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Doggett Sponsors Various Bills

Republicans like to consider their political party one concerned with state rights. It is no surprise that a bill concerning state rights is on state Rep. Clay Doggett’s list of sponsored bills in this session of the Tennessee State Legislature.

Doggett, whose 70th District includes Giles and most of Lawrence counties, is sponsoring a bill that would “review federal actions affecting Tennessee and report to the general assembly on the committee’s findings,” according to a composite abstract.

This session, Doggett will serve under a different Speaker of the House, Cameron Sexton, a banker from Crossville. Sexton replaces Glen Casada, from Williamson County, as speaker, though Casada retains his state representative seat.

Sexton, who Doggett described as soft spoken, has moved Doggett’s office to a different floor and a few suites over from the one he had.

The Pulaski legislator also was named to the Naming and Designating, Agriculture and Resources and Criminal Justice committees and Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

Bills sponsored by Doggett were passed previously in the State Legislature to change sexual offender laws, and more are proposed this session.

“These bills are proposed to make the other changes work better,” he said.

Among proposed bills is Bill 900 that would require a sexual offender or violent sexual offender to report to a designated law enforcement agency to update the offender’s registration within five days instead of seven days of the offender’s birthday.

Bill 901 would change penalties for violating requirements of the sexual offender registry, including increasing the penalty for engaging in activities that cause the offender to be in direct contact with a minor from Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony.

Both are sponsored in the Senate by Dr. and 28th District State Senator Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald.

Another bill, House Bill 1006, deals with juvenile offenders. It expands the unruly act of illegal use of a communication device by a minor to include possessing or transmitting an image of sexual activity involving a minor,

House Bill 908, also sponsored by Doggett, permits someone accused of child abuse, neglect, or child sexual abuse to ask the presiding judge to order the state Department of Children’s Services to identify the person, for good cause, who reported the allegations and prohibits the DCS from accepting reports without the reporter’s name and contact information.

Two bills deal with making restitution, another topic that has interested Doggett.

House Bill 906 would change the allocation formula for money paid the court by adding restitution owed to the victim to the formula and directing that the payment of restitution is to be credited first until paid in full, then litigation taxes, payment of costs and fines.

House Bill 907 would permit a general sessions court to direct a defendant to make restitution to the victim of an offense as a condition of payment or as a civil judgment and changes the court’s mandatory duty to consider the defendant’s financial resources in determining the amount of restitution to a discretionary one, according to a legislative composite.

Also of interest is House Bill 905 dealing with codes. It would require newly constructed or renovated buildings open to the public to contain at least one restroom containing powered, height adjustable, adult-sized changing table if constructed or renovated after a certain date.

Other bills:

• Authorize the state Department of Safety to provide its annual report on handgun carry permits electronically to general assembly members.

• Exempt drivers and passengers older than 26 from wearing a crash helmet while operating or riding in motorcycles, motor-driven cycles and motorized bicycles if the person is covered by health or medical insurance other than TennCare and makes violation of the helmet law a secondary offense.

• Authorize a district attorney general to ask a presiding judge to prohibit publishing an informant’s name, or statements prior to or during a trial. Violation would be a Class E felony.

Resolutions sponsored by Doggett recognizes Jesse Jennings, a Richland High Lady Raider basketball player and to designate a boat ramp on Richland Creek in memory of the late James R. Puryear Jr.

Among the several resolutions Doggett is co-sponsoring are one recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Tennessee Farm Bureau and another in recognition of former President Donald J. Trump and former vice president Mike Pence.

Others recognize the Tennessee Titans as the American Football Conference South Division champions and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Officers who helped evacuate part of downtown Nashville that was heavily damaged by a bomb blast on Christmas Day.

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