Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga

Legislative Agenda 2017

Our Legislative Watch List and Priority Items for 2017

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Updated 3/20/2017

Issue Area: Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault


Our partners who are experts in these issues are also advocating in support of these bills. They fall within our strategic interest issue area of combating and preventing Violence Against Women, have bipartisan support, and are anticipated to be successful.

HB0876 (Akbari)/SB1139 (Kyle):

As introduced, increases penalty from Class A misdemeanor to Class E felony for violation of an order of protection, possession of a firearm while subject to an order of protection, and conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Fiscal Note: None

SB 555 Ketron/ HB 29 Lamberth: Criminal Injuries Compensation.

Deletes the provision giving an alleged offender the right to have notice of and suspend all action concerning a claim for compensation by the victim under the criminal injuries compensation fund. Fiscal Note: Decrease State Expenditures – $1,000/Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund

SB 0431 Gardenhire/HB 0559 Carter: Child Abuse. 

As introduced, requires a mandatory report of child sexual abuse to include the name, address, telephone number, and age of the child, the name, address, and telephone number of the person responsible for the care of the child, and the facts requiring the report. - Amends TCA Title 37. Fiscal Note: Not Significant 

 SB 0554 Ketron/HB 0349 Farmer: Child Custody & Support.

As introduced, changes standard for when a court may terminate parental rights to a child who was conceived as the result of the parent's rape of the mother from a criminal conviction to clear and convincing evidence that the  rape occurred. Fiscal Note: Not Significant

Issue Area: Human/Sex Trafficking


These are bills supported by TBI to continue Tennessee’s fight against human trafficking. We have advocated with our partners for over 25 bills over the past four years to make TN a national leader in combatting and preventing human trafficking.

HB0615 (Coley)/SB0553 (Ketron):  

As introduced, adds the commission of trafficking for commercial sex act to the definitions of child sexual abuse and severe child abuse. - Amends TCA Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 1 and Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 6. Fiscal Note: 

HB0616 (Coley)/SB0552 (Ketron):  

As introduced, creates a pilot program for the treatment of minor victims of human trafficking for commercial sex act; requires that report be submitted to the senate judiciary committee and criminal justice committee of the house of representatives following the conclusion of the pilot program. - Amends TCA Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 6. Fiscal Note: Increase State Expenditures - $740,900, Increase Federal Expenditures - $573,100

HB 0605 (Coley)/SB0551 (Ketron): Sentencing.  

As introduced, increases classification of offense of patronizing prostitution from a Class B to a Class A misdemeanor. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 3 and Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 5. Fiscal Note: Not Significant

Issue Area: Economic Self Sufficiency


HB0834 (Jones)/SB1029 (Yarbro):

As introduced, requires certain employers to make a reasonable accommodation for any pregnant employee upon request; authorizes the employer to require medical documentation concerning the reasonable accommodation; requires the employer to provide notice of a pregnant employee's right to a reasonable accommodation.Fiscal Note: Not Significant

Why we support: Pregnant workers are forced out of their jobs and denied reasonable accommodations that would enable them to continue working and supporting their families. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would help end this discrimination and promote the health and economic security of pregnant women, their babies and their families.

Issue Area: Women’s Health


HB0721 (Powell)/SB1142 (Kyle):  

As introduced, enacts the "Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act." which requires all health insurance policies to cover contraception with some exceptions. Fiscal Note: None

HB1320 (Stewart)/SB0883 (Harris):

As introduced, enacts the "Long-Acting Birth Control Information Act." which requires family planning centers to provide information and access to LARCs Long-Acting Birth Control. Fiscal Note: Not Significant

Why this is important: Reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies in TN by increasing the use and availability of LARC’s.

Issue Area: Pregnancy Criminalization


We advocated for a similar law to Sunset (expire) in 2016, which it did. The “fetal assault” law threatens pregnant women and new mothers who have used drugs with jail time.  It is a harmful policy that has made people afraid to seek prenatal care and made treatment more difficult to obtain.  We advocate for working together towards effective, evidence based solutions that support the health of women and their families.

SB1381 (Tate):  

As introduced, provides that a woman may be prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, if her child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug. Fiscal Note: None