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Late-session Tennessee bills make way through signing process


(The Center Square) – A stack of late-session bills is making its way through the signing process before they can become law in Tennessee.

Gov. Bill Lee has signed plenty already, including the ELVIS Act related to artificial intelligence and musical artists’ copyright of their name, image and likeness, college athletics NIL reform, social media parental approval for minors’ accounts and a law allowing qualified school staff to conceal carry firearms on school grounds.

Bills must pass the Legislature, get enrolled and signed by House Speaker Cameron Sexton and Lieutenant Gov. Randy McNally before being sent to Lee.

Lee then has 10 days – not counting Sundays – to sign, veto or allow a bill to become law without his signature.

One of the largest late-session bills, a repeal of the property portion of Tennessee’s franchise tax that includes a three-year rebate on taxes paid that could cost the state up to $1.6 billion, has been enrolled but is not yet signed by Sexton and McNally.

Lee is expected to approve the bill and the Tennessee Department of Revenue has already sent out notice of the bill’s impact.

The tax will not be based on the taxpayer’s net worth and a refund can be requested by Nov. 30 for tax years ending on or after March 31, 2020.

A bill allowing lawsuits for illegally blocking a highway is on Lee’s desk.

Bills making drag racing a felony, changing how Memphis can spend its hotel-motel tax to fund FedExForum renovations, creating an East Bank Development Authority in Nashville, creating a misdemeanor offense for transporting a minor for an abortion without parental permission, adding a cap on booting charges and creating a report linking immigration and crime have not yet reached Lee’s desk.