More than 30 new laws in Tennessee are set to go into effect with the new year, and one of them will affect how and where you can buy wine.
Starting Jan. 1, grocery retailers statewide can begin selling wine on Sundays. Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill in April allowing retail liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sunday, but the bill included a provision delaying the sales of wine in grocery stores until January.
The new law (HB1540) will allow grocery stores, such as Food Lion, Kroger, Walmart and Publix, to sell alcohol and liquor during certain business hours that will be determined by the state, according to Manchester City Attorney Gerald Ewell.
“We have not received any notifications of any changes. The only changes the City of Manchester has addressed is the Hours for Sale of Beer,” said Sage Keele, the executive administrative assistant to Manchester’s mayor. The ordinance extended the hours of beer sales to reflect the state law that allowed businesses to sell beer on Sundays and does not impact this new law.
Tullahoma City allows for the sale of mixed drinks, beer and packaged alcohol within the city limits beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Monday through Saturday, alcoholic beverages may be sold starting at 8 a.m.
The new law still prohibits sales on Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Also for the first time, grocery stores may sell wine on New Year’s Day.
From reporting opioid abuse to education, here are some of the new laws that will soon go into effect.
Health: HB2004 requires the Tennessee Department of Health to accept allegations of opioid abuse or diversion and to publicize a means of reporting of such allegations. The bill prohibits civil liability for or firing of a person who reports suspected abuse or diversion.
Abortion: HB0108 requires, in cases where an ultrasound is performed as part of an examination prior to an abortion, the person who performs the ultrasound to offer the woman the opportunity to learn the results of the ultrasound. The bill also requires, if an ultrasound is performed, that report of abortion indicate whether or not a heartbeat was detected.
Professions and occupations: SB2306 gives licensing authorities discretion whether to suspend, deny or revoke a license based on the applicant or licensee having defaulted or become delinquent on student loan repayment, if the licensing authority determines that the default or delinquency is not the result of a medical hardship.
Election laws: SB2497 reduces from 90 days to 60 days the period before a qualifying deadline for elective office during which nominating petitions may be issued by an administrator or county election commissioner.
Motor vehicles: HB1515 increases from $400 to $1,500 the minimum property damage threshold for which a motor vehicle accident requires a written report to be filed with the Tennessee Department of Safety.
Highways, roads and bridges: SB1783 increases the tax on unregistered or improperly registered freight motor vehicles.
Controlled substances: HB1993 requires health care prescribers to issue prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances electronically by July 1, 2020, with some exceptions.
Licenses: HB1805 exempts certain low-income individuals from initial licensure fees imposed by some health-related boards and professional regulatory boards.
Immigration: HB2315 prohibits state and local governmental entities and officials from adopting sanctuary policies.
Water pollution: SB0619 requires each local board of education to develop a policy to implement a program to reduce the potential sources of lead contamination in drinking water in public schools. The policy should incorporate periodic testing of lead levels in drinking water sources at school facilities constructed prior to Jan. 1, 1998.
Insurance: SB2165 revises requirements regarding coverage for mental health, mental illness, and alcohol or drug dependency, and it requires certain reports.
Education: HB1694 adds and revises various provisions governing teacher training programs.
To see the full list of bills effective Jan. 1, visit www.capitol.tn.gov.