The Tennessee General Assembly has completed its business for the year and adjourned on Friday, April 21, 2023. This first session of the 113th General Assembly was a successful one for the Tennessee Ambulance Service Association, which successfully advocated for several beneficial policy changes for ambulance services. Details on these successes are below, and please let us know if you have any questions or comments!
This legislation provides $800 to each full- time licensed EMS provider (such as current full-time fire, volunteer fire, and law enforcement) who are allotted this training stipend to cover individual training. EMRs, EMTs, AEMTs, and Paramedics are required to pay for both individual licensure and ongoing training CEUs to maintain licensure up to 42 CEUs. Fifty percent of the CEUs are required to be in a classroom setting. This legislation will assist in offsetting these costs, encouraging participation in EMS programs amid a nationwide shortage.
We appreciate Representative Gary Hicks (R-Rogersville) and Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) for securing this funding. You can send them emails thanking them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
This legislation sunsets each year, and must be renewed by the General Assembly. It funds ambulance services with federal dollars–no state dollars are used. The program helps to address the cost-per-call deficit. The annual assessment is an extremely successful program that has been in existence for several years, designed to address the specific needs of the ambulance service industry to improve access to TennCare patients across Tennessee.
Thank you to Representative Jay Reedy (R-Erin) and Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) for carrying this legislation. You can thank them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Local Option Emergency Services Funding
Legislation passed this year to allow the local government portion of tax revenue received by the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act to be used for emergency services. Previously, this money was only allowed to be spent on local infrastructure projects. The legislation was championed by Senator Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City), and he can be thanked at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reconstitution of EMS Board
Legislation passed this year to reconstitute the EMS board, changing the makeup and modernizing the processes. After support was expressed during last year’s session to restructure the EMS Board, TASA worked diligently with interested parties to ensure that there was proper representation on the board. This bill is important to ensure the continuation of this vital board with a restructure reflecting the input of interested parties.
This legislation was sponsored by Representative Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) and Senator Shane Reeves (R-Murfreesboro). You can thank them via email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMS Grant Pool
This year’s legislative amendment to the TN budget for fiscal year 2023-2024 allocated $2 million to the Department of Health to create a grant pool for the sole purpose of making grants on a competitive basis to emergency medical services organizations across the state, to be used for equipment. The Department of Health will set up requirements for the application and eligibility for these grants, and will likely make them available in the next 6 to 9 months.
The legislative champions of the budget are Representative Patsy Hazlewood (R – Signal Mountain) and Senator Jack Johnson (R – Franklin). Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) was also an important part of securing this funding. You can thank them at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
Tennessee Local Development Authority Public Safety Protection Act of 2023
This legislation creates an avenue for the Local Development Authority to issue low interest or no interest loans to local governments for use in funding the purchase of equipment for firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical services personnel, and emergency communications dispatchers. This new funding mechanism will need to be funded by future budgets, but creates the structure for these loans to be issued.This legislation was sponsored by Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland) and Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin). You can thank them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Thank you to all of you for making your voice heard, and making the 2023 legislative session of the Tennessee General Assembly a successful one!