Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Government from Classifying Businesses, Workers as ‘Essential’ or ‘Nonessential’

The Senate determined during its Monday floor session that governments shouldn’t classify workers as “essential” or “nonessential.”

In its entirety, the bill would prohibit the governor and all state or local government entities and leadership from classifying or categorizing businesses, trades, professions, or industries as “essential” or “nonessential.”

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Proposed Bill Wants General Assembly to Have Final Say on Agencies Created Under Governor’s Emergency Powers

Legislators are considering whether the General Assembly should have the final say on agencies created by governor executive order.

A proposed bill would empower lawmakers to review any executive agencies created through the governor’s emergency powers. Specifically, the Joint Committee on Government Operations would decide within 60 days whether the executive agency should be allowed to exist, and notify the General Assembly within 5 days of the completion of the review.

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Tennessee Legislators Propose Empowering General Assembly to Scrutinize Presidential Executive Orders for Constitutionality

Several state representatives and senators have proposed a bill to review the constitutionality of presidential executive orders. According to the bills, if Congress doesn’t affirm an executive order and isn’t signed into law, then the joint government operations committee of Tennessee’s General Assembly would review whether the order overextends its scope of authority. Upon concluding their review, the committee would decide whether to recommend the Tennessee Attorney General and Governor to reexamine or seek an exemption from the order.

Additionally, the bill proposed that no state agency, political subdivision, elected officials, or government employees could enforce the order if the Tennessee Attorney General determines it is unconstitutional. That portion of the proposed bill would specifically apply to orders concerning pandemics or public health emergencies; natural resource regulations; agricultural industry regulations; land use regulations; financial regulations concerning environmental, social, or governance standards; and Second Amendment regulations. 
Additionally, the bill proposed that no state agency, political subdivision, elected officials, or government employees could enforce the order if the Tennessee Attorney General determines it is unconstitutional. That portion of the proposed bill would specifically apply to orders concerning pandemics or public health emergencies; natural resource regulations; agricultural industry regulations; land use regulations; financial regulations concerning environmental, social, or governance standards; and Second Amendment regulations. 
Additionally, the bill proposed that no state agency, political subdivision, elected officials, or government employees could enforce the order if the Tennessee Attorney General determines it is unconstitutional. That portion of the proposed bill would specifically apply to orders concerning pandemics or public health emergencies; natural resource regulations; agricultural industry regulations; land use regulations; financial regulations concerning environmental, social, or governance standards; and Second Amendment regulations. 

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Tennessee State Senator Paul Bailey Discusses Upcoming Special and Legislative Session in the General Assembly

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed TN (R) Senator Paul Bailey to the show to discuss the upcoming special session and legislative session in the Tennessee General Assembly.

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Federal Government Approves Tennessee’s Medicaid Proposal, Swapping a Block Grant for an Aggregate Cap

The federal government approved Tennessee’s proposed Medicaid aggregate cap, granting a lump sum for a self-imposed, fixed budget. The ten-year agreement, referred to as “TennCare III,” is the first of its kind nationwide. It also allows for the state to reserve any unused funds and apply them to other government programs, with up to 55 percent of those savings potentially matched by additional federal funds for state health programs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) described the measure as an “innovative financing approach.” Unlike what various reports claimed, federal officials explicitly stated that this agreement wasn’t a block grant. This agreement allows the state government to be flexible with its spending cap under certain circumstances – like last year’s pandemic and related unemployment crisis. 

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