Tennessee gov signs bill upping penalties on some protests


FILE – (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee protesters will face harsher penalties, including losing the right to vote, for breaking certain laws during demonstrations under a new law enacted by Gov. Bill Lee.

The Republican quietly signed off on the bill Thursday.

Lee has previously conceded there were portions of the bill he “would have done differently” but ultimately agreed to sign it.

Most notably, the law says those who illegally camp on state property would face a Class E felony, punishable by up to six years in prison, rather than a misdemeanor.

The American Civil Liberties Union had asked Lee to veto the legislation, saying it attacks free speech rights.

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