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Additional New Laws

In addition to other new laws reported in recent weeks by the Buffalo River Review, here are sixteen more July 1-effective laws that you might need to know.

In fact, the legislature approved 170 laws during the 113th General Assembly, according to the Tennessean, the source for the following.

Family Medicine Student Loan Repayment Grant: physician who agree to serve in rural area—like Perry County—can receive up to $40,000 a year for up to five years foe student loan assistance if the physician graduated from an accredited school, is actively involved in a family medicine residency, and agrees to practice in a “health resource shortage area” for at least five years. The loan repayment can not exceed the amount of debt the physician owes.

Sports Betting For Emergency Services: under this law, local governments receiving state sports wager funds can now use that money for emergency services in addition to other authorized uses.

Brownfield Cleanup Grants Available: the legislation makes available up to $5 million per year to clean up those former industrial sites that have the presence of hazardous substances or pollutants. Local governments, economic development agencies, and local development boards may apply.

Foreign Governments Property Ban” under this new law, foreign governments, businesses and non-residents from countries on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s sanctions list may not purchase property in Tennessee, including real estate and farmland.

Another new law heightens school security requirements, including additional emergency drills, locking all exterior doors while students are present, holding annual bus safety drills, and sharing safety plans with local law enforcement on an annual basis.

In addition, all newly built schools must have security vestibules for visitor entry and other security measures.

The state is also offering $232 million for law enforcement and school districts to coordinate placement of a school resource officer in every public school.

Funding also supports a state Department of Safety and Homeland Security agent in each county and private school security officers.

School districts unable to fill teacher vacancies can now hire honorably discharged veterans who are not licensed to teach or do not have a bachelor’s degree, but do have relevant work experience. The permit is for a short time and must have Department of Education approval.

Book publishers and distributors who send or sell obscene materials to Tennessee public schools could face criminal prosecution. Publishers who knowingly distribute such materials now could face felony charges and fines of up to $100,000 per violation.

Under another new law, school bus drivers may use a portable GPS device to assist with navigation in some cases. Drivers may not hold the device or enter information while the bus is moving.

A new law raises minimum teacher salaries each year until they reach at least $50,000 in the year 2026-2027. The law also prohibits union membership dues from being collected by local school districts and deducting dues from teacher paychecks

A new law will offer state employees six weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. The state will also now cover 50% of state employee dental insurance and 100% of long-term disability benefits. A separate new law offers six weeks of paid parental leave to public school teachers and school employees across the state.

The phrase, “In God We Trust,” will now be on every Tennessee license plate unless you opt out.

A new law makes it a felony offense to desecrate a house of worship, with a one to six year prison sentence in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.

A new law guarantees civil liability protections for gun manufacturers, dealers and distributors in all but six specific circumstances. Lawmakers approved the bill weeks after the Covenant school shooting.

You will not be paying state sales taxes on groceries in August, September, and October this year. The three-month holiday is projected to cost the state $288 million in revenue and provide an average of about $100 in tax savings per family.

A new law offers a $37.8 million excise tax reduction for small- and medium-sized businesses, excluding the first $50,000 in net income from small businesses.

Retailers offering Delta-8 THC products may no longer sell to anyone under the age of 21 and must store the products behind the counter. The new law also imposes lab testing and packaging requirements, and regulates advertising for the products.

A person who commits stalking against a person age 65 or older may be charged with aggravated stalking for the offense.

Under HB 1444, anyone who commits vehicular homicide and leaves the scene of an accident will be ordered to serve 100 percent of his/her sentence.

Senate Bill 256 allows district attorneys general or local law enforcement agencies to extend criminal immunity to those who are experiencing a subsequent drug overdose and seeking medical attention.

Senate Bill 807 will no longer require those with HIV who were convicted of the offense of exposure to register as a sex offender with the state. Those convicted prior to July 1, 2023, may file a request for termination of registration requirements with TBI.

SB 1219 changes rape and incest convictions to Range II sentence requirements (serving at least 25 percent) if victims are between ages 13-17.

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