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New Laws Take Effect

New Year rings in enactment of several important new laws

This information is provided by the office of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, whose district includes Giles and five other area counties.

December 22, 2021 -- It is just days before we usher in 2021.

Jan. 1 often marks a time of new beginnings. This also is true in state government, with several significant new laws set to take effect then.

These include three bills I sponsored dealing with school discipline, access to chiropractic care for TennCare patients, and election integrity.

I also co-sponsored other bills. Among them, are two bills that will take effect as we ring in the new year. One provides crime victims more resources, and the other helps high school students earn college credits by increasing our state’s Dual Enrollment Grants.

Teacher Discipline Act – The “Teacher Discipline Act” establishes a process for local school districts to enable a teacher to remove a student who causes repeated disruptions.

Once the disruptive student is disciplined, principals can use discretion to send them back into the classroom or permanently remove the child.

The new law also allows teachers to file an appeal with a school’s director or local superintendent. It facilitates a better path for local directors to work with school officials to address issues impacting a disruptive student’s ability to learn.

TennCare / Chiropractic Services – A new statute allows TennCare to cover chiropractic services. This gives TennCare patients greater choice in their care through access to chiropractic services for adults who might otherwise seek costly pharmaceuticals or surgeries. This could mean cost savings in the program in addition to giving patients more choice in their care.

Tennessee Election Integrity Act – Legislation to uphold the integrity of elections by ensuring absentee ballots are not fraudulent is among the new laws. Nothing is more fundamental to democracy than the right to vote. Citizens of Tennessee need to know their votes count. Our form of government flows from that fundamental right, and it must be preserved and protected.

The new law requires all absentee ballots to include an easily discernible watermark and calls for absentee ballot counting boards of local county election commissions to reject them if they do not have it to prevent election fraud.

Dual Enrollment Grants -- Enactment of an important law increases the number of dual enrollment courses paid for by the state from two to four.

In recent years, the Department of Education has encouraged students to obtain four early post-secondary opportunities. This legislation allows students to complete a full-time semester once they graduate from high school.

Crime Victims / Restitution – Major legislation reaffirms the state’s commitment to victims’ rights. It outlines an order of priority for funds paid into court for any criminal case. It reorders priorities to ensure the victim is paid restitution first.

The measure also extends the time a victim has to apply for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund from one to two years. This fund reimburses victims of violent crimes and their dependents who have suffered out-of-pocket expenses due to physical injuries, loss of income or death.

Happy New Year- All the best in 2022.

Hensley may be reached at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville Tenn., 37243, call 615-741-3100, call toll free at 1-800-449-8336, extension 13100, or fax 615-253-0231.

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohnwald, Tenn., 38472. His telephone number is 931-796-2018, his cell phone is 931-212-8823, or E-mail:

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