NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Senate has passed a controversial bill that would require families who get healthcare help from TennCare to work, volunteer or go to school to keep getting their benefits.
The Senate passed the bill by a 23-2 vote Thursday morning after the House approved it back in March. A spokesperson for Governor Bill Haslam said he will defer to the will of the legislature, but there's no word on when he'll sign it.
The bill would require anyone receiving TennCare benefits from the state to spend 20 hours each week either working, volunteering or going to school.
In March, Rep. Dan Howell (R-Georgetown) said the goal of the bill is to help people to become self-sufficient, productive citizens. However, others say the bill would put a huge burden on Tennesseans, like parents of children older than 6, or parents of children with conditions that require their care.
The new rule does have some leeway. For example, those with children under six-years-old would be exempt.