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New Tennessee laws for the new year

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Nashville, Tennessee – State Capitol seen in late afternoon light.

With the start of 2023, several new laws have gone into effect. Those laws cover abortion, foster care, training for security guards, and the tax free purchase of agricultural items for farmers.

HB 2416 was passed prior to Roe v. Wade being struck down and prohibits the mailing of “abortion-inducing pills.” The law requires physicians to examine a patient in-person prior to providing an abortion-inducing drug and conduct a follow-up visit between seven and 14 days after the procedure. A physician who disregards these rules could be charged with a felony and face up to 20 years in prison.

HB 2398 expands foster care services for youth between the ages of 18 and 21 years who are transitioning to adulthood from state custody. It allows youth to remain enrolled in foster care to receive extended services as well as pays reimbursement to eligible relative caregivers to support the cost of raising the child. 

According to Sen. Page Walley who co-sponsored the bill: “This legislation will help keep foster kids in families without them coming into state custody and experiencing the trauma that can occur. I believe this legislation is a step in the right direction for our kids, our families and our state.”

SB 2514, known as “Dallas’ Law” (named for the late Dallas Barrett), creates greater protections for citizens by raising the training standards required of all security guards employed in establishments where alcohol is served. Barrett died in 2021 after an altercation with security guards in a bar in Nashville’s Lower Broadway area. 

The law requires security guards to complete additional training in de-escalation, safe restraint, first aid, and CPR.

Other laws include allowing farmers and nurseries to purchase building material, fencing material, warranties, and other agricultural materials tax free; human trafficking training for the Department of Correction, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; as well as allowing homeowners to file a written request to the property assessor to have their first and last name appear as ‘unlisted’ in the ownership field of online databases.

On January 10, the 113th Tennessee General Assembly will convene.

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