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How new state laws will effect local municipalities

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By Mac Trammell
The State of Tennessee passed 181 new laws, including abortion regulations and increased cigarette costs, that went into effect July 1.
One of the abortion laws, Bill SB1222, “implements a 48-hour waiting period on procuring an abortion.”
Planned Parenthood CEO Ashley Coffield found the law to be problematic.
“It can delay an abortion to later in pregnancy,” she said, “moving the procedure from a medical abortion to a surgical abortion.”
She also noted that the 48-hour rule adds additional costs to the patient that will especially weigh more heavily on poor women.
The other new legislature regarding abortion (Bill SB1280) is currently on hold due to a judge’s decision to issue a restraining order on the law. The bill provides that any abortion clinic which provides more than 50 abortions a year must be licensed as an “ambulatory surgical treatment center,” a costly maneuver for clinics that are not already deemed as such.
Only two clinics could be affected by the law, and both are in East Tennessee.
“As far as I know, there are no providers in Shelby Count or West Tennessee that will be affected by it,” Coffield said.
The two clinics in the area are both already ambulatory surgical treatment centers.
As for the cigarette law (Bill SB0199), according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the “cost of doing business” fee will increase from 41 cents a pack to 76 cents a pack in 2017. Local officials did not have enough information on the law to comment.
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald commented on Bill SB1128, which bans the use of traffic enforcement cameras as a basis for issuing speeding tickets as soon as contracts for the cameras expire.
“It won’t affect what we’re doing right now,” he said. “We don’t have them, stationary unmanned speed cameras. We do have a couple devices that will show you your speed limit and clock it,” but he went on to say that those are not used to photograph drivers.”
Germantown officials also said they do not have any speed cameras, but do have red light cameras which take a still shot of cars running red lights.
“Germantown has never had speed enforcement cameras,” said Stacey Ewell, assistant to the city administrator.
She also emphasized that the town’s red light cameras do not record speed, only that they take still pictures.
Collierville also uses traffic cameras. However, they are only used for vehicle detection at intersections to help with traffic flow.
“The system we have will not record anything about a vehicle – type, color, license, etc.,” said Mark Heuberger, public information director for the town. “They are strictly used for traffic at several intersections in the town.”
Another law passed was an addendum to the “Good Samaritan” law (HB537), which already gives citizens the right to break into a locked car in order to save a young child.
Now that law also extends to pets, and Captain Tina Schaber of the Bartlett Police Department believes the law will “save lots of our pets.”
“Pets are living creatures like we are, and, for the most part, they’re considered parts of our family,” she said.
In order to comply with the law, she said, you must contact authorities before breaking into the vehicle and do as little damage as possible. She also mentioned that you must leave a note for the owner, describing what you are going to do with the animal.
Other laws passed by the state include:
• The uninsured driver penalty raising 200 percent to $300.
• More stringent panhandling laws.
• Life long handgun permits acquisitions for $500.
• Strengthened penalties against spectators of animal fights.
• Putting microchips in Class I Carnivores such as tigers or wolves.
• Officers being able to wire tap in human trafficking cases.
• Removing a rapist’s parental rights when the child is conceived.

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