NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office on Wednesday announced it would suspend COVID-19 exemptions from Tennessee’s COVID-19 law passed in an October special session for entities that receive federal contracts.
The decision came after a U.S. District Judge issued a preliminary injunction that at least temporarily prevents the federal government from enforcing its vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.
The move is likely to have the most serious consequences for any governments, schools and K-12 school systems that imposed mandates to meet the federal requirement — including East Tennessee State University and ETSU Physicians and Associates (MEAC), which received a separate exemption.
Because of the mandate, state lawmakers included a section in the new COVID law, Public Chapter 6, allowing exemptions for entities who could lose federal funding if they violated the mandate. The comptroller’s release said the injunction means that loss of federal funding isn’t enforceable for the time being and the exemptions are suspended.
The comptroller’s release notes that “these exemptions may be reinstated if the injunctions are lifted, and it is legally permissible.”
The office, which also granted exemptions to Medicare and Medicaid providers, announced these exemptions are also suspended.
Since Nov. 12, the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has granted 69 exemptions to companies and entities.
Other exempted entities that have operations within News Channel 11’s viewing area include Summers-Taylor Inc., Citibank, AT&T and Greater Kingsport Family YMCA.
The office will continue to accept and process notices for exemptions; however, no exemptions will be granted unless legally permissible.
Notices can be sent by CLICKING HERE.