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Tennessee Session Update

This was a busy week at the Tennessee legislature! Senate and House leadership are urging legislative members to schedule bills in committee as they eye an early April adjournment. We are thrilled to share that the Tom Cronan Physical Education Act received full support in the House Finance Budget Subcommittee this week! (more info under campaign updates below). We are busy getting our AHA public policy initiatives scheduled for action in committee!


Key Dates

AHA DAY ON THE HILL: FEBRUARY 21, 2018 - 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.We need your help to turn the state capitol red and advocate for important public policy changes aimed at combating cardiovascular disease and stroke. Sen. Bill Ketron will welcome everyone during our morning breakfast, and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally will be our guest speaker before lunch. The deadline to register is Wednesday, Feb. 14th – don’t miss out!
Register today at:


Physical Education in Schools:

The Tom Cronan Physical Education Act - SB 558/HB 372 (Sen. Bill Ketron/Rep. Roger Kane) requires all public elementary school students to have at least 60 minutes of P.E. per week and instruction to be provided by a certified P.E. teacher.

Status: A big thank you to Rep. Roger Kane and all co-sponsors as HB 372 received glowing remarks this week in House Finance Budget subcommittee! The fiscal note on the bill shows an increase in local expenditures since schools will be required to hire certified or licensed physical education teachers. The Budget Subcommittee rules require any bill that has a fiscal note showing a need for local or state funding must go “behind the budget.” This means that when the subcommittee passes the state budget (action anticipated in early April) then the committee will take up bills that are “behind the budget.” Although the P.E. bill has a fiscal note attached, there is recognition that the funds can be achieved via BEP funding, so it is expected to move from behind the budget and continue through the full committee to a floor vote. So, all good news, just a matter of waiting until the budget is taken up by the Finance Committee. We will keep you informed as we determine the timing of when that will occur.

The bill AS AMENDED is agreed to by the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS), TN School Board Association (TSBA), TN Department of Health and TN Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD).

Senate co-sponsors: Crowe, Massey, Watson
House co-sponsors: Kane, Dunn, Ramsey, McCormick, Smith, Williams, Byrd, Butt, Whitson, Hawk, Reedy, Kumar, DeBerry, Fitzhugh, McDaniel, Stewart, M. White

Quality Systems of Care:

STEMI facility designation bill - SB 2071/HB 2209 (Sen. Richard Briggs/Rep. Bryan Terry) – requires the department of health to recognize STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) receiving and referring hospitals and requires ambulance services to develop and implement a protocol for ensuring patients experiencing a STEMI are transported to the right place for treatment.

Status: The Senate Health Committee is scheduled to hear the STEMI bill on Wednesday, Feb. 14th. The substance of the bill has been agreed to by the Department of Health and Tennessee Hospital Association (THA). We are meeting to with members of Senate Health in preparation for Wednesday’s meeting as well as members of House Health Subcommittee in anticipation of the bill being up the following week!

Stroke center designation bill – SB 2513/HB 2167 (Sen. Bill Ketron/Rep. Bob Ramsey) – requires the department of health to formally recognize certified stroke centers and EMS to establish protocol guidelines that locals EMAs will follow for assessment and triage to ensure a patient experiencing a stroke is transported to the most appropriate hospital.

Status: The bill has been assigned to both Health Committees in the House and Senate. We are talking to committee members garner support and expect the bill to be calendared the week of 2/19.


Repeal local preemption - SB 2525/HB 2327 (Sen. Bill Ketron/Rep. Bob Ramsey) – Current TN state law prevents local governments from passing ordinances to make their communities smoke free. This bill repeals tobacco preemption and gives local governments the ability to prohibit smoking on their property, in age restricted venues open to the public, and hotel/motel rooms if desired.

Status: Bill has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Commerce, Labor & Agriculture committee but not yet calendared.

Coalition partners are: American Lung Association, ACSCAN, Tobacco Free Kids, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, TMA, United Ways of TN, Prevention Alliance, Tennessee Nurses Association, TN Academy of Family Physicians.

For information about tobacco preemption legislation contact: Alex Carmack – Community Government Relations Director: [email protected] – 615-340-4145

Other Bills of Interest:

We are determining AHA’s level of involvement on several bills filed last week and will keep you all posted on all essential bills of interest.

In the News

Thank you for your support and involvement as we work together to advocate for these important public policy changes!

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