Decrease State Revenue - Exceeds $5,700/FY17-18 and Subsequent Years
Increase State Expenditures - $170,500/FY17-18
$104,900/FY19-20 and Subsequent Years
Decrease Local Revenue - Exceeds $7,600/FY17-18 and Subsequent Years
Other Fiscal Impact - To the extent the Attorney General declines to defend the act, and the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives elect to employ the services of legal counsel to defend the act, the increase in state expenditures is estimated to exceed $100,000.
The provisions of the bill could jeopardize federal funding if it is determined the state is noncompliant with federal law. The Bureau of TennCare reports that if someone is denied coverage that would otherwise be eligible by virtue of being in a same-sex marriage, and such action is considered noncompliant with federal law, then the Bureaus federal funding, approximately $7,163,104,200 in FY17-18, could be in jeopardy. The Department of Human Services reports that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds the department receives could also be in jeopardy. These funds total over $2 billion.
This bill states that it is the policy of this state to defend natural marriage as recognized by the people of Tennessee, in the Constitution and laws of the state of Tennessee, consistent with natural law, and the written United States Constitution. This bill further states that natural marriage between one man and one woman as recognized by the people of Tennessee remains the law in Tennessee, regardless of any court decision to the contrary. This bill states that the United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, and any other decision purporting to strike down natural marriage, is unauthoritative, void, and of no effect.
This bill further provides that if the attorney general and reporter declines to defend this bill or any other law prohibiting the recognition of marriage other than natural marriage in Tennessee, the speaker of the house of representatives and the speaker of the senate may employ legal counsel to defend the constitutionality of the law.
This bill prohibits state and local agencies and officials from:
(1) Giving force or effect to any court order that has the effect of violating Tennessee's laws protecting natural marriage; or
(2) Levying upon the property or arresting the person of any government official or individual who does not comply with any unlawful court order regarding natural marriage within Tennessee.
This bill requires a clerk, upon receiving a completed application for a marriage license, to electronically submit the application to the office of vital records. The office of vital records must determine whether the license applied for would entitle the applicants to enter into a lawful and valid marriage pursuant to the state constitution and inform the clerk of the determination within three working days of receipt. If issuance of the marriage license would enable the applicants to enter into an unlawful and invalid marriage, the clerk must deny the application. If the issuance of the marriage license would enable the applicants to enter into a lawful and valid marriage, the clerk will issue the marriage license; provided, that the application meets all other statutory requirements for issuance of a marriage license. The three-day waiting period may run concurrently with any period during which the clerk waits for a determination by the office of vital records pursuant to this bill.