Tennessee General Assembly Amends Bill to Maintain Health Commissioner, County Health Officers’ Emergency Rule, Quarantine and Closure Power

The General Assembly struck provisions removing exclusive health emergency-related powers from the health commissioner and county health officials. The bill originally proposed to create a commission to make decisions on whether or not to exercise those powers. The new commission would’ve included the governor, the speakers of the State House and Senate, each constitutional officer, and the commissioner of health – or, any designees selected by those officials.

Those provisions were dropped without explanation from either the House or Senate floor as to why. The Tennessee Star inquired with the sponsors what happened. The House sponsor, State Representative Glen Casada, (R-Franklin) divulged that the House Health Committee opposed it. He didn’t go into further detail in his statement to The Star.

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Commentary: Movement to End COVID Emergency Orders Grows as Governors, Lawmakers, and Citizens Fight Back

The governors of Texas and Mississippi both announced this week they would be lifting their states’ mask mandates and rolling back many of their Covid-19 health mandates. This is part of a growing movement across the country from lawmakers, governors, and citizens to curtail emergency orders that have robbed Americans of individual liberties and freedoms for nearly a year.

In New York state, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced the legislature is passing legislation repealing emergency powers granted to Gov. Cuomo last year at the start of the pandemic. Lawmakers say the legislation will allow current directives pertaining to preserving public health to continue.

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