KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – On January 1, we’ll ring in the New Year, which also brings 16 new laws into effect in Tennessee.
Some of thes new laws are extremely technical, like Senate Bill 0128, which addresses the electrical safety code governing electrical supply stations and lines.
Some, on the other hand, could have a direct impact on your day-to-day life. These laws include regulation on cell phones in school zones, headlights, free speech on higher education campuses and handgun permitting.Cell phones in school zones – Senate Bill 0954
This bill makes talking on a handheld cell phone in a school zone while the warning lights are flashing punishable by a fine of up to $50.Handgun permits – House Bill 0689
This bill creates an exemption to the firing range portion of the training required to get a handgun carry permit if the applicant can prove they successfully passed small arms training or combat pistol training in any branch of the United States armed forces.Barbers – Senate Bill 0032
This bill allows a barber to perform services in a home for anyone. In the past, a barber could only come to a person’s house to cut their hair if they were ill. However, a residential barber certificate is required to perform these services.School transportation – House Bill 0322
This bill establishes a school transportation supervisor program to oversee transportation services for school districts and charter schools. The bill also requires new school bus drivers to complete a training program before they can drive a school bus and requires a bus driver to be at least 25 years old before they can get an initial bus driver license.Campus free-speech – Senate Bill 0723
This bill recognizes students’ right to free speech and directs institutions of higher education to give students the freedom to speak, write, listen, challenge, learn and discuss any issue, as long as they don’t violate the First Amendment. The bill also directs institutions not to deny student activity fees to student organizations based on the viewpoints of the organization. And an institution can’t bar guest speakers invited to campus by students or faculty just because the speaker’s speech might be considered offensive or otherwise disagreeable.Disabled persons – Senate Bill 0597
This bill gives a competent adult with a functional disability, or a caregiver of a minor child or incompetent adult, to direct and supervise a paid personal aide to perform health maintenance tasks. Health maintenance tasks are tasks that a person without a functional disability or a caregiver would normally do for themselves.Marijuana jurisdiction – House Bill 1291
This bill removes the Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s jurisdiction over enforcement of criminal offense involving marijuana.Headlights – Senate Bill 0194
This bill amends a current bill to prohibit any vehicle with steady-burning lights to have any color light, other than white or amber, whether they are steady or flashing. Exceptions include emergency vehicles, school buses, mail carriers and authorized law enforcement vehicles.Prescription drugs – Senate Bill 0429
This bill authorizes the Board of Pharmacy to create a voluntary prescription drug donation repository program to allow people to donate prescription drugs and supplies to be used by eligible individuals. The drugs have to be in their original sealed, tamper-evident packaging and must be inspected before they are dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.Alarm systems – House Bill 1392
This bill allows a homeowner to cancel a contract for alarm services that is longer than two years by giving 30 days notice to the alarm system contractor if the homeowner has to sell the property for medical reasons.