New Tennessee laws taking effect include changes to ‘slow poke’ law


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Changes to the “slow poke law” and a way to address teacher shortages are just some of the dozens of new laws set to take effect tomorrow in Tennessee.

The “slow poke” law now extends to divided highways with two or more lanes in each direction.

It used to apply to only divided highways of three lanes.

Slower drivers not using the left lane to pass can be fined $50.

Exemptions include construction areas that are under a 45-mile-per hour speed limit.

Another new law extends to elected county or city officials who have a handgun carry permit.

They can take their weapon into a judicial building, but not the room where the judicial proceedings are in progress.

Statewide teacher shortages are partly addressed in a law that encourages partnerships between a school district and a local university.

Modeled after what’s called a “Grow Your Own” program in Montgomery County with Austin Peay State University, school districts with approval from the state education department can reduce class sizes by one or two students.

Money saved from fewer teacher salaries can be used to develop local kids to become teachers in their hometown districts.

The new laws include some passed during the 2019 legislative session. One of which involves Gov. Bill Lee’s “GIVE” act to get more high schools into vocational training. The measure will allow students to obtain both a “GIVE” grant and a lottery-funded for HOPE scholarship.

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