Tenn./Va. (WJHL) — New laws will launch into effect in Tennessee and Virginia in 2022, so News Channel 11 compiled a list of changes communities in the Tri-Cities will notice in the upcoming year.
One new law to take effect in Tennessee will include the teacher discipline law, which allows teachers to remove students who cause repeated disruptions.
The law allows educators to deny a student entry back into their classroom and requires administrators to either find a temporary new placement for the student or overrule the teacher via a committee decision.
House Bill 0419 adds chiropractic services to the list of healthcare services that may be covered by TennCare medical assistance, as long as the services are provided by those authorized under Tennessee law.
Another law, HB0870, deals with restitution for victims of crime. The legislation outlines a list of funds paid out in criminal cases and ensures that victims are paid restitution first before any court fees and costs are covered.
The law also rolls back the requirement for courts to consider a defendant’s ability to repay restitution. Courts will still be authorized to take a defendant’s financial situation into consideration and adjust their judgements, but are no longer required to do so.
Also going into effect on Jan. 1 includes the 2021 Precious Cargo Act, which establishes procedures for those living with intellectual or developmental disabilities to communication specific needs to law enforcement and first responders.
Another law will include the Tennessee Election Integrity Act, which requires that certain absentee ballots include a watermark approved by election coordinators and requires that a counting board official verify the ballot.
Sen. Jon Lundberg (R. – Bristol) helped introduced a law aimed to protected vulnerable populations in Tennessee. The law will require a petition for an appointment of a conservator to include results from the Department of Health’s registry of people who have abused, neglected or misappropriated property of vulnerable people.
An election law change will disallow convenient voting centers that did not use early satellite voting centers in November’s election.
A new Virginia law taking effect July 1 will move municipal elections for local government and school board positions from May to November.
Next, minimum insurance coverage for drivers in Virginia is set to increase. Effective Jan. 1, drivers will be required to have $30,000 in minimum coverage for the death or injury of one person or $60,000 for two or more people.
Also, Virginia residents will see a minimum wage boost. The minimum wage is set to increase from $9.50 per hour to $11 per hour. The same law lays out requirements for later wage increases up to $15 per hour in 2026.
Another law going into effect will include a shift in primary elections from the second Tuesday to the third Tuesday in June. Candidates will have through the third Tuesday in June to file nomination papers.
Starting on Jan. 1, cosmetic manufacturers will no longer be allowed to test products on animals. This includes importing cosmetic products that were developed using animal testing, which will be prohibited in Virginia.