Family and Personal:
Sen. Bell is married with five children. He is a business owner and farmer.
He is a member of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, McMinn County Republican Party, National Wild Turkey Federation, Safari Club International, National Rifle Association, and Ducks Unlimited.
He is also a member of the Chambers of Commerce in the Athens Area, Etowah, Cleveland/Bradley, and the counties of Meigs, Monroe, and Polk.
Councils and Boards:
He is chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee and Co-Chair of the Tennessee Sportsmen’s Caucus.
Senator Mike Bell (R): District 9, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Bell sponsored a record breaking six bills chosen by TLRC to score. He endorsed four more of TLRC chosen bills with his co-sponsorship:
SB0451/HB0881 – Bell/Terry – Increases penalties for rioters from out of state (“Aggravated” rioter) (passed).
SB0623/HB0580 – Bell/Ragan – The teaching of Critical Race Theory is prohibited in TN public schools (passed).
SB0717/HB1047 – C. Sexton/McNally/Bell – No probation or parole for child sex abusers (passed).
SB1034/HB1513 – Cochran/Bell – Creates a database for approved supplemental material for teachers. This makes clear the distinction between acceptable instructional material and that which is prohibited, making it easier for teachers to comply with the new laws prohibiting certain material (passed).
SB1036/HB1537 – Bell/Weaver – Prohibits interference with Textbook & Instructional Materials Quality Commission or their decisions (by the Dept. of Education or the Administration) (passed).
SB1267/HB1233 – Bell/Zachary – Authorizes a third restroom facility for the gender-conflicted (passed).
He endorsed four more of TLRC chosen bills with his co-sponsorship:
SB0187/HB0013 – Bowling/Hulsey – Prohibits forced vaccines within state and local government entities. It does not prohibit private business from requiring vaccines for employment (passed with weakening amendments).
SB0228/HB0003 – Hensley/Cepicky – Protects female athletes by prohibiting biological males from participating in women’s sports (passed).
SB0474/HB0855 – Powers/Powers – All businesses are essential in emergencies; no discrimination allowed (passed).
SJR2 – Kelsey – Puts Right-to-Work into our Tennessee constitution, making it much more difficult to rescind (passed).
Senator Bell lost leadership points because of two bills he supported that TLRC opposed:
SB0736/HB0141 – Johnson/Lamberth (a Governor’s bill with which we take issue) – Special tax exemption for the film and video industry which was supported by a large majority of the General Assembly (passed). TLRC does not support special carve-outs for cherry-picked industries. The government should not be picking winners and losers.
SB0783/HB1204 – Massey/Zachary – Authorizes a special sales and use tax allocation to finance Randy Boyd’s Baseball stadium in Knoxville at the expense of Tennessee taxpayers. Boyd is a mega millionaire (passed).
Media Stories on the subject:
Boyd Sports to Profit from Events Held at Taxpayer-Funded Stadium – Tennessee Star
TLRC opposed those bills on fairness, constitutional, and fiscal-responsibility principles.
TLRC was disappointed in Senator Bell for his choice of Medical Cannabis bills. He and his colleagues appeared to support Medical Cannabis (its polling approval is eighty percent and above!). They accommodated “Big Pharma” by passing a “kick-the-can bill” that forms a commission to see if Tennessee needs Medical Cannabis (SB0118/HB0490
They later amended the bill to allow suffering Tennesseans to go out of state to purchase medical cannabis and transport it back into Tennessee—two actions which violate federal law (seldom-enforced federal felonies).
Another bill (SB0854/HB0621 – Bowling/Rudder) seems much more protective of state’s rights and opportunity for control, safety, and revenue. SB0854, in keeping with the required intrastate authorization, requires state residency majority ownership to grow, produce, and sell Medical Cannabis. That bill was ruled “unconstitutional” by Senator Bell. He said, “…it violates the interstate prohibition of requiring residency.” The bill is not an interstate program; by required design it is intrastate. SB0854
Thirty-seven other states have already made Medical Cannabis legal! Those thirty-seven states have followed the legal path of using the Rohrabacher Amendment, which has been annually attached to the Federal Omnibus Budget since 2024. It provides a legal, intrastate required program within each state.
They say they want to “study it” until cannabis is taken off Schedule 1. Once taken off, “Big Pharma” (and pharmacists) could produce synthetic versions which can be patented, dispensed, and invested in. They could allow big companies in countries where it is legal to come into Tennessee and provide “Big Pharma” versions.
We wonder: is this a control and money-making decision? They disregarded a legal, intrastate choice and passed an illegal, $1,000,000 study commission and included the federal felony of an interstate program.
Senator Bell sponsored seventy-two bills, forty-three of which passed into law, six of which TLRC scored. To access, go here.
We do not need more laws; we need better laws, and enforcement of the laws already on the books. The grassroots are looking for courage in our legislators: courage to stand up for constitutional principles over pressure from leadership and paid lobbyists. Mike Bell could be that warrior. He represents a very conservative district and should reflect their values.
We are at a crisis point and now is the time to stand for the people instead of special interests, the wealthy, and well-connected, and against those who assume power through corruption and coercion. If we do not, we could very well lose our republic and our liberties.
Transparency bill: comptroller audits of entities not open to public scrutiny
Increased penalties for rioters from out of state ("Aggravated" rioter)
Rules and authorizations of textbooks and instructional materials, disallowing Common Core aligned material.
Tax exemptions for the film, video industry
Common Core material prohibited in our public schools
Prohibits interference with Textbook & Instructional Materials Quality Commission, or their decisions.