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New laws in TN to affect schools, healthcare, election

Teresa Crowder
Freelance Writer

As is customary, January 1, 2022, brought about several new laws for Tennessee covering topics from healthcare to elections.
The list is not exhaustive, but it does involve all levels of government within the state. These laws will take their place in the Tennessee Code as enforceable as of January 1, 2022.
For example, the Teacher Discipline Act, also known as Public Chapter 77, establishes a process for teachers to remove problematic students who cause repeated disruptions in their classroom. Once the disruptive student is disciplined, principals have the discretion to return them to the classroom or permanently remove them.
The law provides a path for
directors to work with school
officials to address disruptive students’ learning ability issues. The process allows teachers to appeal to the school’s director or local
superintendent if they disagree with the decision. “It needed to be done a long time ago,” Johnson County resident Betty Wilson said.
According to Public Chapter 117, barbers and cosmetologists will be required to complete Domestic Violence training. The law requires a one-hour domestic violence course for initial licensure education for barbers and cosmetologists. A similar law currently requires public safety personnel to receive regular training. Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists will be trained to respond to signs of domestic violence, including referral of resources. This does not hold them to criminal or civil liability.
Julia Montana Winebarger of Mountain City sees the benefit in such training. “I believe it’s a good idea,” she said. I mean, I know it’s true. Because I have told my hairdresser and nail tech certain things I have never told anyone. So I could see how this could be beneficial in a very serious situation. Most ladies I know who do hair, I believe would be ok with this.”
TennCare benefits were also on the roster as recipients will now be granted
the ability to receive Chiropractic Services as an eligible service covered under
the state’s Medicaid program, detailed in Public Chapter 524.
“I think they need to add dental too. So many people need dental work that cannot afford it,” said Drema Arnold, while Jennifer Phillippi agrees that “dental care should definitely be included.”
Tennessee Elections will now require absentee ballots to include a watermark, according to Public Chapter 374. This Tennessee Election Integrity Act requires all absentee ballots to have an easily discernible watermark and absentee ballot counting boards of local election commissions to reject without the watermark to prevent election fraud.
Public Chapter 331 allows wine to be shipped directly to the consumer. The law establishes a license for wine fulfillment houses and keeps out-of-state vendors from violating Tennessee’s existing state laws.
Fulfillment house licensees may only provide services related to the shipment of wine into or within Tennessee
and only for wineries or
direct shippers licensed in the state.
Public Chapter 84 requires petitions to appoint conservators to include a search of the Department of Health’s registry of those who have abused, neglected, or misappropriated the property of vulnerable persons. It also requires a search of the National
Sex Offender Registry. The move was to enable judges to make informed decisions before awarding conservatorship to those caring for the elderly.
For more information on these and other new laws, access the link found below.