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Message from our Legislative Committee Chairman

The 2023 session of the 113th Tennessee General  Assembly initially began in January and adjourned on April 23, 2023.  Upon the completion of this year's regular session Governor Lee called for a special legislative session to convene in August.  The special session is a special meeting of legislators that is called by the Governor and is limited to specific matters.  The special session was centered around public safety.   The majority of the legislation to be considered was related to mental health and school safety.

This year more than 1,500 bills were filed by legislators with over 400pieces of legislation

being related to law enforcement or public safety.    These bills were reviewed by the Tennessee Sheriffs' Association (TSA) Legislative Committee along with our legislative consultants.Last summer TSA started working with the Governor’s office and Legislative leadership to craft a comprehensive school safety bill.  The sheriffs of Tennessee were pleased to see the bill pass and become law this spring.  This bill made common sense changes like requiring exterior school doors to remain locked and mandated annual drills with first responders and educators.  After the tragic shooting on March 27that The Covenant School, Governor Lee proposed, and the General Assembly approved $140 million recurring dollars to fund one full-time, armed, POST-certified School Resource Officer for every public school in Tennessee.Additionally, they made significant investments in school safety by providing $54 million for public and private school safety grants allowing the funds to be used for critical security upgrades.

As we move forward into 2024, TSA will continue to make efforts at improving the retirement and benefits for our deputies a top priority.  Improved retirement benefits not only benefit current law enforcement officers, but also will assist in the recruitment and retention of future law enforcement officers.  We will also focus on policy solutions to combat violent crime, especially juvenile violent crime, and the scourge of fentanyl plaguing our communities and poisoning our citizens. 

I look forward to this upcoming legislative season as the Tennessee Sheriffs' Association members

work together diligently to achieve the goals of making Tennessee the best state to live, work, and raise a family.

 

Regards,

Cumberland County Sheriff

Casey D. Cox

Legislative Chairman

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