5 Things to Watch in the Legislature Includes Opioids, Teachers
NASHVILLE – Tennessee lawmakers this week will consider several pieces of legislation that would broaden their oversight of state employees and the way services are administered.
Regularly, questions arise during the year about who answers to whom in state government, and the answer is often decided in meetings such as these.
Here are five bills to watch this week in the legislature.
Monitoring opioids for TennCare recipients
While another bill could restrict opioid prescriptions for first-time users, some lawmakers still want to monitor usage more. A measure that would monitor opioid prescriptions of Tenn-Care enrollees has picked up several cosponsors and is up in the Senate, Finance Ways and Means Committee. The committee is scheduled to meet in Senate Hearing Room I at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
A confidential survey for corrections officers
With several incidents reported in recent years of both inmate and corrections officer complaints, lawmakers have looked at ways to gain better insight into what happens behind bars. Two Democratic lawmakers have proposed a bill that would do just this. The measure, scheduled to go before the House State Government Committee at 12 p.m. Tuesday, would require the commissioner of the Department of Correction to develop and administer a confidential annual survey of corrections officers who leave service in order to examine retention. The meeting will be in House Hearing Room II.
Tracking teacher probations How much teachers’ performance should be linked to students’ test scores is a questions asked regularly at the state and national level. One bill up this week calls for more transparency in this arena. The measure, scheduled to come up in the Senate Education Committee at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, would require the state Board of Education to report annually the number of public and private teacher training institutions that, as a result of their students’ scores on the state teachers examination, are placed on temporary probation, have their certifications revoked or regain certification. The meeting will be in Senate Hearing Room I.
A ‘fresh start’ for convicts
A bill is up in the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday called the “Fresh Start Act” that could give convicts a better shot at a second chance. The measure, set to be heard at 1:30 p.m. in House Hearing Room I, would require that denials and refusals to renew occupational and professional licenses based on a criminal conviction could occur only when the offense relates to the offender’s ability to perform the occupation or profession.
Doctors bartering for health care services
In times when the cost of health care is a constant in conversation, doctors are always looking for new or alternative ways of getting paid. A measure sponsored by Rep. Cameron Sexton, RCrossville, chair of the House Health Committee, will come before the committee clarifying that physicians can accept barter of goods or services as payment for health care services. The meeting is scheduled to for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in House Hearing Room I.