Bill allowing first responders to live where they choose goes into effect today!
Today, Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 29 into law giving first responders the option to live where they choose. This law, sponsored in the House of Representatives by Majority Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), immediately bans residency requirements for police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services workers statewide excluding Hamilton County. This will also end the current $2,500 annual fine imposed on Shelby County Sheriffs who live outside the county, effectively boosting their pay.
I first introduced legislation on this matter in 2008 and firmly believe this law will increase public safety and help us fight our rising crime rates.
In 2021, the city of Memphis recorded a record-breaking 346 homicides. At least 31 of these victims were under 18, with homicide claiming more lives of children in Shelby County than the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill will mean more boots on the ground to help keep our citizens safer.
The bill was co-sponsored by Shelby County legislators Senator Paul Rose (R-Covington), Representatives John Gillespie (R- Memphis), Tom Leatherwood (R-Arlington), Mark White (R-Memphis), and Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville), as well as Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), Representatives Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna), Dave Wright (R-Corryton), Ron Gant (R-Piperton), William Lamberth (R-Portland), Michael Curcio (R-Dickson), Johnny Garrett (R-Goodlettsville), Rick Eldridge (R-Morristown), Jay Reedy (R-Erin), Greg Vital (R-Harrison), and Debra Moody (R- Covington).
Thank you to Governor Bill Lee and to the local community leaders who supported this bill!