NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — More Tennessee lawmakers are filing bills they hope to see addressed during the upcoming special session on public safety. In addition to addressing mental health care access and costs, some bills also expand which juveniles would be tried in adult criminal court for certain offenses. Others expand who may be submitted to psychiatric holds at mental health facilities and allow for more people armed with handguns on school property.
The session begins next Monday, Aug. 21, and will last at least three days, according to lawmakers.
HB7027: Requires the state to pay the cost of a court-ordered mental health evaluation and treatment for criminal defendants who have been charged with a misdemeanor and are believed to be incompetent to stand trial or for whom there is a question about mental capacity at the time of the offense.
HB7028: Clarifies the meaning of “local law enforcement” for purposes of the required notification to law enforcement by an inpatient mental health treatment facility or hospital that a service recipient has been committed; requires the clerk of court who maintains records of the adjudication as a mental defective or judicial commitment to a mental institution of a Tennessee resident to notify the clerk of court in the county of the person’s permanent residence.
HB7029: Requires juvenile offenders 16 years of age or more who are alleged to have committed certain offenses and meeting certain other criteria to be transferred to adult criminal court for disposition as if the juvenile were an adult.
HB7030: Expands the offenses for which a juvenile court may transfer a child to be tried as an adult in criminal court, if the child was 16 years of age or more at the time of the offense, to include burglary involving the theft of a firearm or an attempt to commit such offense; adds an appeal process for a criminal court to review a juvenile court’s determination for such transfers.
HB7031: Expands the offenses for which a juvenile court may transfer a child to be tried as an adult in criminal court, if the child was 16 or older at the time of the offense, to include theft of a firearm or attempt to commit theft of a firearm; adds an appeal process for a criminal court to review a juvenile court’s determination for such transfers.
HB7032: Requires health insurance carriers, including TennCare providers, to provide mental health services and treatment to the same extent that the carriers and providers provide alcoholism and drug dependence services and treatment.
HB7033: Requires a bail hearing, which must be open to the public, before a defendant who has been arrested or held to answer for a bailable offense may be admitted to bail.
HB7034: Raises from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony knowingly violating an order of protection or a restraining order issued due to domestic abuse when based on stalking; raises the classification range for stalking from a Class A misdemeanor or Class E felony to a Class E or D felony; raises the classification of aggravated stalking from a Class E to a Class D felony; requires a court to order a mental health assessment of a defendant’s need for mental health treatment if convicted of a stalking offense, at cost to the defendant unless indigent; requires the sentence to include the defendant undergoing treatment and monitoring of drug intake if the assessment indicates that the defendant is in need of and amenable to treatment.
HB7305: Establishes a loan forgiveness program for psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors.
HB7036: Changes prerequisites for emergency detention and admission to a treatment facility from “immediate” substantial likelihood of serious harm to “imminent” substantial likelihood of serious harm.
HB7037: Requires that, by October 1, 2024, the bureau enter each final disposition of criminal proceedings received by the bureau into the national crime information center and any other databases maintained by the bureau for the purpose of criminal history record checks within 30 days of the bureau’s receipt of the disposition from a court clerk.
HB7038: Requires the department of education to establish a school safety alert grant program to provide grants to LEA’s to offset expenses incurred by schools for the installation of school safety alert systems.
HB7039: Makes appropriations to provide funding for any legislation enacted during the first extraordinary session of the 113th General Assembly that creates a grant program to assist LEAs and public charter schools with costs for school safety alert systems.
HB7040: Establishes the designation of a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and enumerates the permitted activities for an individual with such designation.
HB7041: Requires the bureau to submit a report on child and human trafficking crimes and trends in this state, based upon data available to the bureau, as well as current programs and activities of the bureau’s human trafficking unit, to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the speaker of the senate by December 1, 2023, and by each December 1 thereafter.
HB7042: Requires the department to audit each public school in this state to assess its compliance with all applicable safety laws, rules, and policies designed to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors in the event of an active threat or active shooter situation on school premises, and to report the results of the audit to the general assembly; requires an audit of each public school no less than once every five years.
HB7043: Authorizes persons with an enhanced handgun carry permit to carry a handgun on school property unless the person knows that the respective school provides armed security on the school property; removes certain exemptions of a law enforcement officer’s authority to possess a firearm on school property; authorizes certain community corrections officers to possess a handgun on school property.
HB7044: Requires each local education agency to post a notice in a conspicuous place on each school bus in operation by the LEA to notify others that no person shall enter onto school buses except for those authorized; requires new bus drivers and transportation supervisors to receive training regarding procedures concerning persons improperly on school buses.
HB7045: Establishes a pilot program under which a juvenile court may retain jurisdiction over a child until the child’s twenty-fifth birthday and impose a sentence upon the child that could be imposed if the offense was committed by an adult; requires any portion of the disposition imposed that extends prior to the child’s twenty-fifth birthday to be stayed pending completion of requirements set forth by the court at the time of disposition.
HB7046: Creates a pilot program under which a juvenile court may retain jurisdiction over the child who was adjudicated delinquent for an offense that was eligible to be transferred to criminal court; allows the court to impose a sentence upon the child that could be imposed if the offense was committed by an adult, but any portion of the disposition imposed that extends prior to the child’s twenty-fifth birthday must be stayed pending completion of requirements set forth by the court at the time of disposition.
HB7047: Creates a Class E felony of threatened mass violence for the reckless handling, display, or discharge of a firearm while operating, or as a passenger in, a motor vehicle.
SB7003: Exempts a person from civil liability for damages, injuries, or death resulting from or arising out of the theft of the person’s firearm or firearm ammunition properly stored in the person’s motor vehicle unless the person commits an offense involving the use of the stored firearm or firearm ammunition or intentionally solicits or procures the conduct resulting in the damage, injury, or death.