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General Assembly calls for special session to address COVID-19 pandemic

WSMV Nashville logo WSMV Nashville 10/19/2021
a large tall tower with a clock on the side of a building: Tennessee State Capitol (WSMV) © Provided by WSMV Nashville

Tennessee State Capitol (WSMV)

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton have issued the call for a special session that will cover issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including overreaching health care mandates, the legislative leaders announced Tuesday.

The call for the third extraordinary session of the 112th General Assembly was made after two-thirds of the members of both the state Senate and House asked for the session.

“The members of the Senate and their constituents have been clear about the need for this session,” McNally, R-Oak Ridge, said in a news release. “The COVID-19 crisis, and how various institutions have adapted and reacted to it, has created new and unique legislative challenges. This is an opportunity to make the General Assembly’s voice heard on issues regarding masks, vaccines, executive power and federal mandates.”

“For several weeks, we have heard from Tennesseans that have significant concerns over the unconstitutional and burdensome mandates being imposed upon them,” Sexton, R-Crossville, said in a news release. “As an elected body, it is our responsibility to let the distinctive voices of our communities be heard on these issues. I look forward to working together with Lt. Gov. McNally, the House and Senate to create solutions that preserve the individual choices, freedoms and liberties of all Tennesseans.”

Signed by over two-thirds of the members of both chambers, the call will bring both the House and the Senate back into session on Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. The call would allow legislation related to vaccines, masks and other restrictions relative to COVID-19. Legislation to address the various federal mandates issued by the Biden administration would also meet the call guidelines. Additionally, legislation regarding the independent health departments and restrictions on monoclonal antibodies would be appropriate under the call.

This will be the third time in state history that members of the General Assembly have called for a special session.

The General Assembly is currently meeting in special session to consider legislation offering incentives for Ford Motor Company to locate a vehicle assembly plant at the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County.

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