Representative David Byrd: District 71 Capitol Hill Update
July 8, 2021
Session Highlights from 112th General Assembly
Children / Evelyn’s Law –Public Chapter 107 creates Evelyn Boswell’s Law, named after a Sullivan County 15-month-old who was found dead after her mother failed to report her missing to the authorities for months. Under the bill, parents in Tennessee who do not report children missing to law enforcement within 24 hours could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
Children / Eli’s Law – Public Chapter 568 puts more guardrails in place to protect children from abusive parents. It allows the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) to investigate the birth of subsequent children born to parents who have had a previous child removed from their custody.
Children / Severe Child Abuse / Exposure to Dangerous Drugs – Public Chapter 508 expands the definition of “severe child abuse” to involve their exposure to certain extremely dangerous or illegal drugs. It provides an individual that knowingly allows a child to be in the presence of and have accessibility to such drugs as cocaine, methamphetamine or fentanyl will be guilty of severe child abuse.
Children / Child Neglect and Endangerment / Exposure to Dangerous Drugs - Public Chapter 511 expands this definition of child neglect and endangerment to include the exposure of a child to methamphetamine or any other dangerous drug that is not Schedule VI, which is marijuana and its equivalents. Offenders are subject to a Class A misdemeanor unless it is a child 8 years old or under, which would be a Class D felony.