Legislative Issues

2019 Legislative Bills of Interest

SB0486 (Bowling)/HB0637 (Travis)

As introduced, enacts the “Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act.”

SB0672 (Hensley)/HB0810 (Kumar)

Medical Occupations – As introduced, enacts the “Graduate Physicians Act.”

SB0608 (Massey)/HB0702 (Daniel)

Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities – As introduced, requires that amendments to rules concerning home-based and community-based settings be consistent with an intent for services to be received in the most integrated setting appropriate to the person’s needs; authorizes TennCare to make qualifying home- and community-based services provided by a non-contract provider eligible for consumer direction and reimbursement.

SB0696 (Roberts)/HB0894 (R. Smith)

As introduced, requires the department to study the feasibility of adding direct primary care as a covered benefit under one or more of the basic health plans approved by the state insurance committee for eligible state employees and to report its findings and recommendations no later than December 31, 2019.

SB0317 (Reeves)/HB0199 (Vaughan)

As introduced, clarifies that the definition of the practice of nursing does not prevent certain qualified nurses from making determinations that patients are experiencing emergency medical conditions if working in cooperation with a physician and in accordance with hospital protocol.

SB0281 (Kurita)/HB0774 (Ramsey)

As introduced, enacts the “Chronic Disease Prevention Act. This bill enacts the “Chronic Disease Prevention Act” to require the speaker of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives to establish a nine-member task force to study methods on how best to prevent chronic diseases in this state and what funding is available to assist with chronic disease prevention. The task force must be established by no later than October 1, 2019.

SB1384 (Yager)/HB1360 (Calfee)

As introduced, requires a prescriber to also prescribe naloxone when prescribing opioids or benzodiazepines to a patient.

SB0909 (Southerland)/HB0653 (Hawk)

As introduced, increases the number of BEP funded full-time public school nurse positions from one for every 3,000 students to one for every 700 students; increases the number of full-time public school nurses considered sufficient for the public school nurse program to adequately provide services from one nurse for every 3,000 students to one nurse for every 700 students.

SB0053 (Kelsey)/HB0496 (Hurt)

As introduced, creates exemptions to licensure and certification requirements, as applicable, for certain health professionals who are participating in federal Innovative Readiness Training programs. This bill provides limited exemptions to this state’s licensure and certificate requirements for certain health professionals who have a current license or certificate to practice in another state, commonwealth, territory, or the District of Columbia. In order to qualify for the exemptions, the health professional must be engaged in the practice of healthcare through a program in partnership with federal Innovative Readiness Training.

SB0194 (Watson)/HB0150 (C.Sexton)

As introduced, defines “alternative treatments,” for purposes of the requirement that prescribing physicians explain reasonable alternatives to opioids, as including chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, and other treatments that relieve pain without the use of opioids.

SB0370 (Briggs)/HB0329 (Moon)

As introduced, increases from 30 to 45 days the time that a public water system or waterworks system has to give public notice to its customers in a general mailing prior to the meeting in which the system will determine to initiate or permanently cease fluoridation of its water supply.

SB0508 (Massey)/HB0783 (Hicks)

As introduced, requires a medical student in good academic standing with an accredited medical college in this state to receive priority consideration over a medical student attending medical college outside of this state in the process of assigning clinical rotations to a healthcare facility contracting with a state medical school or accepting state funding.

SB0826 (Akbari)/HB0682 (Helton)

As introduced, requires facilities that employ licensed healthcare providers and deliver care to patients to adopt protocols requiring training in the detection and treatment of victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking; provides immunity from liability for the failure to detect, identify, or refer victims to local resources.

SB0606 (Robinson)/HB0827 (Clemmons)

As introduced, enacts the “Tennessee Hunger-Free Students Act”; prohibits a school from taking certain actions against a student who cannot pay for a meal, or who owes a meal debt; requires a school to assist parents and guardians in obtaining free or reduced-price meals for the parent’s or guardian’s eligible student.


SB0280 (Kurita)/HB0764 (Rudder)

As introduced, increases age restrictions for tobacco and vapor-related products from 18 years of age to 21 years of age.

SB0738 (Kyle)/HB1419 (Towns)

As introduced, raises the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase any tobacco or vapor products; creates a Class C misdemeanor of selling or distributing flavored electronic cigarettes; increases the tax rate on cigarettes by 1.25 cents per cigarette.

SB0026 (Gardenhire)/HB0097 (Howell)

As introduced, limits the places in which one may use vapor products. This bill prohibits the use of vapor products in certain locations and clarifies what constitutes a vapor product for purposes of the prohibition, the sale or distribution to a minor, and the possession by a minor of vapor products.

SB0849 (Hensley)/HB1459 (Gant)

As introduced, increases the age to access or use tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age.

SB0360 (Southerland)/HB1284 (Mitchell)

As introduced, expands the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco and Vapor Products Act and other laws concerning juveniles’ access to tobacco and vaping products to apply to hemp for smoking.

SB0946 (Kyle)/HB1213 (Mitchell)

As introduced, eliminates the 4 percent state sales tax on food for human consumption; increases the tax on cigarettes from three cents per cigarette to 8.35 cents per cigarette; increases the tax on other tobacco products from 6.6 percent to 17 percent of the wholesale cost price.

SB1200 (Reeves)/HB1454 (Ramsey)

As introduced, increases age of persons allowed to use tobacco and vapor products from 18 years of age to 21 years of age.