Tennessee will have more than 70 new laws that take effect today. They range from banning handheld devices while driving, to allowing online sports betting.
Online Sports Betting
This law allows bettors to place their wagers online, and they would have to be in Tennessee for those bets to be accepted. Brick-and-mortar locations for sports gambling will continue to be prohibited.
The law doesn’t have the support of Governor Bill Lee, but he allowed it go into effect without his signature.
Crime: Statute of Limitations
Lawmakers expanded this year the statute of limitations for teenage victims of felony sex crime.
If the victim was 13 to 17 years old when the crime happened, and did not report it before they turn 23, the statute of limitations will expire 25 years from their 18th birthday.
This is notable since it comes shortly after three women accused a GOP lawmaker of sexual misconduct. They say it happened back in the 80s.
This law gives local governments the power to regulate or ban the use of electric scooters.
It also expands DUI rules to apply to its riders. The law was approved before Metro Nashville has considered banning scooters.
This law changes the appeals process for the death penalty, by eliminating the appeals step with the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Instead, the state will grant automatic reviews with the Tennessee Supreme Court.
People ordained online as ministers used to be able to officiate weddings in Tennessee. But, a new law, officially prohibits it.
Among those specifically allowed to officiate weddings, are elected officials and ordained preachers, pastors, rabbis or anyone else “designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group.”
The law is being challenged in federal court. The plaintiffs claim the law is discriminatory and violates freedom of religion and free speech.