From left to right: Sen. Jeff Yarbro of Nashville; Senate minority leader Sen. Raumesh Akbar of Memphis; Sen. Sara Kyle of Memphis; Sen. Heidi Campbell of Nashville; Vice Caucus Chairwoman Sen. Charlane Oliver of Nashville; and Caucus Chairwoman Sen. London Lamar of Memphis

Democrats celebrate new laws passed in 2023

Senate Democrats sponsored news laws to protect working and middle class families, improve public safety and make government more effective

Tennessee Senate Democrats
5 min readJun 29, 2023

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NASHVILLE —On July 1, most of the laws passed in this year’s legislative session will officially take effect. Senate Democrats are marking the occaision by celebrating the laws they sponsored in the 2023 legislative session.

“Senate Democrats focused on the issues that matter most to working families, like improving public safety, expanding health care and strengthening the middle class,” said Sen. London Lamar, chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“Yes, the controlling party blocked most Democratic bills, but, even in this hostile environment, our members found some common ground and made progress for Tennesseans.”

Here’s a look at some of the new laws sponsored by members of the Senate Democratic Caucus:

Growing the Middle Class

SB 234 by Sen. Oliver — Limits the number of times that an investor could call or text you with an offer to buy your home.

SB 397 by Sen. Kyle — Allows local governments to prorate a citizens property taxes if they have commercial or personal property damaged by a federally declared disaster.

SB 871 by Sen. Akbari — Authorizes local legislative bodies to set the income limit for persons who are 65 years of age or older and otherwise eligible for property tax relief under the Property Tax Freeze Act at $60,000.

SB 717 by Sen. Oliver — Requires a landlord to provide a tenant with a 60-day notice of termination of tenancy for the purpose of eviction of a residential tenant of a facility.

SB 93 by Sen. Lamar — Creates an eyelash specialist license; authorizes the establishment of eyelash services shops in accordance with requirements for other licensed shops; authorizes schools to offer courses of instruction that consist of 50 percent of the hours needed for an eyelash specialist license to be obtained from apprenticing.

Affordable, Accessible Healthcare for All

SB 394 by Sen. Lamar — Creates a Doula Advisory Committee to advise the Department of Health in establishing core competencies and standards for the purpose of professionalizing doula services in Tennessee. Doula services provide continuous emotional and physical support throughout labor and birth, and intermittently during the prenatal and post partum periods.

Public Safety

SB 14 by Sen. Lamar — Requires the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to provide quarterly updates on the bureau’s efforts to hire and train employees within the Forensic Services Division and the average amount of time taken to perform forensic analysis on evidence in cases involving sexual offenses to the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.

SB 350 Sen. Campbell — Expands the Save Tennessee Students Act to require public institutions of higher education that issue new student ID cards to include the suicide prevention phone number.

SB 570 by Sen. Lamar — Creates a Class A misdemeanor offense for the possession of a device, tool, machine, implement, or other item capable of programming a smart key or key fob with the intent to use it or allow it to be used to commit theft.

SB 728 by Sen. Campbell — Requires the Department of Transportation to identify locations where injuries to bicyclists and pedestrians are elevated in comparison to the statewide average. Requires the TDOT, in conjunction with the Department of Safety and local law enforcement, to submit a report of its findings and recommendations to increase pedestrian safety to the General Assembly.

SB 799 by Sen. Yarbro — Authorizes the department to disclose de-identified data that is collected from records maintained by ambulance service and invalid vehicle operators licensed or permitted by the department, including for the purpose of providing opioid overdose response and resources throughout this state in real time.

SB 1205 by Sen. Campbell — Prohibits disclosure of certain information by an advocate in regard to a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking in a judicial, legislative, or administrative proceeding unless the victim gives express written consent.

Strengthening Public Schools

SB 872 by Sen. Akbari — Requires social studies classes to teach about the Civil Rights Movement in grades nine through twelve.

SB 414 by Sen. Yarbro — Allows for retired teachers to return to the classroom without putting their current retirement benefit at risk.

SB 1268 by Sen. Akbari — Requires each of our local schools to post the toll-free telephone number operated by the Department of Children’s Services that receive reports of child abuse or neglect on the school’s website.

SB 884 by Sen. Akbari — Requires the department to conduct a study of best practices in other states for the use of ninth grade “on-track” indicators in state accountability systems to prevent students from dropping out of high school, to submit a report of the outcomes of the study to legislative committees, and to publish the report on the department’s website.

More Effective Government

SB 617 by Sen. Akbari — Requires the Department of Children Services to provide annual training to youth service officers on best practices for behavior management and conflict resolution in the context of supervision of juvenile justice youth.

SB 723 Sen. Yarbro — This legislation will streamline the electrical inspection process by allowing high growth cities and counties that have a backlog of construction sites needing electrical inspections to utilize engineers to perform inspections.

SB 773 by Sen. Lamar — Makes various revisions to the Safe Stars Act and expands the safety requirements to apply to private schools and community-based youth sports. Establishes requirements for when a local education agency (LEA), public charter school, private school, or community-based youth sports organization shall apply the safety standards outlined in the Safe Stars Act.

SB 1043 by Sen. Campbell — Requires a third-party ticket reseller to disclose the total cost of a ticket, including all ancillary fees and service charges, to be paid in order to complete the purchase of a ticket, prior to the ticket being selected for purchase.

SB 894 by Sen. Akbari — Exempts those persons under 18 who are in the custody of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) or receiving foster care services from paying for issuance of a driver licenses, renewal, or reinstatement.

SB 1049 by Sen. Yarbro — Fixes inconsistencies in our code to allow our local vendors and farmers to prepare and share food samples at farmers markets.

Protecting Democracy

SB 346 by Sen. Campbell — Requires every high school in Tennessee to inform all high school seniors, upon reaching the age of 18, that they may be eligible to vote and provide them with information about voter eligibility and how to register to vote, including the date and time of the supplemental voter registration conducted at the student’s high school.

Rockin’ New State Song

SB 1521 by Sen. Campbell — Designates “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle as an official state song.

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Tennessee Senate Democrats

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