2024 TNVET Legislative Agenda

Representatives of the TNVET member organizations met in Nashville on June 3rd, 2023.   We moved up this year’s meeting as we want to approach the Governor’s office with a budget request item, instead of asking the legislature.

The following are the TNVET legislative agenda items agreed to by unanimous consent, per constitutional bylaws:

  1. Electronic Voting for Active Duty.
  2. Medical Cannabis
  3. Restoration of the 2nd free auto license plate for 100% disabled veterans
  4. Identify and Implement processes/procedures that document what the state is accomplishing in hiring qualified veterans within its departments.
  5. Tax Equalization – Changing state law calculations to stop penalizing 100% disabled qualify veterans for property tax relief based on yearly market value fluctuations.


Electronic Voting for Active Duty

We have been working on this for a couple of years. Legislation to allow pilot program to test electronic voting for deployed active duty (includes National Guard and Reserves) service members and families, veterans and families along with state civilians that may be stationed outside the continental U.S.  A very productive meeting held with representatives of the TN Secretary of State, Sen. Bill Powers, Director for the Montgomery County Election Commission, and representatives of TNVET on Sept 12, 2022 in Clarksville, TN.  The goal in 2023 is to work with representatives of the Secretary of State and develop a workable process/concept that addresses security concerns and then in 2024 to pursue legislation that will allow a test of that process/concept. A request for another workshop meeting was made Jun 22, 2023.

The goal, via legislation, is to authorize Montgomery County TN to install and test the process/concept voting system for U.S. military and overseas civilians.  The system must meet measures listed by the federal government and is in accordance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 and Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (“MOVE Act”), Subtitle H – Military Voting, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010, PUBLIC LAW 111–84—OCT. 28, 2009

The electronic absentee request for ballot and submission of completed ballot would still require an electronic handwritten signature that would be compared to that on file.  This may require amendment of TCA 2-6-202 for the purposes of the test.  Any penalties for falsehoods or other deliberate acts inconsistent with state law would apply to the electronic voting process.

The electronic absentee ballot would require a paper copy backup that would be downloaded, printed and scanned in accordance to regular paper absentee ballots.  The appropriate sections of TCA would reflect that requirement.


Medical Cannabis

This is a continuation of an effort that started for TNVET in the 2022 legislative session.  This legislation will allow the medical prescribing and usage. 

There is a federal legislative effort in the works that would allow the states to press ahead with such efforts without any federal interference.  However, this is NOT moving with any speed.  A total of 39 states allow medical cannabis usage.  There is growing evidence that such usage may help with a number of medical issues being experienced by military veterans.  Tennessee veterans should have the same medical treatment and access as their fellow veterans have in surrounding states without having to sneak over the state line to get it. Only two states that touch Tennessee do not have full medical cannabis utilization laws (although both states are ahead of Tennessee on the issue)……North Carolina and Georgia.

Interesting enough, Tennessee legislation/law approved in 2021 (SB0118/HB0490), already recognizes that Medical Cannabis can help the following conditions:

1) Alzheimer’s disease; (2) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); (3) Cancer, when such disease is diagnosed as end stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness, recalcitrant nausea and vomiting, or pain; (4) Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; (5) Epilepsy or seizures; (6) Multiple sclerosis; (7) Parkinson’s disease; (8) Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); and(9) Sickle cell disease.

However, the state will not allow the production, processing or sale of the strength needed for the conditions, but will allow you to bring it into the state if you have the proper medical papers/support.

The 2023 bill that went before the Tennessee Legislature was (SB1104)/House Bill 1441 (HB1441), “Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act”. You may access a copy at the bottom of this webpage or at: https://tnvet.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/SB1104.pdf  It is anticipated that the 2024 effort will basically be the same bill.


Restoration of the 2nd free auto license plate for 100% disabled veterans

What had been available to qualified veterans for years, the second free plate was removed in the 2014 legislative session.  Veterans who qualified for the current one free plate would be restored the privilege to automatically qualify for a free second plate, if needed.


Identify and Implement processes/procedures that document what the state is accomplishing in hiring qualified veterans within its departments.

The State of Tennessee provides hiring preferences to qualified veterans that apply.  What has come to light is there is no tracking to see what numbers of veterans are submitting state job application, how many qualified for jobs and how many were actually selected. Evidence of issues/problems can be found in the “Supporting Document” section below.

In a Jan 25, 2023 meeting with the Commissioner of Veterans Serices, TNVET Executive Board requested and is pursuing resolution of the concern with Tennessee Department of Veterans Services and Tennessee Department of Human Resources.


Tax Equalization

Changing state law calculations to stop penalizing 100% disabled qualify veterans for property tax relief based on yearly market value fluctuations.

State law negatively affects the property tax exemption for these same disable veterans. In Tennessee law, TCA 67-5-704 (2) “Such reimbursement shall be paid on the first one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars ($175,000) of the full market value of such property.” Full Market value is used to adjust (a percentage factor) the appraised value of the property and applied against the $175K property tax exemption.
Example will clarify. In Montgomery County (Clarksville area), if a new property tax appraisal has been performed, the market value and county appraised values are considered equal or 100% (1.0000). Thus, the qualified disable veteran gets a tax refund from the state based on $175K of the county appraised value. Let’s say that refund equals $1000. The next year, market property values in Montgomery county have risen 12%….yet the appraised value will not be adjusted as a county re-evaluation was just done the year before. The state will therefore adjust the property tax exemption refund amount down by 12%. So instead of the veteran getting the $1000 he/she got the year before, they will now get $880. Based on current market growth in Montgomery County the factor/ratio difference between appraised and market is looking to be near 37%. That means the qualified veteran will only get a refund of $630 for the new tax year…..on a property that the county says has not changed in value.
We will work to change the state law to replace the term “market value” in all sections of the law, to the last approved county “ad valorem” rate. This will make the value impact of the $175K property tax relief for veterans equal every year and equally affected all such veterans the same statewide. We will work with the state veteran legislative caucus to sponsor and support this effort.


Supporting Documents For 2024 Legislative Items:

Electronic Voting for Active Duty

Below are references/research for your use.  Place your cursor over the reference article name listed and click.  It will take you directly to the source document.

Ref: https://www.fvap.gov/info/reports-surveys/StateoftheMilitaryVoter

Ref: – Federal Absent Uniform Voters and Overseas Voters Act

Ref: https://www.militarytimes.com/news/2020/07/21/west-virginia-officials-want-other-states-to-adopt-online-voting-for-deployed-troops/

Ref: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/moaa-supports-legislation-to-make-voting-easier-for-deployed-servicemembers/

Ref: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/07/13/lawmakers-pitch-new-voting-system-us-troops-stationed-overseas.html?ESRC=mr_210719.nl

Ref: https://www.govtech.com/policy/federal-bill-would-allow-online-voting-for-overseas-military

Ref: https://www.duckworth.senate.gov/news/press-releases/duckworth-cornyn-introduce-bipartisan-bill-to-increase-voting-access-for-military-voters

Ref: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-117s2328is/pdf/BILLS-117s2328is.pdf

Ref: https://democracylive.com/


Medical Cannabis

The Tennessee Legislative Bill that was considered in the 2023 session was (SB1104)/(HB1441), “Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act”.  You may access a copy of the bill by scrolling to the end of this page and clicking the button.

Medical Cannabis – Federal


Medical Cannabis – Federal


On Medical Marijuana – VA Policy and Veterans -article


Medical Cannabis – The States



Medical Cannabis – Alabama


Medical Cannabis – Arkansas


Medical Cannabis – Florida


Medical Cannabis – Georgia


Medical Cannabis – Kentucky


Medical Cannabis – Mississippi


Medical Cannabis – Missouri


Medical Cannabis – North Carolina




Medical Cannabis – Virginia


Medical Cannabis – Article



Restoration of the 2nd free auto license plate for 100% disabled veterans

History: In 2014, legislation sponsored by Green and Burk, removed the 2nd free plate and authorized that funding to shift to provide for one (1) free valor plate (Air Medal, Bronze Star, etc) for those that qualified. TNVET has tried since 2016 (when we started the organization) to restore the 2nd plate for the disabled veterans. Every year it passes through every legislative committee with flying colors. The problem is the funding has not been provided in any year by the Governor nor by the legislative bodies….who do get a small pot of money each session to spend on items they wish to fund. The cost of funding the second plate was just under $300,000 for the fiscal year starting Jul 1. 2023. It is evident, after trying for 8 years, that the legislature will not prioritize this request high enough to enable funding.
At Issue: TNVET, in talking with members of the veteran organizations across the state, cannot find anyone that was aware of the action/request/reaction to sponsor such a bill back in 2014. While there is no rejection of providing for valor plates, the cost differential was to the State of Tennessee’s benefit. Less than 2,000 valor plates have been requested, but over 9,000 free 2nd plates for the disabled veterans were eliminated. This bill/action was a cost savings to the state. Based on our research, the elimination of the 2nd plate was used to financially support the valor plates.
Action to be taken: TNVET will take a different approach for the upcoming 2024 session. We are currently in communication with the Chairman of the Legislative Veteran Caucus (Rep. Reedy). TNVET is requesting that members of the Caucus representing both the House and Senate approach the Governor’s office with a proposal that the 2nd plate funding be provided in his 2024 budget submission to the legislature. Funding would remain for the valor plates.
IF TNVET is unable to secure support in the Governor’s budget for the 2nd plate, the proposed legislative action will be dropped.

Ref: The bill that removed two option – https://trackbill.com/bill/tennessee-house-bill-1736-special-license-plates-as-enacted-revises-and-clarifies-various-provisions-of-law-regarding-veteran-and-military-related-license-plates-amends-tca-title-55-chapter-4-and-chapter-318-of-the-public-acts-of-2013/639425/

Ref: Failed action (2019) to restore the two plate option – https://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/110/Bill/SB0514.pdf

Ref: Failed action (2022) to restore two-plate option – https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB2045


Identify and Implement processes/procedures that document what the state is accomplishing in hiring qualified veterans within its departments.

Ref: https://www.newschannel5.com/longform/is-tbi-fudging-truth-on-veterans-law

Ref: https://www.newschannel5.com/news/newschannel-5-investigates/tbi-hiring-practices-spark-new-veterans-legislation

Ref: https://tennesseelookout.com/2022/06/02/tennessee-slapped-with-suit-alleging-a-failure-to-give-veterans-employment-preferences/


Tax Equalization
This website shows the state’s expected adjustment based on the equalization formulas for each county.  1.000 means the qualified veteran will get 100% of the expected property tax relief based on the rate utilized.  Anything less than 1.000 means the qualified veteran’s tax relief will be reduce by the difference of 1.000 and the equalization rate shown…..example: if a county is shown with an equalized rate of .7000, then the veteran will lose 30% (1.000 – .7000) of their full tax relief potential.