Women and Families, Mothers, Grandparents, and Parental Rights

Sources for these “bills to watch” were Tennessee Commission on Children and YouthCouncil on Children’s Mental Health, and Nashville Feminist Collective.

SB 0550 (Niceley)/HB 0014 (Butt)OPPOSE Third party presence for a DCS child interview at school. This bill requires a third party to be present when a representative of the department interviews a child at the child’s school; requires the third party to be a school resource officer, school counselor, school nurse, or other faculty member; if no faculty member is available, requires the representative of the department to make a video recording of the interview.
SB 0623 (Sutherland)/HB 0665 (Hawk)OPPOSE TLS Bill Summary: Food stamps – eligibility prohibitions for convicted drug felons. State This legislation would prohibit convicted drug felons from receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly know as Food Stamps) or Families First/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
SB 0646 (Ketron)/HB (Butt)OPPOSE DHS – food stamps work requirement waiver. Prohibits the department of human services from seeking, applying for, accepting, or renewing a waiver from the work requirements of the food stamp program under federal law. This legislation would prohibit the Department of Human Services from seeking a waiver for work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) regardless of the unemployment rate or other adverse conditions in the state‘s economy.
SB 0681 (Massey)/HB 0811 (Littleton)OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED Restricts return of child to parent when removed due to drug abuse. Provides that, in a private custody case, when a child is removed from custody of parent due primarily to parent’s drug abuse, the child cannot be returned to the parent until the parent has complied with certain criteria that demonstrates a commitment to responsible parenting. The sustained commitment to responsible parenting includes not being the subject of criminal charges or a criminal investigation for at least 90 days, resolving any former and pending investigations by child protective services to the satisfaction of the court, and passing two consecutive monthly drug screens to paid for by the parent.This bill would reduce the discretion juvenile court and other judges have in changing custody in private circumstances, primarily cases involving family placements.
SB 0684 (Green)/HB 0704 (Hulsey)SUPPORT Permits certain elderly people to petition a court for visitation Permits a biological or adoptive great-grandparent or the spouse thereof to petition a court for grandparent visitation. This legislation would increase number of people who could request visitation to include biological or adoptive great-grandparents. Positive and supportive involvement with extended family is beneficial for child development.