Associated PressAssociated Press
FILE -Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee delivers his State of the State address in the House Chamber of the Capitol building, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. lection security experts for years have urged states to replace outdated voting machines. They say systems that include a paper record of every ballot cast would mean that any disputed results can be verified. Most took that path, but six states did not, five of them Republican-led. But with false claims still swirling around the 2020 presidential election, some GOP voters don't trust voting machines. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Nashville, Tennessee. Legislation signed into law by Republican Gov. Bill Lee will soon add harsher penalties for public schools that allow trans athletes to play sports.

Lee quietly signed the proposal. The governor signed a measure last year requiring student athletes to prove their sex matches on their birth certificate. If a birth certificate was unavailable, the parents must provide another form of evidence to prove the student's sex at the time of birth.

The GOP-controlled Legislature decided to add penalties to the ban this year, even as a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality makes it way through court. The trial will be held in March of 2023.

The bill states that Tennessee's Department of Education would deny state funds to local school districts if they did not determine a student's gender for participation in middle or high school sports. The measure doesn't specify how much money should be taken out of the state.

July 1 is when the bill will take effect.

It is against the law for schools to tell trans students that they can't participate in sports because they are not good enough.

A bill that would ban female college sports players from being transexual is being advanced by the Tennessee legislature. Republicans have pushed to protect schools from civil liability and exempt teachers from being punished for using the pronoun that a student does not like. The General Assembly is expected to approve the proposals.

Tennessee enacted more laws targeting people who are trans last year. It included banning girls from playing sports.

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