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Three Bills heading to the Governor’s Desk to be signed into law

Protecting taxpayer dollars: The General Assembly this week approved legislation  protecting tax dollars from being used to pay for gender reassignment surgeries for  inmates in Tennessee. House Bill 2619, sponsored by State Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, prohibits the Department of Corrections from using state funds to pay for the procedures or any new hormone replacement therapy for incarcerated individuals statewide. Private funds can still be used to cover the cost of the surgeries and  therapy. House Bill 2619 will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

Divisive concepts: Republican legislation strengthening protections for free  expression at public universities in Tennessee was approved by the General  Assembly this week. House Bill 2784, sponsored by State Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, requires public colleges and universities to investigate alleged violations of the state’s divisive concepts law and report the findings in a timely manner.  Divisive concepts are those that exacerbate and inflame divisions on the basis of  sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin and other criteria in ways that are  contrary to the unity of the United States of America and the well-being of Tennessee and its citizens. House Bill 2784 will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

Human trafficking: The General Assembly this week approved legislation ensuring  the prosecution of human trafficking crimes in Tennessee. House Bill 2611,  sponsored by State Rep. Jason Zachary, R-Knoxville, allows a state or local law enforcement agency to submit evidence to  another district attorney if one district attorney declines to pursue charges in a multi-jurisdictional human trafficking case. The legislation will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

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