Many lawmakers are leaving Tennessee General Assembly Read more POLL: Have you been prescribed opioids to treat surgery pain?
NASHVILLE — Tennessee lawmakers head to the state Capitol this week to begin annual work in an election-year session expected to be relatively short and, legislative leaders hope, sweeter than usual with fewer anticipated controversies awaiting them.
Expected issues include new legislation aimed at addressing the state’s opioid crisis, with 6,000 Tennesseans’ deaths over the last five years attributed to legal and illegal painkillers.
That has been a big issue for House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, who is running for governor, one of 21 or more lawmakers departing the General Assembly after this year.
Also on the agenda are recommendations by a legislative juvenile justice task force convened over the summer aimed at focusing on the most at-risk youths while safely reducing the estimated 1,000 kids in Department of Children’s Services’ custody by 36 percent.
Projected savings would be plowed into community-based or in-home programs.
State House Speaker