Local lawmaker backs bill that would limit governor’s use of police to restrict freedoms

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — A local state lawmaker is sponsoring legislation that would prohibit the governor from using law enforcement to enforce an executive order that requires a private business to close or restricts the freedom to peacefully assemble or travel.

Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport), a retired police lieutenant, believes current state law gives the governor too much power when it comes to enforcing executive orders.

Hulsey told News Channel 11 on Friday that he is disturbed by the loss of liberty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and blames the Tennessee General Assembly for allowing it to happen.

“Anytime you take police power and enforce an edict out of the executive branch — who doesn’t have the right to make law — if you enforce that edict it is a form of fascism that is unconstitutional,” Hulsey said.

The House State Government Subcommittee approved the bill earlier this week. It will now head to the Calendar and Rules Committee.

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