Gov. Lee Says State Will Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ to Defend Heartbeat Bill in Court

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday the state will do “whatever it takes” to defend the pro-life Heartbeat Bill in court.

U.S. District Judge William “Chip” Campbell in Nashville blocked the pro-life measure just hours after Gov. Lee signed it into law Monday.

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Liberals Praise Trump-Appointed Judge for Blocking Tennessee’s Heartbeat Bill

Pro-abortion advocates praised a Trump-appointed judge for blocking Tennessee’s Heartbeat Bill from becoming law.

U.S. District Judge William “Chip” Campbell in Nashville blocked the pro-life measure just hours after Gov. Bill Lee signed it into law Monday. Campbell’s mother, Beth Campbell, serves as a Republican National Committee member for Tennessee, the Tennessee Republican Party confirmed.

“An activist judge barely waited until the ink was dry to promote his own pro-choice view. We cannot allow the lives of unborn children to be jeopardized by radical judges. As your Senator, I will only vote to confirm justices who stick to the Constitution,” said Manny Sethi, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

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Trump Approves Disaster Declaration for 20 Tennessee Counties Impacted by May Storms

The federal government granted Gov. Bill Lee’s request this week for a major disaster declaration for 20 Tennessee counties impacted by severe weather in early May.

President Donald Trump announced in a Thursday press release that he approved the declaration, which will make federal funding available for state and local recovery efforts in the affected areas.

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Tennessee Highway Patrol Arrests Left-Wing Activist Justin Jones and Other Protestors

Authorities have released left-wing activist Justin Jones from the Davidson County Jail after Tennessee Highway Patrol officers arrested him and several other activists at Legislative Plaza.

As reported, Jones and several of those activists have taken turns occupying that space for weeks as they demand a meeting with Gov. Bill Lee.

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Cohen Urges Lee to Remove Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust, Rename State Park

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) urged Gov. Bill Lee to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the State Capitol and rename a state park that bears his name.

In a letter sent to Lee Monday, Cohen asked the Republican governor to “demonstrate leadership on an issue that causes so much pain in the Black community in Tennessee.”

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Gov. Lee Announces Law Enforcement Reform Partnership to Improve Police Training, Policies

Gov. Bill Lee announced a new partnership last week with law enforcement agencies across the state in an effort to reform policing in Tennessee.

“The intent of this partnership is the desire to ensure law enforcement are consistently reflecting the values of the communities they serve,” Lee explained in a press release.

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Gov. Bill Lee Grants County Mayors Authority to Issue Mask Mandates

Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Friday granting the mayors of 89 counties the authority to issue local face mask mandates.

Six Tennessee counties – Sullivan, Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Madison, and Shelby – have local health departments, and therefore already have the authority to issue mask requirements as needed, Lee’s office explained.

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Tennessee Planned Parenthood Members Burn American Flag in Defense of Abortion

Members of the Tennessee chapter of Planned Parenthood gathered at an unspecified location this week and posted a Twitter video of themselves incinerating an American flag.

Those same Planned Parenthood members then placed the burning flag into a garbage container before someone extinguished the flames with a fire extinguisher.

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Dave Ramsey Expands Headquarters in Williamson County, Adds New Jobs

Ramsey Solutions CEO Dave Ramsey announced this week that the Williamson County-based Ramsey Solutions will invest $52 million to expand its corporate headquarters in Franklin and create 600 jobs.

Ramsey announced this in a press release on the Tennessee Department of Community and Economic Development’s website. Ramsey announced this with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and ECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe.

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Abortion Groups Sue Tennessee Over Newly-Passed Heartbeat Bill, Down Syndrome Abortion Restrictions

Bill Lee

Tennessee was immediately sued by a cohort of liberal organizations Friday after the General Assembly passed its pro-life heartbeat bill.

The bill passed the Tennessee House in a vote of 69-17 and was then approved by the Tennessee Senate 23-5.

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Law Enforcement Officers Prevent Protesters from Occupying Legislative Plaza for Second Night

Law enforcement officers were able to prevent demonstrators from camping out in Legislative Plaza for a second night Saturday.

Gov. Bill Lee failed to enforce state law Friday night and allowed left-wing protesters to occupy the plaza throughout the night and into Saturday morning, The Tennessee Star reported. More than 100 protesters claimed Friday that they had taken control of Nashville’s Legislative Plaza and refused to leave until speaking with Lee.

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Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon Join Calls to Remove Confederate Statues in Tennessee

Taylor Swift called on Tennessee leaders Friday to remove monuments “that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things.”

“Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were despicable figures in our state history and should be treated as such,” Swift said in a statement posted on Twitter Friday.

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Gov. Bill Lee Fails to Remove Anarchist Protesters from Legislative Plaza, Who Camped There Overnight

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee failed to enforce state law Friday night and allowed left-wing activist Justin Jones and a handful of his fellow protesters to camp out in Legislative Plaza, pitching tents and sitting on the steps of the plaza throughout the night and into the morning.

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Gov. Bill Lee Says He Will Not Tolerate Anarchy at Planned ‘Defund the Police’ Protest

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Friday afternoon that state officials will not entertain any criminal behavior at a demonstration scheduled for 5 p.m. today at Legislative Plaza.

Organizers have scheduled the event, which they call “Free Capitol Hill” at 5 p.m. Central today. In a Facebook flyer organizers do not address the venue as “Legislative Plaza.” Instead they refer to the landmark as the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (Formerly Legislative Plaza).”

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Tennessee National Guard Soldiers Sent to DC Amid Unrest

About 1,000 citizen-soldiers with the Tennessee National Guard were deployed to the nation’s capital this week to help keep the peace outside the White House.

Like many major cities, Washington has seen massive demonstrations in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was allegedly murdered by Minneapolis police. Many of the protests have taken a violent turn as Washington braced for what was expected to be its largest protest yet Saturday night.

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Gov. Bill Lee Outlines Big Spending Cuts

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday outlined new spending plans for state government that reflect significant revenue reductions due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley presented state lawmakers with the revised budget plans for the current fiscal year, as well as FY 2020-21, which begins July 1, 2020, and a framework for the following fiscal year, 2021-22.

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Beacon Center of Tennessee Sends Legislature A Guide to Remove Burdensome Regulations

The Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee released a new solutions guide for Gov. Bill Lee and the state legislature on Friday that focused on making some of the deregulation done by executive order during the COVID-19 pandemic permanent.

This, according to an emailed press release Beacon put out Friday.

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Tennessee Lifts Restaurants and Retail Capacity Restrictions

Gov. Bill Lee announced Friday that Tennessee is lifting its capacity restrictions for restaurants and retail on May 22.

“Tennesseans have worked incredibly hard to do their part and help slow the spread of COVID-19 so that our state can begin to reopen. Thanks to their continued efforts, we’re able to allow restaurants and retail businesses to operate at greater capacity and large attractions to open in a safe and thoughtful way,” Lee said.

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Gov. Bill Lee Not Keen on Voting by Mail in Tennessee

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday that fear of catching COVID-19 is not reason enough to vote by mail in the coming elections.

“I think that what we want to do in this state is remove the reason to have fear about going to the polling booths. We have worked really really hard to set up businesses in a way that people can feel safe to go into them, and we’re going to do the same thing with our elections,” Lee said at a press conference Tuesday.

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Tennessee Providing Names And Addresses of COVID-19 Patients to Law Enforcement, Report Reveals

The Tennessee government is providing the names and addresses of COVID-19 patients to law enforcement agencies and other first responders, documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal.

According to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) obtained by the outlet, the Tennessee Department of Health is “disclosing” the information to the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, which in turn passes the information along to first responders.

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23,000 Tennesseans Have Received Free COVID-19 Tests, State Has Completed Twice as Many Tests as Kentucky

Gov. Bill Lee said more than 23,000 Tennesseans have received a free COVID-19 test at one of 67 drive-through testing sites over the past three weekends.

“Testing remains one of the most important tools for gaining more information in our fight against COVID-19, and the 23,000 tests we’ve completed over the last three weekends have provided incredibly valuable data,” Lee said in a statement. “We’re grateful to the thousands who came out to receive a test this weekend and we continue to remind Tennesseans: when in doubt, get a test.”

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Bill Lee Won’t Say if COVID-19 Restaurant Closings Are Unconstitutional

  Governor Bill Lee said Monday that the state shutdown of restaurants to protect against the COVID-19 pandemic was necessary, even if members of the Memphis Restaurant Association reportedly described it as unconstitutional. A member of the media pressed Lee at a press conference Monday as to whether the shutdown…

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Bill Lee Announces Tennessee Safer at Home Order for COVID-19 Will Expire April 30

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that the state’s order for Tennesseans to remain at home due to COVID-19 will expire April 30.

Lee also said the vast majority of businesses in 89 counties are allowed to re-open May 1.

“Our Economic Recovery Group is working with industry leaders around the clock so that some businesses can open as soon as Monday, April 27,” Lee said Monday.

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Bill Lee Announces New Economic Recovery Group Aimed at Helping Tennessee’s Economy

  Gov. Bill Lee announced on Thursday a new economic recovery group aimed at getting Tennessee’s economy going again. “COVID-19 has not only created a public health crisis, it has hurt thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of hardworking Tennesseans,” said Gov. Lee. “As we work to safely open…

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Tennessee Department of Health Not Providing Number of Current COVID-19 Hospitalizations

The Tennessee Department of Health said 633 residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19, but that figure is a cumulative – not current – number.

“This number indicates the number of patients that were ever hospitalized during their illness, it does not indicate the number of patients currently hospitalized,” the Department of Health notes in its daily COVID-19 briefing.

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Gov. Bill Lee Describes Encouraging Signs with Tennessee’s COVID-19 Situation

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Monday that Tennessee had exactly 5,610 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and that 109 state residents had died after contracting the virus.

But Lee also said exactly 1,671 Tennesseans had recovered from the illness.

At a press conference Monday, Lee said there were reasons for optimism — but he still preached caution.

“It is encouraging as Tennessee has now had more than 10 days of single digit percentage case growth,” Lee said.

“Our aggressive testing of more than 76,195 tests has uncovered an average positivity rate between 6 percent to 8 percent consistently. Our hospitalization rate continues to be stable with 579 hospitalizations to date.”

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Governor Bill Lee Extends Stay-at-Home Order, Announces Plans to Reopen Tennessee’s Economy Soon

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday he will extend the state’s stay-at-home order through April 30, but he also said government and private-sector officials are working to reopen the state’s economy in May.

Lee said this at a televised press conference, adding “we are not out of the woods yet, and it could be some time [before we are].”

“Until a vaccine or a therapy is widely available to Tennesseans, this virus will be a present reality to us to manage and consider whenever we are making decisions,” Lee said.

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs Questions Bill Lee’s Stay-at-Home Order

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said in a video response on Twitter that although he appreciated Gov. Lee living up to the courage of his convictions, he “cannot applaud government monitoring the movements of its people” and that with this economic crisis as a result of Tennessee’s statewide shutdown, a mental health crisis will follow.

As The Tennessee Star reported, Gov. Bill Lee signed Executive Order 23, which requires Tennesseans to stay home through April 14th unless they engage in essential activities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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Tennessee Dem House Chair Wants ‘Statewide System to Trace the Steps’ of COVID-19 Patients

Tennessee House Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Stewart (D-Nashville) called on Gov. Bill Lee to create a “statewide system to trace the steps of those testing positive for COVID-19.”

“I call on Gov. Lee to use state resources to create a statewide contact tracing system including testing where necessary,” Stewart said in an interview with WKRN.

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Governor Bill Lee Signs Several Election Bills Into Law

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed several election-related bills into law last week, which were passed by the General Assembly before it took a two-month recess caused by the coronavirus.

The most controversial bill signed by Lee scales back restrictions on community voter registration efforts that were put in place in 2019 by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The new bill removes “misdemeanor penalties for not completing certain administrative requirements” and eliminates fines for submitting an abundance of incomplete voter registration forms.

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Governor Lee Issues Executive Order Requiring Residents to Stay Home

Gov. Bill Lee announced Thursday that he will sign an executive order requiring Tennesseans to stay home unless they are engaging in essential activities.

Lee issued an executive order Monday that urged, but didn’t require, residents to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Under his new order, staying at home isn’t “an option – it’s a requirement for the swift defeat of COVID-19,” said Lee.

The governor said data from the Tennessee Department of Transportation indicated that travel started trending upwards again on March 30 after traffic patterns showed a steep drop-off in vehicle movement between March 13 and 29.

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