Wisconsin Gov. Evers Calls Special Session on Abortion, Wants Voters to Call Lawmakers

Tony Evers

Gov. Tony Evers is asking abortion supporters in the state to pressure lawmakers ahead of a new special session on abortion.

The governor on Wednesday said he will call the legislature back to Madison on June 22 to overturn what he called Wisconsin’s “criminal abortion ban.”

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Pittsburgh City Council Gives Itself a Raise Behind Closed Doors

Members of the Pittsburgh City Council met behind closed doors for a special session to give themselves a 6% raise, a reduction from a previously proposed 22% raise that drew blowback from the public.

The nine-member council met in closed session on the last day for budget adjustments Saturday, following a meeting Tuesday in which the council froze its pay pending a review by the city solicitor over whether a proposed $16,000 raise violated the city’s home rule charter, KDKA reported.

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Arizona Lawmakers Demand Gov. Ducey Call a Special Session so They Can Stop COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for City of Phoenix Employees

The City of Phoenix instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees, and numerous Republican lawmakers want to stop it. Several legislators sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey demanding that he call a special session of the Arizona Legislature so they can pass legislation halting that mandate and any others in Arizona. 

Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix), Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), and Rep. Justin Wilmeth (R-Phoenix) wrote, “We urge you to immediately call us into a special session to pass legislation prohibiting any government entity from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. Since the Arizona Supreme Court struck down policy provisions added to the budget passed earlier this year as a violation of our state Constitution’s single subject clause, it is imperative we address medical freedom issues taking place in our K-12 public schools, public colleges and universities, and any city, county or town from imposing a vaccine passport or mandate on any person or business.” 

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Bills Requiring Vaccine Alternatives for Employees

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed four bills yesterday requiring Florida businesses to accommodate their employees’ alternative to getting the COVID shot. DeSantis used language along the lines of “protecting Florida jobs rather than many supporters of DeSantis using language like “medical freedom.”

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Florida’s Business Community Not Supportive of Vaccine Mandate Bans

Young girl getting vaccine

As Florida’s special session regarding vaccine mandates began yesterday, Florida’s business community shares concerns and opposition to the prospect of vaccine mandate bans.  

Leading Age Florida represents continuing care retirement communities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Leading Age CEO, Steve Bahmer, said it is not possible for the facilities his organization represents to be in compliance with state and federal law unless there is a carve out.

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Florida Special Session Over Vaccine Mandates Begins This Week

After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called for a special session over vaccine mandates and mask mandates last month, the Florida Legislature convened for the first time yesterday and will continue to meet until Friday.

The goal of the special session for Florida’s in-power Republicans is to curb the scale of the vaccine mandates coming from the President Joe Biden administration. DeSantis has remained vocally opposed to Floridians losing their jobs over Biden’s OSHA rule.

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Florida Democrats Oppose, Criticize Special Session

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called a special session over President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate and Florida Democrats are criticizing the effort. DeSantis has, numerous times, worked to ban mask mandates in Florida’s schools and vaccine mandates, and is seeking the Florida Legislature to codify those bans even further.

“I think that we need to be making sure that people are healthy and safe, and that they can go to work and that our economy is booming, and that businesses are able to do what they need to do,” said Florida State Sen. Lauren Book (D-FL-32).

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Special Session Legislation Increases Safeguards Related to COVID-19, but Some Legislators Say Concessions for Big Business and the Federal Government Leave Tennesseans Unequally Protected

The legislation that emerged in Saturday’s early morning hours from the three days of the 112th Tennessee General Assembly’s Third Extraordinary Session provided a number of safeguards against COVID-19 mandates, but some legislators say concessions to accommodate big business and funding from the federal government also resulted in unequal protection for some Tennesseans against COVID mandates.

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Florida Republicans Unite Against Biden Vaccine Mandates Ahead of Special Session

After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called for a special session last week to legislatively oppose President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates, the date has now been set and Florida’s top Republicans have said they are unified in their message and intent alongside DeSantis.

Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R-FL-65) and Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-FL-10) issued a joint message ahead of the special session set to run from November 15 through November 19.

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Commentary: Tennessee Legislature Must Pass Big COVID Test in ‘Special Session’

The red state/blue state dichotomy is not simple.

Nowhere is that more apparent than Tennessee where—despite having one of the most conservative electorates in the country—the leadership has been passive at best in responding to the wishes of their supporters during these days of great crisis.

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DeSantis Calls for Special Session over Vaccine Mandates

Ron DeSantis giving speech on saving Florida jobs

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has called for a special legislative session to resolve the issue of vaccine mandates in Florida. On Twitter, DeSantis said no one should lose their job over a vaccine.

“I am calling the Florida Legislature back for a Special Session to pursue stronger protections for Floridians against federal government mandates,” DeSantis said. “No one should lose their job over a COVID shot.”

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Tennessee Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Designate Party Affiliation During School Board Elections

Tennessee State Representative Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka) on Thursday introduced a bill that would allow party affiliation to be designated during a school board election.

The legislation, if enacted, would alter the current election process, which allows individuals to campaign on a nonpartisan basis 

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Biden Administration Has ‘Politicized’ Coronavirus Vaccine, Governor Bill Lee Argues

Governor Bill Lee on Wednesday spoke out against President Joe Biden’s federal coronavirus vaccine mandate, arguing the president has “politicized” the issue.

Detailing the mandate has caused division throughout the country, Lee explained that state lawmakers are working to limit the federal government’s “overreach.”

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Tennessee State Representatives Grills and Zachary Propose Bill that Would Provide Unemployment Benefits to Workers Who Quit over Vaccine Mandates

Tennessee lawmakers in the General Assembly introduced a bill Friday that would ensure that Tennesseans who quit their jobs over vaccine mandates receive unemployment benefits. Representative Rusty Grills (R-Newbern) is sponsoring the bill while Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) signed on as a co-sponsor.

Currently, voluntarily quitting a job typically disqualifies someone from receiving unemployment. In some cases, the vaccine requirements, including from President Biden, include a weekly COVID-19 testing option.

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Lt. Governor Randy McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton Formally Call for Special Session to Address COVID Mandates

Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) on Tuesday formally issued a call for a third session of the 112th General Assembly.

According to the two state lawmakers, the additional session “will cover a number of issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including overreaching health care mandates.”

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Lt. Gov. McNally and Speaker Sexton to Consider Additional Special Session for COVID Mandates

Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) on Friday announced that the two leaders will consider an additional special legislative session to address COVID-19 mandates throughout the state.

The response from the two state legislature leaders follows a decision by Governor Bill Lee to call a special session to advance work for the new Ford electric vehicle and battery plant.

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Governor Bill Lee Extends Executive Order to Allow Parents to Opt Children Out of Mask Mandates

Bill Lee on the State House floor

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) announced on Thursday that he is extending an executive order that allows parents to opt their children out of mask mandates in schools.

The decision by Lee follows rulings by multiple judges that blocked the implementation of the order in Knox, Shelby, and Williamson counties.

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Tennessee Senator Paul Bailey Calls for Special Legislative Session

Tennessee State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) joined a growing list of Tennessee lawmakers demanding a special legislative session to tackle COVID-19 mandates.

In a letter to Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally, Bailey explained that while the legislature passed a ban on vaccine passports, the measures to not go far enough.

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Guest Hosts Grant Henry and Ben Cunningham Discuss the Need for Tennessee General Assembly Special Session

Grant Henry and Ben Cunningham

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, guest hosts Grant Henry and Ben Cunningham talk in studio about the need for Tennessee’s General Assembly to have a special session and Lt. McNally’s hesitancy.

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Tennessee State Senator Dawn White Seeks Special Session on President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

On Monday, Tennessee State Senator Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro) sent a letter to Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate Randy McNally asking for a special session in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order on vaccine mandates.

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Abbott Signs Texas’ Voting Reform Bill into Law, Ending Intense Political Fight

Greg Abbott holding recently signed Texas voting reform bill

Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday signed Texas’ election reform bill into law, ending a months-long political fight over the controversial legislation.

Abbott, a Republican, traveled to Tyler, Texas to sign the Senate Bill 1, which repeals many of the voting measures that large cities in the state implemented amid the pandemic and overhauls the state’s mail-in voting and polling place systems.

Senate Bill 1 also bars election officials from sending voters unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to voters, threatening jail time if they do so.

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Tennessee Firearms Association Had its Most Successful Fundraiser to Provide Financial Support for Candidates Who Advocate for the Second Amendment

The Tennessee Firearms Association Legislative Action Committee (TFALAC) held its most successful annual fundraiser in the organization’s 25-year history on Saturday at the Farm Bureau Expo Center at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center on the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon.

The proceeds from the midday event, attended by several hundred, will be used to provide financial support to state legislative candidates who advocate for the Second Amendment.

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General Assembly Back in Session, in Person, to Allocate ARPA Funds

RICHMOND, Virginia – The budget bill to allocate $4.3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds passed out of the House of Delegates Committee on Appropriations on Monday, the first step to passing Governor Ralph Northam’s proposals for the money.

But the first day of the second 2022 special session saw legislative gridlock between the Senate and the House of Delegates. The House passed HJ 7003, which establishes the rules and schedule for how the session will operate. When the legislation was sent to the Senate, Senate Democratic leaders introduced three amendments which received broad bipartisan support.

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Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Youngkin Proposes Spending on Taxpayer Relief, Businesses, Education, and Public Safety

RICHMOND,Virginia – Glenn Youngkin announced his $5.8 billion plan for spending Virginia’s surplus revenue and federal American Rescue Plan Act [ARPA] funds at a press conference Thursday morning. The list include $1.5 for taxpayer and family relief; $2.6 billion for jobs, small business, and broadband; $1.2 billion for education; and $0.5 billion for public safety and mental health.

“Thanks to the McAuliffe-Northam failures, the murder rate in Virginia is at a 20-year high. Our economy has fallen behind, jobs have come back slower, and our cost of living is way too high. Our schools are underperforming, and as a result, taxpayers, families, seniors, and our children are suffering,” Youngkin said. “The change we need will not come from a failed politician with stale ideas that he failed to deliver when he had his chance as governor.”

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Virginia Gov. Northam Proposes $862 Million of American Rescue Plan Act Funds to Partially Refill Unemployment Trust Fund

As part of his “Investment Week” announcing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation proposals, Governor Ralph Northam announced $862 million for Virginia’s unemployment insurance trust fund, depleted during COVID-19.

“Shoring up the Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance trust fund is a smart investment that will prevent Virginia businesses from paying higher taxes and allow our economy to continue surging,” Northam said in a Tuesday announcement.

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Former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell Weighs in on Texas Democrats’ Behavior and Her Background

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell in studio to discuss her background and weigh in on the Texas Democrat behavior.

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Texas House Democrats Flee State on Private Jets

Sixty-seven Texas House Democrats fled Austin Monday for Washington, D.C. on private planes in a political maneuver that Gov. Greg Abbott said only hurts Texans.

Shortly after 2 p.m., House Democrats confirmed in a statement they were not returning to the state Capitol to complete an ongoing special session, which began July 8 and lasts for 30 days.

By leaving Texas, House Democrats avoided being arrested by a “Call of the House,” which Speaker of the House Dade Phelan could have initiated had the members left Tuesday, when the chamber is scheduled to be back in session. Because the legislature was out of session on Monday, Democrats had time to leave after having met over the weekend.

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Texas Democrats Walk out to Stop GOP Voting Reform Bill, Abbott to Call Special Session

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaking at FreePac, hosted by FreedomWorks, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Texas House Democrats on Sunday night staged a walkout to block their Republican counterparts’ sweeping voter-reform legislation.

The move blocked the passage of the bill by effectively ending the Texas legislature’s session. However, GOP Gov. Greg Abbott quickly announced that he would order a special session to finish the process, and achieve a top state GOP legislative priority.

The walkout is one of Democrats’ biggest protests to date against Republican efforts across the country to enact measures to tighter security on state election systems, according to the Associated Press.

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Tennessee Legislators Pass Special Session Education Reforms

The Tennessee General Assembly passed a series of legislation to reopen schools and improve learning losses and literacy. The measures passed will establish phonics as the primary method for reading instruction, mandate third-grade students read on grade level before graduating to fourth grade, establish tutors and summer learning camps for students who fell behind in certain subjects, and remove accountability for standardized testing results. An additional bill concerning the state budget will fund 4 percent teacher raises.

As reported previously by The Tennessee Star, the General Assembly convened the special session to prioritize the state’s flagging education system due to pandemic-related closures. The session was called per the request of Governor Bill Lee last month.

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State Rep. Justin Lafferty Talks Upcoming Special and Legislative Sessions and Tennessee’s Good Path Forward

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee (R) State Representative Justin Lafferty to the newsmakers line to discuss upcoming legislation facing Tennessee’s education and healthcare priorities.

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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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Tennessee Legislature Convenes Tuesday with Education Issues at Forefront

Tennessee lawmakers will return to Nashville to begin the 2021 legislative session this week and soon will take up legislation on key education issues.

House and Senate speakers will gavel in the new session of the Tennessee General Assembly at noon Tuesday. The first week of session largely will be organizational, with House and Senate speakers swearing in newly elected legislators and announcing committee chair and committee assignments.

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Only Nine Georgia State Senators Signed Petition for Special Session

Only 9 out of 35 Republican state senators signed a petition to call a special session determining Georgia’s 16 electors and addressing election fraud. In order for the petition to go through, at least 29 senators needed to sign onto it. 

The state senators who signed the petition were: Brandon Beach (R-GA-Alpharetta), Burt Jones (R-Jackson), Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), William Ligon (R-Brunswick), Matt Brass (R-Newnan), Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla), Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone), Bruce Thompson (R-White), and Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega).

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Tennessee Democratic House Caucus Chairman Questions Need for Legislature to Hold Special Session on Education Challenges

One Democratic leader in the Tennessee House is questioning the need for a special session to address education topics.

State Representative Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville), chairman of the Democratic House Caucus, is skeptical, Fox 17 News reported.

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Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston Joins BKP Politics to Discuss His Call with President Trump and a Legal Path Forward

Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston Joins BKP Politics to Discuss His Call with President Trump and a Legal Path Forward

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Georgia State Legislators Reportedly Fearful of Backlash and Destruction in Atlanta If They Vote for a Special Session

The Georgia legislature may not call a special session – but the decision wouldn’t be for a lack of doubt in election integrity.

In an interview with The Georgia Star News, State Representative Colton Moore (R-Trenton) shared that legislators are gun-shy about calling a special session to address the general and runoff elections.

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Georgia GOP Senators Introduce Special Session Petition

  Four Georgia lawmakers – State Senators Brandon Beach (R-Cherokee), Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), William Ligon (R-Brunswick), and Burt Jones (R-Jackson) (pictured above, left to right) – bucked their leadership  Monday to launch a petition to force a special session of the Georgia General Assembly. They need 29 signatures to force…

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Poll Reveals 58 Percent of Voters Want Governor Kemp to Call Special Legislative Session Now

A majority of likely voters in January’s runoff election want Governor Brian Kemp to call a special session for absentee ballot signature verification. The poll, exclusively shared with The Georgia Star News, revealed that the bipartisan voters strongly desire a special legislative session addressing signature verification for every mail-in ballot.

The national survey research and strategic services company McLaughlin & Associates called 800 likely voters at the end of last month. The methodology was described as a random selection “to correlate with actual voter turnout in the November 3rd general election.”

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No Word from Governor Kemp as State Legislators Demand Special Session

State legislators continue to push for Governor Brian Kemp or the General Assembly to call a special legislative session before the January runoff election. 

State Senators Brandon Beach (R-GA-Alpharetta), Greg Dolezal (R-GA-Cumming), William Ligon (R-GA-Brunswick), and Burt Jones (R-GA-Jackson) submitted a letter to Kemp on Tuesday.

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Georgia GOP Revolt: Beach, Senators Lead Uprising Against Gov. Kemp-Demand Special Session

Eleven of Georgia’s state senators are petitioning Governor Brian Kemp to call a special legislative session to amend election law, according to State Senator Brandon Beach (R-GA-Cherokee County). These legislators have also asked for an immediate oversight committee to look into the general election and rectify any mistakes prior to the January 5th runoff election.

Beach explained to The Georgia Star that widespread concern over the consent decree, voting discrepancies, and residency requirements have compromised faith in the upcoming runoff election.

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Gov. Walz Calls Sixth Special Session for Thursday

Gov. Tim Walz on Monday said he will convene the sixth special session of the Minnesota Legislature on Thursday.

“Amid climbing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, Walz intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days,” a news release said.  The extension will mark a total of about 274 days or nearly nine months Minnesota has been under a state of emergency.

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Gov. Walz Calls Special Session Monday to Extend Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday a special session will take place Monday, Oct. 12, during which he intends to extend his peacetime emergency declaration for the seventh time.

In the governor’s Proclamation for Special Session, issued Oct. 7, Walz said an “extraordinary occasion” has ensued, and, therefore, “it is necessary to extend the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency.”

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Virginia Senator Bill Stanley Disturbed by the Duplicity of the Special Session

Tuesday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredericks welcomed Virginia state Senator Bill Stanley to the show to discuss the Virginia General Assembly’s special session and the destruction of downtown Richmond.

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Rep. John DeBerry’s Democrat Opponent Condemns Vote for Enhanced Penalties for Assaults Against First Responders and Damage to Property During Protests

State Rep. John DeBerry’s Democrat opponent in the November election condemned the long-time legislator’s vote for a bill that increased penalties for committing assault against a first responder or damaging public and private property.

DeBerry is running as an Independent in the November 3 general election for House District 90, having been ousted by the majority White Executive Committee from the Tennessee Democrat Party after serving in the Tennessee House of Representatives as an elected Democrat for nearly 26 years.

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Special Session Bills Move Through Tennessee Senate and House Committees

Several bills addressing the issues outlined in Governor Bill Lee’s proclamation for an extraordinary session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly were taken up in Senate and House committee meetings Tuesday.

The call for the special session limited the legislation that could be taken up to COVID-related liability protection for persons and entities, electronic delivery of health-related services, protection of private and public property and personnel as well as the appropriations related to the legislation passed during the special session.

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The First Day of Special Session Reveals Legislation That Will be Considered Regarding COVID-19 Liability, Telemedicine and Protesting

The first day of the Tennessee General Assembly’s special session Monday called by Governor Bill Lee, revealed the legislation related to COVID-19 liability, telemedicine expansion and protesting that will be considered.

Only legislation related to the topics specifically contained in the governor’s proclamation can be considered during the special session, which began at 4 p.m. on Monday with both the House and Senate going into a floor session.

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This Week’s Special Legislative Session Could Cost Tennessee Taxpayers More Than $100,000

The special session of Tennessee lawmakers scheduled for the week of August 10 will likely cost Tennessee taxpayers more than $100,000.

Legislators were called to the special session by Governor Bill Lee through an August 3 proclamation to address three issues, the first two which could have been addressed during the previous legislative session.

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Clint Brewer Talks Trump’s Pro-USA Policies and Governor Lee’s Special Session

 Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed public affairs strategist Clint Brewer to weigh in on the Tennessee Valley Association and Governor Lee’s call for a special session.

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Tennessee Lawmakers to Consider COVID-19 Liability Protection, Telehealth Bills in Special Session

Tennessee lawmakers will return to Nashville on August 10 for a special session to consider legislation to provide COVID-19-related liability protections for health care providers, businesses and schools.

Gov. Bill Lee signed a proclamation Monday afternoon calling for the legislative special session.

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Walz Calls Another Special Session, Says He Will Extend COVID-19 Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz said he plans to extend his COVID-19 peacetime emergency declaration for another 30 days when lawmakers return to St. Paul Monday for a special session.

The governor announced Friday night that he has convened a special legislative session for July 13, the same day his peacetime emergency declaration is set to expire. According to Minnesota law, the governor must convene both houses of the Legislature if he wishes to extend a peacetime emergency when the Legislature is not in session.

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