The Student News Site of Hillsboro High School

The Hillsboro Globe

The Student News Site of Hillsboro High School

The Hillsboro Globe

The Student News Site of Hillsboro High School

The Hillsboro Globe

Legislation Log: A guide to current TN proposed legislation | Week of 2/12


Check out these top bills for this week’s edition of Legislative Logs. Bills highlighted this week that everyone should be aware of are being debated concern flag bans, running for multiple offices, and how to expel a legislator. What is not being discussed is legislation about gun control reform and mental health laws.

Currently,  all of the below bills have gained support from state Republicans who currently hold a supermajority in both chambers of the legislature. The Flag Ban Bill, which has already passed the k-12 education subcommittee, has garnered serious concern.

The Flag Ban bill is incredibly vague banning all flags that aren’t the state flag of US flag. This vagueness would effectively prevent the display of any school flags, country flags, state flags and much more. Additionally, the sponsor has mentioned this could be applied to flags on other things such as mugs, shirts, and even tattoos. This broadness could lead to catastrophic unintended consequences.

The ban on being able to run for multiple offices multiple offices could be disruptive to currently running campaigns. This bill directly targets current State Representative Gloria Johnson who is running for United States Senator and her current office. As one of the “Tennessee 3”, she was up for being expelled for actions some say were inappropriate on the House floor.  Additionally, her opponent, incumbent Marsha Blackburn has also hinted at being Donald Trump’s Vice President during the 2024 election. The wording of this bill has raised the question of what offices would be covered in the bill and when would it take affect since these two points are not clear.

Finally, the Tennessee legislators don’t want to leave the other two members of the Tennessee 3 out. Putting a restriction on expelled members would be one of several bills targeted at expelled members. This bill target the two Black legislators who were expelled and  then re-elected to their seats. There has been an effort by Tennessee lawmakers to restrict the ability for expelled members to serve again after the expulsion of the Tennessee Three simply skyrocketed their popularity.

Below is more information on these bills.

Last updated on 2/16/24


Flag Ban Bill

By Rep. Gino Bulso and Sen. Joey Hensley

This bill would outlaw the display of any flag that is not the Tennessee state flag or United States flag. This bill was drafted specifically targeted to block display of pride flags in schools. Sponsor Representative Gino Bulso claimed, “There are progressives across this state that are trying to take these values that are represented by a flag and indoctrinate our kids.” Concerns regarding the vagueness of this bill have been raised with many pointing out how this bill would functionally ban a wide range of flags such as flags for local schools, sports teams, colleges, and even other counties. Additionally, Representative Bulso even claimed that this would affect things like tattoos.

Current Status: Scheduled to be heard on the House Education Administration Committee and Senate Education Committee on 2/14/24.


Ban on Running for Multiple Offices

By Rep. Dave Wright and Sen. Richard Briggs

This bill would make it so no one could be nominated for more than one office at once. This would prevent anyone from running for multiple elected positions. Concerns have been made regarding the fact that the bill would go into effect immediately forcing particularly Rep. Gloria Johnson to cease either her United States Senate campaign or reelection campaign for the Tennessee House of Representatives. This has caused severe criticism as many have accused Tennessee Republicans of pushing this bill specifically to sabotage her Senate campaign with just ten months to go until the election.

Current Status: slated to be heard on the House Local Government Committee at an unknown date and Senate floor on 2/15/24.


Restricting the Reinstatement of Expelled Members

By Rep. Johnny Garrett and Sen. Ferrell Haile

Currently if a seat is made vacant during a session, then it is up to the local legislative body (city council, county commission, etc.) to elect a temporary replacement. This bill would make it so if a member of the legislature is expelled for disorderly conduct, then the local legislative body would not be able to vote to reinstate that member. This is directed at the Tennessee Three, which was a group of three democrats in the house who faced expulsion after leading a protest on the floor of the House of Representatives demanding for gun reform in the wake of the covenant school shooting. Two of the members were expelled but were reinstated by their local legislatures and the hearings garnered national attention. This is the second bill the be aimed at expelled member with a resolution to amend the state constitution to restrict expelled legislators to run for reelection.

Current Status: slated to be heard on the House State Government Committee at an unknown date and Senate State and Local Government Commitee at an unknown date.

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