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With the new year comes a slate of laws taking effect in Tennessee.A total of 31 laws regarding subjects ranging from wine sales to immigration became effective on January 1. The majority will have …
With the new year comes a slate of laws taking effect in Tennessee.
A total of 31 laws regarding subjects ranging from wine sales to immigration became effective on January 1. The majority will have little effect on the day-to-day lives of typical Tennesseans, but a handful will interest various sectors of the public.
One notable change will be the sale of wine in retail grocery stores on Sundays. Wine and other alcoholic beverages may be sold on Sundays between the hours of 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sales will still be prohibited on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sunday sales in package stores had been authorized in 2018.
Several new regulations are aimed at addressing the opioid crisis. Initial opioid prescriptions for new patients will be limited to a three-day supply, with some exceptions. By July 1, 2020, health care providers must issue most prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances electronically. The Tennessee Department of Health will establish and maintain a public toll-free telephone and internet hotline for citizens to report suspected opioid abuse or diversion. And establishment that prescribes or dispenses opioids are required to display signage referring to the hotline. Those who report will be protected from retribution by employers and are immune from civil liability.
Local school boards are now required to make efforts to reduce potential sources of lead contamination in drinking water at public schools. Testing of lead levels in drinking water sources must be conducted at least every two years at schools that were constructed prior to January 1, 1998.
State governmental entities join local governments and law enforcement agencies in being prohibited from adopting policies of noncompliance with federal immigration agents seeking deportation of people arrested by law enforcement and later identified as being in the country illegally. State and local entities which adopt such policies are ineligible to receive state funds until the policy is reversed.
Persons who perform an ultrasound prior to an abortion are now required to make available to the patient the results of the ultrasound and must indicate in the medical report whether or not a heartbeat was detected.
When a public or public charter school is used as a polling place for a regular November election, the school must be closed for instruction. For other days when elections are held, the school can choose whether or not to close for instruction.
A hotline and website will be established to report state vehicle abuse. All vehicles leased and owned by the state must have decals referring complaints to the telephone number or website.
When property is seized by law enforcement, a forfeiture-warrant hearing must be provided to the property owners within five days, regardless of the owner’s presence during the seizure. Property seized wrongfully must be returned within five days.
The full list of laws that took effect on January 1 can be found at www.capitol.tn.gov/Archives/Joint/publications/01-01-2019_effective.pdf.