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VOL. 45 | NO. 43 | Friday, October 22, 2021

Tennessee lawmakers open special session focused on COVID

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's General Assembly on Wednesday will once again meet for a special legislative session this year, with the latest round dedicated to addressing COVID-19 measures after Republican Gov. Bill Lee declined to do so.

The special session kickoff also marks the third time lawmakers call themselves into action in Tennessee history without the governor.

President Joe Biden's administration will likely be the main target, though his workplace vaccine order trumps state authority. School board members could be required to declare a party affiliation and mask mandates in schools could be banned.

Furthermore, GOP legislative leaders have indicated they could even try to circumvent elected district attorneys if they publicly decline to enforce certain policies, including the governor's school mask opt-out order.

Lee has repeatedly resisted requests to hold a special session focused solely on COVID-19 even as GOP lawmakers have become steadily disgruntled at local mandates that have been implemented sporadically around the state.

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