Tennessee House speaker, Republicans request special session over local COVID-19 mandates


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton has requested that Gov. Bill Lee call a special session of the General Assembly to address local governments’ responses to COVID-19.

In a letter to the governor, Sexton said lawmakers would “address misdirected and mandated responses to COVID-19 by local entities and officials” during the special session.

Earlier this month, Sexton threatened legislative action if school districts issued mask requirements or closed schools due to the pandemic.

“We believe there is a need to curtail the overreach by independent health boards and officials, confirm a parent’s right to make decisions that impact the mental and physical health of their children, provide support and direction to schools to ensure educators are properly compensated for COVID-19 leave, and protect all Tennesseans from misdirected mandates designed to limit their ability to make their own decisions,” Cameron wrote in his letter to the governor.

The letter is signed by Sexton and more than 70 other House Republicans, including Reps. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), Scotty Campbell (R-Scotty Campbell), Gary Hicks (R-Rogersville), John Crawford (R-Kingsport), John Holsclaw (R-Elizabethton), Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport), Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesborough), David Hawk (R-Greeneville), and Tim Hicks (R-Gray).

The governor’s office said it is still reviewing the request.

View the full letter below or click here:

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