Behavior Analysts Licensing Committee Legislative Update

If you wish to review any of the following Public Chapters in their entirety, please visit:

Legislative Update 2019: Board of Behavioral Analysts

Public Chapter 61

This act states that an entity responsible for an AED program is immune from civil liability for personal injury caused by maintenance or use of an AED if such conduct does not rise to the level of willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence.

This act took effect on March 28, 2019.

 Public Chapter 131

This act requires professionals certified or licensed under Title 63 or Title 68 to complete a suicide prevention training at least once every four years beginning January 1, 2020.

This act was signed by the governor on April 9, 2019.

 Public Chapter 144

This act limits the places in which one may use vapor products.  The act defines vapor products and prohibits the use of such products in a number of locations including child care centers, group care homes, healthcare facilities (excluding nursing homes), residential treatment facilities, school grounds, and several other areas.  Several locations have specific exceptions put forth in the statute.

This act took effect on April 17, 2019.

 Public Chapter 214

This act permits private businesses to adopt the Healthy Workplace policy created by TACIR, which initially only applied to government entities. However, nothing in this act creates a cause of action against an employer who does not adopt the model policy. Further, this act makes adoption of such policy permissible—not mandatory.

This act took effect April 23, 2019.

 Public Chapter 243

This act mandates that an agency that requires a person applying for a license to engage in an occupation, trade, or profession in this state to take an examination must provide appropriate accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Any state agency that administers a required examination for licensure shall promulgate rules in regard to eligibility criteria. This act does not apply to an examination mandated and administered pursuant to federal law. This legislation was introduced to assist individuals with dyslexia.

 This act took effect May 2, 2019 for the purpose of promulgating rules, and for all other purposes, takes effect July 1, 2020.

 Public Chapter 255

The act permits a medical professional who has a current license to practice from another state, commonwealth territory, or the District of Columbia is exempt from the licensure requirements of such boards if: (1) the medical professional is a member of the armed forces; and (2) the medical professional is engaged in the practice of the medical profession listed in 68-1-101 through a partnership with the federal Innovative Readiness Training. The respective health boards may promulgate rules for implementation.

This act took effect April 18, 2019 for the purpose of promulgating rules, and for all other purposes, takes effect July 1, 2019.

 Public Chapter 259

This act allows a licensed nonresidential office-based opiate treatment facility to employ or contract with a physician if: (1) the facility has a physician in the ownership structure; and (2) the employment relationship is evidenced by a written contract. The contract must contain language that does not restrict a physician from exercising independent professional medical judgement in regard to his/her patients.

This act took effect April 30, 2019.

 Public Chapter 359

This act creates civil liability for the unlicensed practice of psychotherapy. A provider must have a license under Title 63 in order to treat a mental health disorder and practice without a license is illegal. Several exemptions are listed in the act. The act does not expand or restrict the scope of practice for any person holding a license under title 63.

This act was goes into effect July 1, 2019.

 Public Chapter 447

This act permits law enforcement agencies to subpoena materials and documents pertaining to an investigation conducted by the Department of Health prior to formal disciplinary charges being filed against the provider. This bill was brought by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

This act went into effect May 22, 2019.


This act establishes a grant program to assist sheriffs required to transport persons to a hospital or treatment resource for emergency mental health transport. A sheriff may contract with one or more third parties in order to facilitate the transportation discussed above, and may reimburse such third parties with money received from the grant program. If telehealth services are offered by a hospital or treatment center, it may elect to conduct an evaluation for admission via telehealth. The department of finance and administration, the department of mental health and substance abuse, and the division of TennCare shall develop and implement the grant program.

This act is awaiting signature by the governor and will go into effect July 1, 2019.