Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Friday signed the COVID-19 omnibus bill into law.
This, according to a press release that Lee’s office published Friday evening.
Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) celebrated the passage of the bill on Twitter.
“A big win 4 upholding the constitutional rights of all citizens! Proud that we protected parental rights & the ability of Tennesseans to make health decisions free of government intrusion & coercion while also drawing a line in the sand against Biden’s unconstitutional overreach,” Sexton tweeted.
The Nashville-based NewsChannel 5 reported that the law will impact how schools, businesses, and local health boards operate and their mandating masks and vaccines.
“We had a federal government who required businesses against their will who required employees against their will, to make a personal health decision which is an egregious overreach by the federal government,” Lee reportedly said.
The legislation was amended to become an “omnibus” bill to incorporate provisions included in several other bills.
According to votesmart.org, omnibus bills contain multiple proposed statutes, appropriations, or amendments within a single document.
“Essentially, omnibus bills are a consolidation of multiple bills, oftentimes funding measures for different government agencies or departments, that will be voted on and treated as a single provision, rather than separately,” the website said.
According to the Nashville-based FOX 17, the bill also allows entertainment venues to let people show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry.
“Government entities, including public schools, could only require masks when a county has registered at least 1,000 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the previous two weeks; the metric must be met every two weeks to continue renewing a mask mandate; religious and medical exemptions must be offered,” the station reported.
“Schools that institute a mask mandate must provide N95-equivalent masks for students and staff, and schools would be banned from using state money for any mask requirement. Exemptions from mask and vaccine limitations would include entities such as airports, paramedics, hospitals and other health care providers, and industries that require masks regardless of COVID-19. Exemptions to the limitations on mask requirements alone would include private businesses and correctional facilities.”
Also, people fired for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for unemployment benefits, including retroactively.
“Additionally, Lee signed Executive Order 92, which suspends a previous order that gave parents a choice to opt their children out of mask requirements in public schools,” according to Lee’s press release.
“The new order comes alongside the passage of SB 9014, which statutorily prevents government entities and public schools from requiring masks except under severe conditions.”
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