Apr 23, 2024 - Politics

Major legislation pending as Tennessee's legislative session winds down

Illustration of the Tennessee State Capitol building with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The legislative session is coming to a whirlwind finish with prominent bills still hanging in the balance.

Expanding death sentences: The House passed a measure Monday to expand the death penalty to people convicted of raping a child under the age of 12.

  • The legislation seems to be angling for a challenge to a 2008 Supreme Court ruling, which determined a death sentence for the rape of a child could only be pursued if the victim died.
  • The Senate already passed the legislation, which heads to Gov. Lee's desk.

Arming teachers: A bill allowing public school teachers to carry a concealed gun in the classroom still needs House approval before heading to Gov. Lee.

  • The proposal sparked protests, including during the final Senate vote earlier this month.
  • The legislation requires that teachers get approval from district leadership before bringing their guns into the classroom.
  • Metro Nashville Public Schools spokesperson Sean Braisted told the Nashville Banner the district agrees "it is best and safest for only approved active-duty law enforcement to carry weapons on campus."

New Metro agency: Mayor Freddie O'Connell's administration wants to create an East Bank Development Authority to oversee the decades-long effort to build up that side of the Cumberland River.

  • The proposal got bogged down before picking up steam again last week.
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