110th TN General Assembly reconvenes

The second session of the 110th General Assembly got underway Jan. 9. 

With November elections looming, most have speculated the 2018 session will be shorter than last year and is expected to wrap up in  early April. 

Some of the larger issues set to be addressed include a comprehensive plan for addressing the state’s opioid crisis including securing more money for rehabilitation and drug court programs; and tougher penalties for drug dealers who lace their products with dangerous substances like fentanyl. 

Some of the more controversial issues include legalizing medical marijuana, offering in-state tuition to undocumented students, and expanding Medicare benefits to low-income residents. Key issues that city officials will be watching include regulations on short-term rental properties, design standards for residential dwellings,  de-annexation, changes to open records laws, and legislation on small cells wireless technology, just to name a few. 

Gov. Bill Haslam will deliver his final State of the State speech at the end of January, when he will outline his budget and last legislative agenda. Issues he is expected to address include welfare reform for food stamp recipients, and improvements to Education by offering some type of incentive for community colleges, technical schools, and four-year higher education institutions that graduate students at a higher percentage rate.He is also expected to propose reducing the number of members who serve on the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.