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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Speakers Randy McNally and Cameron Sexton Create Omnibus Bill to Incorporate Most Other COVID-Related Legislation

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – While more than 80 bills in total were filed in each chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly, it was a bill filed by Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) that was amended to become an “omnibus” bill to incorporate provisions included in most of the other bills.
The bills were all filed for consideration during the Third Extraordinary Session of the Tennessee General Assembly focused on COVID-related issues which began Wednesday with organizational floor sessions of the House and Senate.

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Tennessee General Assembly Organizes for the Third Extraordinary Session Focused on COVID-Related Issues

The two chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly met Wednesday in floor session for less than an hour to organize for the Third Extraordinary Session of the 112th General Assembly, which will focus on COVID-related issues.

Special Session III was called on October 19 by Tennessee’s Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate Randy McNally and Speaker of the House of Representatives Cameron Sexton in response to the written request of two-thirds of the members of each house, even as legislators were engaged in the Second Extraordinary Session called by Governor Bill Lee taking up $884 million in taxpayer giveaways for Ford Motor Company’s $5.6 billion electric vehicle project to be located on the Memphis Regional Megasite known as “Blue Oval City.”

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