Knox County Representative sponsors health board bill at the state level

Knox County Representative Jason Zachary sponsoring House Bill 007 to give the mayors in counties with a health board the power to make health decisions.
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 8:13 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -The six counties in Tennessee with their own health boards, including Knox County, are allowed to make their own decisions on mask mandates.

Knox County Representative Jason Zachary sponsoring House Bill 7 stated:

“Public Health - As introduced, specifies that the county mayor has the authority to establish and implement health policies that affect the entire county during a county-wide health emergency; directs the county health director, health officer, and board of health to provide advice to the mayor to develop the policies; applies only in Shelby, Davidson, Knox, Hamilton, Sullivan, and Madison counties. - Amends TCA Title 5 and Title 68, Chapter 2, Part 6.”

Zachary wants the Health Department to take an advisory role.

“These health boards have been basically been given legislative and executive authority. This bill addresses this. I don’t see this bill as a partisan issue- I don’t see it as a left or right issue. It’s really not fair to the health board,” said Zachary.

Zachary said this is an issue he keeps getting calls about.

“It’s not really fair for the people right now who serve us right now on the health board. We need their advice. This does not absolve the health board, that stays in place; it simply moves them to an advisory role. And in our case, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs would have the final say,” said Zachary.

The bill won’t be voted on until the next session in 2021.

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