Gov. Lee Issues Call for Public Safety Special Session

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tuesday, August 8, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued the special session proclamation and presented the administration’s legislative and budget priorities that will go before the Tennessee General Assembly during the special session on public safety, convening August 21.

“As our nation faces evolving public safety threats, Tennessee remains vigilant and is taking continued action to protect communities while preserving the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “In the months leading up to the public safety special session, we have listened to Tennesseans and worked with members of the General Assembly to identify thoughtful, practical measures to strengthen public safety across our state, including steps to support law enforcement, address mental health, prevent violent crime and stop human trafficking. I thank the General Assembly for its continued partnership and look forward to achieving meaningful results for Tennesseans.”

Gov. Lee will present legislative and budget priorities during the public safety special session to keep Tennessee communities safe, support law enforcement and address mental health, all while preserving constitutional rights. In addition to bringing the following solutions in the administration package, the Governor will continue to work with members of the General Assembly on other legislation specified in the call.

1.     Codification of EO 100 and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Report Implementation: Requires reporting of accurate, complete and timely records from court clerks to the TBI within 72-hours and requires electronic submissions of dispositions and expungements to the TBI

2.     TennCare Mental Health Coverage Waiver: Directs TennCare to seek a waiver from the federal government to allow federal matching funds for Medicaid to cover services for mental illness and substance use disorders at institutions of mental diseases

3.     Addressing Mental Health Workforce Challenges: Budget initiatives that prioritize opportunities to grow and retain mental health professionals in the state

4.     Reforms for Mental Health: Expands access to mental health treatment by eliminating certain collaborative practice requirements for Advanced Registered Practice Nurses with psychiatric training

5.    Strengthening the Identification of Individuals Arrested for Felonies: Provides for the collection of DNA at the time of an arrest for all felonies

6.     Human Trafficking Report: Resolution directing TBI to report on the state of human trafficking in Tennessee

7.     Promoting Safe Storage: Eliminates taxes on firearm safes and safety devices, provides free gun locks, expands safe storage training in state-approved safety courses, and creates a public service announcement to promote safe storage

To date, more than 20,000 Tennesseans have submitted public comments on strengthening public safety, and the form will remain open through the entirety of the special session to ensure that Tennesseans can continue engaging in the conversation.

The full special session proclamation can be viewed here.

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