Gov. Lee lists legislative priorities, including ‘constitutional carry’

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Gov. Bill Lee put his support behind a series of 2021 legislative initiatives that he had outlined in his State of the State address earlier this month.

Among the bills in his list released Thursday was one for “constitutional carry,” which he had said during his Feb. 8 address he would like to see again this year:

“… I think we can all agree that our law enforcement officials in our state have done an incredible job in protecting and serving the people of Tennessee.
Now, more than ever, Tennesseans want a strong commitment to the Second Amendment and the right to protect themselves.
And as such, I will be reintroducing constitutional carry legislation this year.

Gov. Bill Lee, during his third State of the State Address

The governor’s office said that constitutional carry is defined in SB0765/HB0786 as advancing “Second Amendment rights by allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a permit while enhancing penalties for firearm theft.”

According to the Tennessee General Assembly’s site, SB0765 is scheduled for the Senate Judiciary Committee calendar on March 2. The HB0786 has been placed on the calendar for the Criminal Justice subcommittee on March 3.

In a release, the governor’s office highlighted other items including:

Supporting Tennessee Families Foster Youth Reach Act, SB0722/HB0139. Provides higher education support for youth aging out of the foster care system through a pilot outreach program.   

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Proposal, SB0751/HB0142. Supports families in need by reforming the TANF program to promote economic mobility and improved outcomes for recipients.

Supporting Quality Education Common Core Supplemental Materials, SB0769/HB0782. Prohibits the local selection of supplemental education materials by schools and districts that are aligned to Common Core, closing a loophole in state law.

Serving Tennessee Heroes STRONG Act Expansion, SB0755/HB0083. Enhances education opportunities for National Guard members by expanding tuition reimbursement to include technical certificates and master’s programs.

National Guard Reemployment Act, SB0754/HB0082. Ensures National Guard members retain employment after returning from active state duty.

Volunteer Firefighter Reimbursement, SB0778/HB0772. Provides $600 payments to volunteer firefighters who successfully complete 40 hours of in-service training.

Strengthening Tennessee Businesses and Workforce Tennessee Apprenticeship Act, SB0752/HB0771. Expands access and improves quality of apprenticeship programs by registering apprenticeships through the state rather than the federal government.

Business Supports and Taxation, SB0775/HB0776. Supports economic recovery of small businesses by permitting the deduction of state business relief payments from the state’s franchise and excise tax.

Entertainment Tax Credit, SB0736/HB0141. Creates a sales and use tax exemption and a franchise and excise tax credit for film production in Tennessee.

Building Safe Neighborhoods Constitutional Carry, SB0765/HB0786. Advances Second Amendment rights by allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a permit while enhancing penalties for firearm theft.

Reentry Success Act, SB0768/HB0785. Improves outcomes for formerly incarcerated individuals by increasing transparency in the parole process and enhancing practices that support success post-release.

Alternatives to Incarceration, SB0767/HB0784. Expands treatment services and community-based supervision for offenders as alternatives to incarceration.

Addressing Foreign Influences and Confucius Institutes on College Campuses Transparency in Foreign Investment Act, SB1191/HB1238. Requires greater transparency for any foreign investment activity on college campuses, particularly programs and partnerships with Confucius Institutes.

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