Legislature’s Ad Hoc Committee on Emergency Powers Made Reform Recommendations That May Not Go Into Effect for Six Years

A joint Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers in a meeting held Tuesday agreed to pass along their recommendations for reforming Tennessee law regarding the declaration of a state of emergency and powers granted to the executive branch during such emergency.
Of note is that the agreed-upon reforms are not recommended to go into effect until the current administration leaves. Additionally, the recommendations do not address the constitutionality of current state law.

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Expert Testimony on Study of Emergency Powers: Governor Lee’s Executive Orders Consistent with Powers Granted in State Law

In testimony to the Joint Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers Thursday, retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and president and dean of Nashville School of Law William C. Koch, Jr. said Governor Bill Lee’s executive orders are entirely consistent with the inherent power in his office and granted to him in state statute.

The 17-member ad hoc committee, consisting of five senators and 12 representatives, was established by the respective speakers of each house at the request of members in light of the emergency status caused by COVID-19.

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