I am not a lawyer, and this article is not legal advice. As citizens, we are all required to abide by the laws that govern us. Whether or not we know what they are, we are bound by them, and there can be consequences for not knowing them, so I will fill you in on the twenty-eight new Tennessee laws that went into effect on January 1 that either create new statutes or extend existing ones.
The laws are divided into Senate Bills (SB) and House Bills (HB). To fully understand the changes, first get the complete document online, free, at: www.capitol.tn.gov/legislation/publications/01-01-2016_effective.pdf Then go to www.capitol.tn.gov/legislation and enter the bill number for complete details, including a companion bill and the Chapter. Here then are summaries of the new laws and changes in the order they appear in the document:
SB0847 Taxes, Exemption and Credits – For purposes of receiving a sales tax exemption, increases, from 15 days to 30 days, the period of time within which a helicopter, airplane, or related equipment purchased by a nonresident must be removed outside of Tennessee.
SB0045 Criminal Offenses – Prohibits the retail sale of products containing dextromethorphan to persons who are less than 18 years of age; prohibits the purchase of products containing dextromethorphan by persons who are less than 18 years of age.
SB1036 Fire Prevention and Investigation – Makes various changes to the use of smoke alarms in one-family and two-family rental units, one-family and two-family dwellings, apartment buildings, and hotels.
SB1074 TennCare – Authorizes TennCare to provide medical assistance for sickle cell disease management services and public education campaign activities specifically related to sickle cell disease.
SB0082 Insurance Companies, Agents, Brokers, Policies – Revises various provisions relating to tax reporting by insurance companies.
SB0080 Insurance Companies, Agents, Brokers, Policies – Makes various revisions regarding captive insurance companies.
HB0547 Credit and Debit Cards – Establishes certain requirements for a payment acquirer that contracts directly with a merchant to provide payment services
SB0911 Credit and Debit Cards – Requires persons who lease payment card processing devices to merchants to provide certain information prominently in the written contract.
HB0776 Credit, Consumer – Authorizes certain guardians to place a security freeze on the consumer report of a person under 16 years of age or an incapacitated person; establishes requirements for such a freeze and remedies for violations.
HB1307 Cemeteries – Makes various revisions to regulations governing cemetery companies or other entities engaged in the business
SB0177 Motor Vehicles – Increases the fines for failure to use safety belts; designates a portion of the revenue from the fines to the division of vocational rehabilitation and a portion to the state general fund.
SB0597 Election Laws – Prohibits a county election commission from banning the use of mobile electronic and communication devices at a polling place for informational purposes to assist the voter in making election decisions.
SB0647 Codes – Revises and enacts requirements governing carbon monoxide alarms in certain hotels.
SB0985 Sports – Enacts the “Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act.” –
SB0209 Driver Licenses – Increases the duration of driver licenses from five to eight years and changes the fees for driver licenses and photo identification licenses.
SB0212 Sunset Laws – Extends the Tennessee athletic commission, June 30, 2017; deletes obsolete provisions of the Tennessee Athletic Commission Act and makes other revisions to the Act.
SB0411 Tobacco, Tobacco Products – Restricts persons under the age of 18 from having access to vapor products; revises related provisions and urges the department of agriculture to study effects of the sale and distribution of vapor products to persons under 18 years of age
SB0284 Physicians and Surgeons – Establishes a process for reimbursing physicians for services rendered during the pendency of a credentialing application before a health insurance entity.
SB0964 Boards and Commissions – Revises various provisions governing barbers and cosmetologists and the board of cosmetology and barber examiners.
SB1204 Animal Cruelty and Abuse – Enacts the “Tennessee Animal Abuser Registration Act.”
SB0027 Education –Enacts the “Individualized Education Act.”
SB0905 Insurance Companies, Agents, Brokers, Policies – Enacts the “Travel Insurance Producer Limited License Act.”
SB0077 Mobile Homes and Manufactured Buildings – Authorizes the commissioner of commerce and insurance to set by rule the amount of the annual manufacturer, retailer, and installer license fees; makes other changes.
SB0613 Medical Occupations – Requires the board of medical examiners, in consultation with the board of osteopathic examination, to establish and maintain an online registry for medical spas.
SB0972 Corporations, For Profit –Enacts the “For-Profit Benefit Corporation Act.”
HB0606 Financial Responsibility Law – Enacts the “James Lee Atwood Jr. Law,” which establishes an electronic insurance verification program.
HB0644 Taxes –Enacts the “Revenue Modernization Act.”
HB1290 Taxes, Real Property – Requires court clerk to file report of sale or other notice reflecting results of tax sale; makes related revisions governing the conduct of a sale of deed