Beginning July 1, 2021, many new laws went into effect in the State of Tennessee.
The following is a brief summary of those laws.
1. Business and government entities must post signs if they allow transgender persons to use bathroom facilities.
2. The Tennessee Accommodations for All Children Act, puts public schools and districts at risk of losing civil lawsuits if they let transgender students or
employees use multi-person bathrooms that do not reflect their gender at birth.
3. Another law targeting the LGBTQ community is the anti-trans athlete bill, which requires students who want to play a school sport to play on the team of their sex assigned at birth. Tennessee is the first state in the U.S. to require this.
4. The “constitutional carry” law allows most Tennessee adults ages 21 and older and military members who are 18 to 20 years old to carry a handgun without a permit.
5. The Alternatives to Incarceration Act looks to build community-based alternatives to prison and the Reentry Success Act hopes to smooth the transition from prison back into the workforce.
6. The Re-entry Success Act creates a supervision program for people getting out of prison and reduces liability for employers who are hiring people with a criminal record.
7. A separate bill, which implements the budget, was approved cutting $50 million in taxes by providing an additional sales tax holiday on the sale of food and food ingredients from July 30, 2021 through August 4, 2021. It also cuts the taxes on the retail sale of prepared food for restaurants during the same time period. This is in addition to Tennessee’s annual sales tax holiday which allows consumers to purchase clothing, school supplies and computers tax-free.
8. Parents are now required to report their child's disappearance within 24 hours of determining the child is missing. Parents who do not report children missing to law enforcement within 24 hours could face a Class A misdemeanor charge. The law applies to children 12 years or younger. The law is named in honor of Evelyn Boswell, a 15-month-old who was reported missing in February 2020 even though she hadn't been seen since December 2019.
9. A new law allows the court system and Department of Children's Services to be more quickly involved in placing newborns in DCS custody if the parent
previously had a child removed for dependency or neglect.
10. Tennessee has become the latest state to require certain medical providers to cremate or bury fetal remains from surgical abortions.
11. The Spencer Bristol Act will increase the penalty for evading arrest if it causes serious injury or death of an officer. The law was named for Hendersonville
Officer Spencer Bristol who was hit and killed in 2019 by a vehicle while chasing after a suspect.