THA 2020 Legislative Report Now Available

On June 19, the second session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly adjourned sine die. The final three
weeks of session wrapped up work previously put aside after a March 19 recess in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic in Tennessee.

During the final days of session, Senate and House members came to agreement on an updated budget for state fiscal year 2021, and in a bit of a surprise, reached agreement on Governor Bill Lee’s abortion legislation, which previously had stalled in the Senate.

Three major priorities for THA – certificate of need (CON) reform, telehealth and COVID-19 liability protection
– also were taken up on the last day of session, but all three bills failed to pass in both chambers, killing the
efforts for the year.

However, Governor Bill Lee called a special legislative session in August that included revised bills on liability protection and telehealth, both of which passed in that three-day session.

The 2020 Legislative Report, which is organized by legislative topic, provides detailed overviews of THA’s priority legislation from the regular and special sessions, as well as summaries and final disposition of numerous other bills tracked by THA during 2020. These bills pertain to a wide range of issues relevant to some or all hospital members, depending on the topic.

Unlike past years when hundreds of bills are passed by the General Assembly, the impact of the COVID-19 recess and subsequent return in June dramatically limited the number of enacted bills. This report includes all tracked legislation, even those bills that were not passed into law.

You will note several instances in the report where a bill’s final status is deferred to a committee meeting on a date that already may have passed or is much later this year. These situations are the result of procedural actions taken prior to the March recess or during the June session.

However, with the sine die adjournment on June 19, all unpassed pieces of legislation from the 111th General Assembly’s regular legislative sessions now are dead. New legislation will need to be filed in 2021 to revive any of these proposals.