety - As enacted, revises enforcement provisions of unmanned traffic surveillance cameras. 6/10/2011
HB0842 Traffic Safety Traffic Safety - As introduced, prohibits a traffic citation in Knox County for not coming to a complete stop before turning right on red at certain intersections that is based solely on evidence from a traffic surveillance camera. 4/12/2011
HB2933 Traffic Safety Traffic Safety - As introduced, requires a local government to include in any new, existing, or renewed contract involving unmanned traffic enforcement cameras that the contract must conform to any changes in state law. 4/19/2012
HB0033 Traffic Safety Traffic Safety - As introduced, requires that 95 percent of revenue from traffic violations resulting from traffic surveillance cameras be earmarked solely for educational needs of local governing entity. 4/26/2011
HB3394 Veterans Courts - As introduced, authorizes creation of veterans' courts to address particular concerns of veterans suffering from post traumatic stress and other conditions arising from military service. 4/18/2012
HB1869 Veterans Criminal Offenses - As enacted, increases penalty for disorderly conduct within 500 feet of a funeral or memorial service from Class C misdemeanor to Class B misdemeanor. 6/3/2011
HB1683 Veterans Driver Licenses - As enacted, subject to funding, authorizes honorably discharged veterans to have language or a symbol indicating their military service placed on their driver license; requires the department of veterans' affairs, in consultation with the department of safety, to develop appropriate language or military symbol. 6/3/2011
HB0047 Veterans Flags - As enacted, requires state flags to be flown at half-staff by state and political subdivisions during day of mourning declared by the governor for armed services members killed in action. 4/6/2011
HB2295 Veterans Military - As introduced, clarifies that when persons are engaged in national guard duties no private employment benefits may be curtailed or made ineligible due to such duties. 4/12/2012
HB1993 Veterans Motor Vehicles, Titling and Registration - As introduced, increases the grace period for active military members stationed outside of continental United States to renew vehicle registrations from "14 days" to "30 days" after the member's return to the state; revises when a registration plate must be attached to the rear of a truck. 4/12/2011
HB1199 Veterans Special License Plates - As introduced, authorizes the spouse of a deceased recipient of a Purple Heart memorial registration plate to receive two such registration plates for no cost. 3/22/2011
HB1203 Veterans Taxes, Exemption and Credits - As enacted, creates exemption from excise and franchise tax for entities owned by a branch of the U.S. armed forces that derive more than half of gross income from operation of facilities located on federally owned or leased property and operate primarily to benefit armed forces members. 6/3/2011
HB3213 Veterans Taxes, Exemption and Credits - As introduced, authorizes property tax relief for spouses of veterans whose deaths resulted from being deployed in support of peace operations. 5/1/2012
HB0980 Veterans Veterans - As enacted, extends property tax relief to the surviving spouse of a soldier whose death results from being deployed, away from any home base of training and in support of combat operations, if the surviving spouse does not remarry; solely or jointly owns the property for which tax relief is claimed; and uses the property for which tax relief is claimed exclusively as a home. 5/25/2011
HB1019 Veterans Veterans - As enacted, provides that a Tennessee Distinguished Service Medal may be awarded on behalf of the people of the state of Tennessee to an individual serving on active duty who has been killed in action, while engaging in certain military service. 6/10/2011
HB1000 Veterans Veterans' Affairs, Dept. of - As enacted, renames the "Tennessee distinguished service medal" as the "Tennessee fallen heroes medal". 4/11/2012
HB2491 Veternas Military - As enacted, creates Class B misdemeanor offense of a person falsely representing that he or she was or is a member of the United States armed forces with the intent to deceive another into believing such representation. 3/29/2012
HB2806 Welfare General Assembly, Directed Studies - As enacted, enacts the "Welfare Roll to Payroll Act," which directs the commissioner of human services to conduct a summer study that will assess the feasibility of more work friendly assistance eligibility and benefits requirements in order to increase workforce participation. 4/27/2012
HB3431 Welfare Unemployment Compensation - As introduced, enacts the "Unemployment Insurance Accountability Act of 2012." 5/9/2012
HB2402 Beer - As introduced, requires persons applying for permit to sell beer for off-premise consumption to become certified under "Tennessee Responsible Vendor Act of 2006." 4/18/2012
HB2721 Driver Licenses - As introduced, requires that all written and oral examinations administered by the department of safety for issuance of driver licenses, intermediate driver licenses, temporary driver licenses and temporary intermediate driver licenses be in English only. 3/27/2012
HB2294 Game and Fish Laws - As enacted, authorizes the issuance of hunting licenses to persons with intellectual disabilities, subject to their attending a hunter education course and hunting in the presence of persons who are hunter-education-certified and licensed to hunt. 4/17/2012
HB3436 General Assembly, Studies - As introduced, creates special joint committee to study hazardous duty pay for certain state employees. 2/1/2012
HB0369 Health Care - As introduced, enacts the Health Care Compact. 5/1/2012
HB0697 Highway Signs - As enacted, names a portion of I-75 the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail. 5/23/2011
HB2369 Holidays and Days of Special Observance - As enacted, designates March 3 of each year to be observed as "Tennessee National Guard Day." 3/22/2012
HB3706 Mental Illness - As introduced, permits county with mental health facility, hospital or resource center in it to enter into annual agreement with another county to transport persons from the hospital to the original county for a flat rate or per person fee rather than billing for costs each trip. 3/29/2012
HB3065 Public Contracts - As introduced, enacts the "Tennessee Civil Rights Initiative Act." 3/7/2012
HB0719 State Employees - As enacted, requires longevity pay for eligible state employees who previously worked for health departments of home rule municipalities; establishes eligibility criteria. 6/10/2011
HB1585 State Employees - As introduced, creates financial disclosure requirements for state employee associations. 3/7/2012
HB2643 State Employees - As introduced, revises provisions related to dues deductions if a certain percentage of members engage in a work stoppage; decreases amount of time for use of leave and benefits for chief elected officers of employee associations and other association members to attend association's annual meeting. 3/21/2012
HB2321 State Government - As enacted, provides for the designation of the Tennessee Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May of each calendar year. 3/22/2012

How a Bill Becomes a Law

From the Tennessee General Assembly Website. This is a basic outline of the normal procedure in transforming a bill into law.


A legislator may introduce a bill in the body of which he is a member by filing it with the appropriate clerk. The signature, or signatures, of the members, sponsoring the bill must be placed on the cover which also must contain the caption of the bill.

Numbered by the Chief Clerk

The bill is then examined by the Chief Clerk of the House or Senate to see that it conforms to legislative rules, is given a number which is placed on all copies, and is then distributed as required under the rules.

Since the Tennessee Constitution provides that no bill shall become a law until it shall have been considered and passed on three different days in each house, a somewhat complex procedure then follows concerning the bill.

Passed on First Consideration

A bill is introduced under the proper order of business in session soon after filing with the Chief Clerk. There being no objection, the bill is passed on first consideration.

Passed on Second Consideration

The next legislative day following introduction of a bill, the bill is passed on second reading and is referred by the Speaker to the appropriate standing committee under the proper order of business.

Referred to Committee

After the bill has been referred to committee, it will remain there unless one of the following courses of action is taken to bring it out: (a) the sponsor of the bill appears before the committee to explain the bill, and his motion to have the bill recommended for passage receives a majority vote of the committee; (b) after seven days in a committee without action being taken, the bill may be recalled from committee by a majority of the members of the Senate or House as the case may be; (c) if the bill is not considered controversial in nature, it is placed on a committee consent calendar and then reported as "recommended for passage" if objection is not raised; or (d) in the House committees, if the sponsor fails to appear before the committee at the scheduled hearing on two occasions and he fails to request that his bill be rescheduled, the bill is returned to the Clerk's desk where it is held pursuant to Rule 81(2); (e) in the Senate committees, if the sponsor fails to appear before the committee at the scheduled hearing and has failed to request that his bill be re-scheduled, the bill is returned to the Clerk's desk for the purpose of being withdrawn from the Senate

The committee chairmen report committee action taken in reporting bills out of committee to the Chief Clerk. All bills being recommended for passage by the committee are referred automatically to the scheduling committee, which is the House Committee on Calendar and Rules or the Senate Calendar Committee.

Referred to Calendar

The House Committee on Calendar and Rules is composed of the speaker, the speaker pro tempore, the majority leader or his designee, the majority caucus chairman, the minority leader or his designee, the minority caucus chairman, two members each of the majority and minority parties appointed by and to serve at the pleasure of the Speaker, one chairman, one vice-chairman, and one secretary (appointed by the speaker), and the chairman of each standing committee. This committee sets the calendar and establishes the schedule of meetings of the various standing committees. Unlike the Senate Calendar Committee, the House Calendar and Rules Committee debates the merits of a bill or resolution. While the Senate Calendar Committee determines when a bill will reach the floor for debate, the House Calendar and Rules Committee determines whether a bill will reach the floor.

The Senate Calendar Committee is composed of a chairman and the majority and minority floor leaders. The Senate rules state specifically that the Calendar Committee "shall only act as a scheduling committee and shall not engage in the determination of the merits of a bill or resolution" but shall calendar every bill or resolution referred to it

Placed on Calendar

Written calendars (lists of bills to be considered for third reading) are required to be posted in the Senate Chamber at least 24 hours prior to consideration by the Senate or in the House Chamber at least 48 hours prior to consideration by the House.

Passed on Third Consideration

On the day a bill appears "on the calendar," it is open to debate and amendment by the entire body considering it (House or Senate). This action takes place under the order of business now known as "Calendar".

Bill is Engrossed

The bill now having been passed in one body then goes to the office of the chief engrossing clerk, where it is retyped, without errors or erasures and is transmitted to the other body. The bill is "engrossed" by reproducing it with all the amendments inserted in the proper places.

Companion Bills

It is customary to introduce identical bills in both houses simultaneously. When this is done, the bills are called "companion bills". When a companion bill is passed in one house, it then goes to the other house to await action on its companion. When the companion bill is called up, it is made to conform with the version already passed by the other house and the version first passed is substituted for the companion in the second house. The substituted bill is then considered on third and final reading.

If a bill passes one house and is amended in the other, the bill goes back to the house where it was originally passed for action on the amendment. The first house may vote to concur or not to concur. If it concurs in the amendment(s), the bill follows through for the governor's approval; but if the first house refuses to concur, the bill goes back to the house where the amendment originated and the motion there is that that house recede or refuse to recede from its position in adopting the amendment(s). If there is a refusal to recede, it then becomes necessary to appoint conference committees, consisting usually of at least three members of each house, to meet and attempt to reconcile the differences between the two houses on the bill or to recommend a course of action agreeable to both houses.

Bill is Enrolled

After being passed by both houses, the bill is enrolled, that is retyped, without errors or erasures, on a heavy-weight paper, by the Chief Engrossing Clerk in the house of origin. This step involves preparing the bill in the exact form passed by both houses and in a format suitable for approval by the two Speakers and by the Governor.

Signed by Speakers

After the Speakers sign the enrolled copy, it is automatically transmitted to the Governor for his action.

Signed by Governor

The Governor may sign the bill; veto it; or allow it to become law without his signature. The Governor is allowed ten days (Sundays excepted) after a bill is presented to him to approve or veto the bill; if he takes no action within that period, the bill becomes a law without his signature. The Governor also has constitutional authority to reduce or disapprove any sum of money appropriated in any bill while approving other portions of such bill.

If the Governor has vetoed a bill or reduced or disapproved an appropriation within a bill, the veto can be overridden, or reduced or disapproved sums of money restored, by a majority vote of the membership to which each body is entitled under the Constitution.

Sent to Secretary of State and Assigned Public Chapter Number

The Secretary of State's office assigns each general bill passed into law a public chapter number, while local bills are assigned private chapter numbers.

Incorporated into the Code

In the meantime, the Tennessee Code Commission and the publishers of the Tennessee Code Annotated are busily converting and annotating new laws into the existing Code.

Local Bills

The first three steps in passing a bill (introduction, numbered by Chief Clerk, and passes first consideration) are the same for local bills as for general bills. On second consideration, however, procedure changes and the bill is passed on second consideration and held on the Clerk's desk. Since local bills only affect one "locality," they need not be referred to a standing committee but, must meet the approval of the local legislative delegation. The Speaker may refer a local bill to committee in which case it follows the normal steps in the committee system.

After a local bill receives the signature of each member of the local delegation affected by the legislation, it is placed on the Consent Calendar.

From the Engrossing process on, the procedure for local bills is the same as for general bills. These bills do not amend the code but, instead become part of the Private Acts of a particular year.


The following represents the normal steps in adopting resolutions.

Resolutions differ from bills in that they do not become law but simply serve to express the views of the majority of one or both houses of the Legislature.

Resolutions adopted in only one house are known as House or Senate Resolutions, depending on the house in which adopted or introduced. Resolutions adopted by both the Senate and the House are called Joint Resolutions. If they originate in the Senate, they are called Senate Joint Resolutions; and if in the House, they are referred to as House Joint Resolutions.

In the Senate, all memorializing resolutions are referred to the Calendar Committee; and all other resolutions, except joint resolutions proposing joint conventions, are referred to standing committees.

In the House, all resolutions except congratulatory or memorializing resolutions are referred to standing committees, while congratulatory and memorializing resolutions are placed on the Consent Calendar. All joint resolutions in either house calling for a joint convention of both houses are referred to a committee consisting of the Speaker, the majority leader, and the minority leader; this committee is known as the Committee on Delayed Bills.

No resolution, except one proposing an amendment to the Constitution, is required to be read three times. However, according to Article III, Section 18 of the Tennessee Constitution, all joint resolutions, except those calling for adjournment of the Legislature and those proposing specific amendments to the Constitution, must be submitted to the Governor for his signature. The Governor may veto a resolution, just as he may veto a bill; and the General Assembly may override the veto of a resolution in the same manner it may override the veto of a bill.

Copyright © 2012 John Ragan

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