A spokesman for Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) on Thursday shared McNally’s views on whether state legislators should still convene for a special session.
“While Lt. Governor McNally is firmly against government vaccine passports, he is extremely reticent to place restrictions on private business,” said McNally spokesman Adam Kleinheider, via email.
“Religious and medical exceptions to mandates are very common and Lt. Governor McNally believes those kind of exceptions should be available in most cases. At this time, Lt. Governor McNally does not believe a special session is necessary but will work with Speaker Sexton and Governor Lee if one is called.”
Members of the Williamson County-based Tennessee Stands said this week that members of the Tennessee General Assembly should still hold a special session.
Tennessee Stands Executive Director Gary Humble said in an emailed message to his supporters that Tennesseans and a majority of members of the Tennessee House of Representatives want a special session. This, Humble said, “to address a host of issues currently plaguing our state.”
“Yet, nothing. Our legislators have an obligation to protect and defend the individual liberties of all people of this state, regardless of the policies of the governor’s office or the leaning of any political party,” Humble wrote.
“And where our General Assembly has not only a constitutionally prescribed duty to protect these liberties but also the power and authority to do so by calling itself to a special session, the act of not doing so is then construed to engage in actively oppressing the people of this state.”
Doug Kufner, speaking for Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), cited Article II, Section 8 of the Tennessee State Constitution. That passages says the General Assembly may, by joint resolution, recess or adjourn until such time or times as it shall determine. Legislators will convene at other times when called by the governor. They will also convene when called upon by the presiding officers of both state houses — at the written request of two-thirds of the members of each house.
“Speaker Sexton and all members of the House Republican Caucus have already asked the governor for a special session to address several COVID-related issues legislatively,” Kufner said via email Wednesday.
“The House stands ready to act, should the call for a special session come.”
– – –