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Saggy pants-free schools: Tennessee lawmakers end session dominated by guns, sex

May 3rd, 2012 1:25 pm by ERIK SCHELZIG,Associated Press

Saggy pants-free schools: Tennessee lawmakers end session dominated by guns, sex

Gov. Bill Haslam, seated, speaks shares a laugh with lawmakers and other offiicals after signing an administration bill to overhaul of the state's civil service laws at a ceremony near the state Capitol in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. (AP

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have concluded the 107th General Assembly that was dominated by debates over guns, classroom instruction about sex and Gov. Bill Haslam's efforts to overhaul state government operations.

After last year's session, the governor called for a one-third reduction in the number of bills filed. Lawmakers got part way there, introducing about 20 percent fewer pieces of legislation.

Several perennial bills were debated, but met their usual fate of getting killed for the year. They included efforts to allow supermarkets to sell wine, banning mountaintop removal coal mining and allowing adults to ride motorcycles without helmets on.

Many observers were shocked when a bill to legalize medical marijuana advanced out of a House committee. But the momentum was short-lived and the pot measure soon went up in smoke.

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Here is a list of some of the legislation that has been approved by the Legislature this year:

ABORTION DOCTORS: Requires physicians to have hospital privileges in the home or adjacent county of woman seeking abortion. HB3808.

AMAZON SALES TAX: Requires Amazon.com to begin collecting Tennessee sales taxes in 2014. HB2370.

BATH SALTS: Makes it a felony to sell synthetic drugs known as bath salts. HB2286.

BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS: Allows governor to appoint heads of boards, including Tennessee Higher Education Commission. HB2387.

CASH GRANTS: Creates more ways for state to give cash grants to companies investing in Tennessee. HB2344.

CHARTER SCHOOL TRANSPARENCY: Requires charter schools to operate under state open meetings laws. HB3539.

CHARTER SCHOOLS FOREIGNERS: Limits number of foreign workers allowed to be employed at charter schools. SB3345.

CIVIL SERVICE: Revises state civil service laws to make it easier to hire and fire state employees. SB2246.

CORRECTIONS TRANSFER: Merges the Board of Probations and Parole into the Department of Correction. HB2386.

DOMESTIC ABUSE: Requires mandatory jail time for repeat domestic abuse convictions. SB2251.

DUI BLOOD TESTS: Allows judges to compel blood tests from people arrested on drunken driving charges. HB2752.

DUI MINORS: Increases penalties for drunken driving when child under 18 is in car. HB2751.

EMBRYO ASSAULT: Includes embryo as victim in assaults on pregnant women. SB3412.

ETHICS DISCLOSURES: Requires local and regional planning commissioner to submit state ethics disclosures. HB3697.

FOOD TAX: Reduces the state sales tax on groceries from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent. HB3761.

FOSTER CARE: Extends foster care services to young adults transitioning out of the program. SB2199.

GANG BILL: Increases penalties for violent crimes committed by three or more people. SB2252.

GATEWAY SEXUAL ACTIVITY: Prohibits teachers from promoting or condoning "gateway sexual activity." HB3621.

GIFT TAX: Repeals Tennessee's tax on gifts to relatives worth more than $10,000. HB2840.

HASLAM BUDGET: Enacts Tennessee's more than $31 billion annual spending plan. HB3835.

IMMIGRATION CHECK: Requires state agencies to verify immigration status before approving public benefits. SB1325.

INCOME TAX: Proposed constitutional amendment to ban a state income tax in Tennessee. SJR0221.

INHERITANCE TAX: Begins phase-out of Tennessee's inheritance tax. HB3760.

JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE: Creates new panel for disciplining judges. SB2671.

KINDERGARTEN ELIGIBILITY: Moves up the cutoff date for kindergarten eligibility. HB2566.

MENTAL HEALTH-NAME CHANGE: Adds the words Substance Abuse Services to the name of the state Department of Mental Health. SB2229.

MILITARY SPOUSES-UNEMPLOYMENT: Provides unemployment benefits for military spouses. SB0884.

MONOXIDE MONITOR-RV: Requires working carbon monoxide detectors in leased recreational vehicles. HB234.

MOVE ON WHEN READY: Exempts Williamson County from early graduation program for high-performing students. HB2235.

OCCUPY NASHVILLE: Bans unauthorized camping on Legislative Plaza. HB2638.

PARENTAL EVALUATION: Creates pilot program for parental self-evaluations. SB2893.

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT: Encourages school districts to develop parental involvement contracts. HB2994.

REMOTE MEETINGS: Allows school board members to participate in meetings remotely. SB2723.

ROLL YOUR OWN CIGARETTES: Requires roll-your-own tobacco retailers to charge cigarette tax. SB1738.

SAGGY PANTS: Prohibits students from wearing saggy pants or other indecent clothing on school grounds. HB3679.

SCHOOL ACTIVITIES: Allows parents to keep their children from joining extracurricular groups at school. HB2548.

SCHOOL PRAYER: Allows school personnel to participate in student-initiated religious activities. HB3266.

SCHOOL SAFETY: Gives teachers more authority to act against students who pose a safety risk. SB3116.

SECRET APPLICATIONS: Makes application pool to lead state colleges and universities secret, except for three finalists. HB3705.

SELECTING JUDGES-CONFIRMATION: Proposed constitutional amendment to allow Legislature to reject gubernatorial appointments to Supreme Court. SJR0710.

STATE EVERGREEN: Names the eastern red cedar as Tennessee's official evergreen tree. SB2362.

STUDENT LOANS-DEFAULT: Penalizes teachers and lobbyists for defaulting on student loans. HB0740.

TATTOO LEGISLATION: Increases the penalty for tattooing a minor. HB2198.

TEACHER EVALUATION DATA: Blocks public, parents from viewing teacher evaluation data. SB1447.

TEACHING EVOLUTION: Grants legal protections for teachers who allow students to question theory of evolution. SB0893.

TEN COMMANDMENTS: Allows public buildings to display "historically significant documents," such as Ten Commandments. HB2658.

TRA OVERHAUL: Overhauls the Tennessee Regulatory Authority with a part-time board. HB2385.

UNITED NATIONS-GOP: Recognizes the "insidious nature" of the United Nations ' Agenda 21 on sustainable development. HJR0587.

WELFARE DRUG TESTING: Creates a suspicion-based drug testing for welfare recipients. SB2580.

WILD APPEARING SWINE: Makes it a crime to release wild-appearing swine without proper documentation. SB2879.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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