Tennessee lawmakers return to Nashville to tackle issues
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Lawmakers are headed back to Nashville for the second year of the 110th General Assembly.
The session gets underway Tuesday, January 9 at noon.
It will be a session that includes lots of changes. While lawmakers will still meet in the State Capitol, their offices and committee meeting rooms have been moved from Legislative Plaza to the nearby Cordell Hull building.
There will also be some new faces in the Senate due to retirements and appointments by President Donald Trump.
One issue that may end up in the spotlight is already getting attention in Nashville: regulations of short term rental properties like Airbnb.
When it comes to education, lawmakers may discuss reducing the number of people who sit on the University of Tennessee board of trustees. The issue of requiring seat belts on school buses may also return.
Unlike in the past, legislation to implement private school voucher programs won’t return.
As the state continues to battle an opioid epidemic, bills attempting to prevent overdoses may be priorities. Last year, a legislative task force made several recommendations including adding more agents at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, creating a commission to fight drug abuse and limiting the number of controlled drugs prescribed in emergency rooms.
In the past, sessions have ended around April, however this year’s session may be shorter. State law dictates that lawmakers running for office can’t raise money for their campaigns while the session is underway. Many lawmakers may push to wrap up work early to hit the campaign trail.