Expanded tax free holiday, new 'lifetime' order of protection, and stiffer 'porch pirate' penalties - just some of the new laws enacted July 1st
A number of new laws were enacted yesterday (7/1/21) in Tennessee, the entire list can be seen here.
Here are a few of the new laws:
Sales Tax Holiday now includes food, and features extended dates
The current sales tax holiday weekend is July 30th through August 1st for clothing, school supplies and computers. This new bill adds food, food ingredients, and prepared food (grocery and restaurants) to those same dates, but then the tax-free food continues through Thursday August 5th. Some exclusions (including alcohol and tobacco) apply and can be seen here.
Parents can be charged with 'severe' child abuse if children exposed to certain drugs
A new law protects children from being exposed to dangerous illegal drugs. It expands the definition of “severe child abuse” (as well as Child Neglect and Endangerment) to involve a child being in the presence of or having access to certain extremely dangerous or illegal drugs: cocaine, methamphetamine, or fentanyl.
New 'lifetime' order of protection
To help victims of stalking or domestic violence, a new statute creates a 'lifetime' order of protection that can be issued after certain felony offenses. A victim of felony assault, kidnapping, attempted homicide, or sexual offenses can file a 'lifetime' order of protection against their convicted offender.
Porch Pirates to receive stiffer penalties
Previously, criminals who steal packages from doorsteps, porches, driveways or mailboxes faced penalties determined by the value of the stolen package. Now, however, after the first offense, all following offenses must be charged with at least a Class E felony....with prison times of one to six years as well as fines.
Small business protection if another COVID-like crisis occurs.
The Tennessee Fair Business Act is designed to protect small businesses in the event of another pandemic shutdown in the future. This new law allows businesses to remain open if they follow guidelines issued by ANY government. This act puts all businesses on the same playing field in a declared emergency so that small businesses aren't forced to close, while larger competitors remain open.
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