Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) on Friday announced that the two leaders will consider an additional special legislative session to address COVID-19 mandates throughout the state.
The response from the two state legislature leaders follows a decision by Governor Bill Lee to call a special session to advance work for the new Ford electric vehicle and battery plant.
“The Ford megasite deal is transformational for Tennessee, and we look forward to working with Gov. Lee to finalize this project as part of his special session call for Ford Motor Company. At the same time, we have heard from many Tennesseans seeking relief from burdensome Covid-19 mandates being imposed upon them. We are working together per our state constitution to call an additional special session upon the completion of the megasite session to address issues surrounding Covid -19,” McNally and Sexton said in an emailed statement.
The two lawmakers’ decision seemingly contradicts what Lee detailed when calling the special session.
“While we have business to do in the legislature, we will continue to stand up for parents in court. I am renewing my mask opt out order & will work with the AG to challenge the federal rulings that inappropriately legislated from the bench,” Lee said on Twitter.
The special session on October 18 will stay focused on next steps for the Memphis Regional Megasite, and we’ll stand up for parents in court.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) September 30, 2021
“The special session on October 18 will stay focused on next steps for the Memphis Regional Megasite, and we’ll stand up for parents in court.”
However, for weeks, state lawmakers and concerned citizens have called on Lee and other leaders to call a special session to address COVID-19 mandates, especially in response to multiple judges blocking the implementation of an executive order that allows parents to opt their children out of mask mandates in schools.
Approximately 200 individuals gathered in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on Monday to protest a mask mandate implemented by Knox County Schools and other broad regulations, suggesting a special session is an answer to the problem.
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