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House Criminal Justice Committee Enhances Safety and Security for Tennesseans

(NASHVILLE) — Throughout the first half of the 110th Tennessee General Assembly, members of the House Criminal Justice Committee energetically worked to strengthen laws that enhanced the safety and security of citizens in communities across the state. Thanks to the hard work of committee members, the panel advanced 50 legislative initiatives that were signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

These initiatives enhanced the rights of crime victims, protect the confidentiality of minors, crack down on DUI, child abuse, drug, and sexual offenders, create harsher penalties for theft, illegal possession of firearms, human trafficking, and elder abuse, and help address Tennessee’s opioid crisis. Some of the legislation includes:

  • House Bill 29: Streamlines the compensation process for crime victims.
  • House Bill 44:     Establishes guidelines for finding missing persons.
  • House Bill 55:     Enhances penalties on individuals involved in retail theft.
  • House Bill 173: Clarifies sanctions against drug and substance abuse offenders.
  • House Bill 186:   Holds DUI offenders responsible for the cost of testing.
  • House Bill 317:   Ensures safe reentry into society for persons with mental health disorders.
  • House Bill 344: Protects the identities of underage crime victims.
  • House Bill 403:   Strengthens child endangerment laws.
  • House Bill 404:   Creates additional protections against child predators.
  • House Bill 452:   Increases penalties for felons found in possession of firearms.
  • House Bill 560:   Protects personal information of law enforcement members.
  • House Bill 615: Combats human trafficking and child sex abuse.
  • House Bill 810:   Safeguards elderly Tennesseans from abuse and exploitation.
  • House Bill 959:   Refines penalties for juveniles who share explicit images.
  • House Bill 1207: Deters overprescribing of opioids by Tennessee physicians.

“I am proud of the work we did throughout the 2017 legislative session in order to heighten the safety and security of Tennesseans across our state,” said Committee Chairman and State Representative William Lamberth (R-Cottontown). “Credit the thorough work of the men and women who serve on this committee and as members of our state’s governing body. They continue to focus their efforts and resources on creating a safer and better Tennessee for future generations.”

Additionally, the efforts of the committee did not go unnoticed by House leadership, especially Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville).

“I want to personally thank the hardworking members of the House Criminal Justice Committee for enhancing safety and security measures in order to better protect our residents,” said Speaker Harwell. “Their efforts during the 2017 legislative session will have a tremendous impact on Tennessee now and in the years to come.”

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