Policy Watch

  • January 27, 2017


The DRT Policy Watch helps you keep to up to date about Tennessee legislation that impacts people with disabilities throughout the legislative session. Once you sign up to receive the Policy Watch, you will receive a weekly emailed brief with information about legislation that DRT is tracking, the legislative calendar for the upcoming week, and links to great legislative information and analysis being shared by our partners in the disability community. Sign up today!


Weekly Policy Watch


May 12, 2017: So Long, Farewell

The 110th General Assembly adjourned this week on Wednesday, May 10th. Tennessee's part-time legislators return to their home districts resuming life with their families and professions. See our top highlights from this legislative session. ACCESS FULL WATCH

May 5, 2017: Preaching to the Choir

I may be preaching to the choir here. We all know that this subscription list focuses on state level policy. At this juncture, if we only continue that conversation we'd be ignoring the paramount events occurring at the federal level. ACCESS FULL WATCH

April 28, 2017: Updates & Support

With the largest legislative hurdle of this session behind, the IMPROVE Act, legislators are shifting their focus to those bill put behind the budget in previous weeks. Finance committees in both the Senate and House will continue to meet next week along with a few other committees whose work is not yet finished. ACCESS FULL WATCH

April 21, 2017: One Step Closer to the End

The IMPROVE Act continued to grind the gears of the legilslative process this week. The House debated the bill on the Floor for over 4 1/2 hours Wednesday. Ultimately, the House and Senate passed the bill, although in varying forms. This should open the process for committees to finish their work and pass the budget in time for session's end. ACCESS FULL WATCH

April 13, 2017: Lessons Learned and Being Heard

This week we hear from DRT's intern, Mackenzie Apel, who shares her experience at Legislative Plaza this session. ACCESS FULL WATCH

April 7, 2017: It's a Legislative Digest x2

A few subcommittees have finished their work and closed for the year. This is one of the first signs that the 2017 legislative session is coming to an end (although we've heard rumor that they could re-open). ACCESS FULL WATCH

March 31, 2017: It's a Legislative Digest!

We are happy to report that a bill to create the Tennessee Council on Autism Spectrum Disorder has passed and awaits signature from the Governor. This Council seeks to "establish a long-term plan for a system of care for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families." ACCESS FULL WATCH

March 24, 2017: We've Reached the Peak

Session is officially in the climac of its story. The shorter days of bill filing are long behind us and session's end looms on the horizon. ACCESS FULL WATCH

March 17, 2017: Repeal & Replace

It is no secret that the hot topic this week has been about the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) intended to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. With the unveiling of the proposed AHCA, Tennesseans are beginning to understand the impact that this federal legislation could have locally. ACCESS FULL WATCH

March 10, 2017: Bills in the Spotlight

Each session brings with it bills that receive a great deal of attention and publicity and are often highly debated. So what is the impact of these high-profile bills on the overall legislative process? ACCESS FULL WATCH

March 3, 2017: Pick up the Pace

As session moves forward, the pace of the legislature continues to increase. There are more meetings, more bills in committees, and more amendments being proposed. Despite the quick tempo, legislators still need communication from their constituents. ACCESS FULL WATCH

February 24, 2017: Bills on Capitol Hill

This week saw increased action in committee meetings. State departments are giving budget hearings to the General Assembly and committees are hearing bills. Now that the bill filing deadline has passed, legislators are working to put their bills on notice, meaning that they will be introduced in the various committees that will vote on them. ACCESS FULL WATCH

February 17, 2017: Colllaboration

At DRT, collaboration is key in protecting the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities. Effective and successful policy is created when we put aside partisanship and work together to improve our communities.  ACCESS FULL WATCH

February 10, 2017: All Bills Filed!

The filing deadline passed yesterday, February 9th. Now that legislators are finished filing, the work of the House and Senate committees will increase considerably. As mentioned last week, Disability Day on the Hill occurred this past Wednesday, February 8th. The resounding advice from the speakers on Wednesday was to show up and be heard because legislators and government officials want to hear from the community! ACCESS FULL WATCH

February 3, 2017: State of the State

Legislators returned to Nashville this week and session reconvened. A special joint session occurred Monday night in which Governor Haslam gave his seventh State of the State address where he laid out his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017-2018. ACCESS FULL WATCH

January 27, 2017: Welcome!

The 110th General Assembly convened on January 10th. A quick three-day administrative session was followed by a two-week recess. Of note, from the short session is that Representative Beth Harwell was re-elected to her post as Speaker of the House and Randy McNally was appointed as Lieutenant Governor replacing retiring Ron Ramsey who had previously served in the position since 2007. Members of the General Assembly will reconvene this Monday, January 30th to begin the work of policy making.  ACCESS FULL WATCH


Quick Links

Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is a nonprofit legal services organization that provides FREE services to protect the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities.

Middle Tennessee (Admin Office)

2 International Plaza, Suite 825
Nashville, TN 37217

Phone: 615.298.1080
Fax: 615.298.2046

East Tennessee

9050 Executive Park Drive, Suite 101-B
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: 865.670.2944
Fax: 865.470.7028

West Tennessee

2693 Union Avenue Extended, Suite 201
Memphis, TN 38112

Phone: 901.458.6013
Fax: 901.458.7819