List: Bills to watch in the Tennessee legislature

First day of legislature holds new leaders, new bills.

Tennessee lawmakers will file hundreds of bills before the legislature’s filing deadline of Feb. 9. Here are a few of the bills people are talking about and where they stand.

Food stamps and junk food

Filed by: Rep. Sheila Butt – (R) in Maury County

Summary: Would prohibit food stamps recipients from using their EBT cards to purchase junk food. It would authorize the Department of Human Services to seek a waiver from the federal government to establish a list of such food.

Where it stands: Pulled from consideration on Jan. 17

Safety Center funding

Filed by: Sen. Becky Duncan Massey – (R) District 6 in Knox County

Summary: Would give the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services $4.5 million to create a grant for a safety center in Knox County.  

Where it stands: Filed for introduction on Jan. 12.

“In God We Trust” on license plates

Filed by: Rep. Bill Sanderson – (R) District 77 in West Tennessee

Summary: Would requires all new license plates to say “In God We Trust” as of July 1.

Where it stands: Introduced on Jan.12

School physical activity requirements

Filed by: Rep. Bill Dunn -- (R) District 16 in Knox County

Summary: Would get rid of the requirement for schools to provide students with a specific time of physical activity

Where it stands: Filed for introduction on Jan. 13.

Organized retail crime prevention

Filed by: Rep. Jason Zachary -- (R) District 14 in Knox County & Sen. Richard Briggs (R) District 7 in Knox County

Summary: Would crack down on "organized" retail crime, particularly people who steal items, return them for gift cards, then sell the gift cards

Where it stands: Filed for introduction on Jan. 17

Defining mother, father, husband, wife by biology

Filed by: Sen. Janice Bowling -- (R) District 16 in Middle Tennessee & Rep. John Ragan (R) District 33 in Anderson County

Summary: Would legally define the terms mother, father, husband and wife by biology

Where it stands: Introduced in House and Senate on Jan. 12. 

Spay/Neuter program for low income

Filed by Richard Briggs (R) Knoxville.

Summary: Establishes a spay-neuter program for cats and dogs to help people below the poverty level get their pets fixed for free. 

You can find more information about any bill introduced in the Tennessee legislature on the Tennessee General Assembly website.

(© 2017 WBIR)


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