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Tennessee lawmakers to hold special session focused on COVID

The special session kickoff also marks the third time lawmakers call themselves into action in Tennessee history without the governor.
Tennessee State Capitol
Tennessee State Capitol(Action News 5)
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 7:33 AM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s General Assembly on Wednesday will once again meet for a special legislative session this year, with the latest round dedicated to addressing COVID-19 measures after Republican Gov. Bill Lee declined to do so.

The special session kickoff also marks the third time lawmakers call themselves into action in Tennessee history without the governor.

President Joe Biden’s administration will likely be the main target, though his workplace vaccine order trumps state authority. School board members could be required to declare a party affiliation and mask mandates in schools could be banned.

Furthermore, GOP legislative leaders have indicated they could even try to circumvent elected district attorneys if they publicly decline to enforce certain policies, including the governor’s school mask opt-out order.

Several bills have already been filed including one that would ban mask mandates in schools.

Another bill would allow workers who are required by private employers to get vaccines to receive workers comp if there are any side effects.

Lee has repeatedly resisted requests to hold a special session focused solely on COVID-19 even as GOP lawmakers have become steadily disgruntled at local mandates that have been implemented sporadically around the state.

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