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Tenn. Republican lawmakers launch special legislative session to roll back COVID-19 safety measures

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Wednesday's special session of the Tenn. General Assembly will be led by Republican Senate Speaker Randy McNally (Left) and GOP House Speaker Cameron Sexton

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) — Tennessee lawmakers have filed more than 90 bills and resolutions for consideration during the special legislative session that begins Wednesday.

The state’s GOP dominated General Assembly has called itself into session for just the third time in Tennessee history. Special sessions are normally ordered by the governor. This is the third special session called this year.

Republicans have been angered by COVID-19 health mandates instituted by school boards, businesses, entertainment and sports venues, and the federal government. They see the mandates as an infringement on personal freedoms.

Bills have been filed that would make it illegal to require masks or vaccinations in businesses, schools, entertainment venues and other public settings.

Reacting to recent controversies over health mandates and racial issues, Republican lawmakers are also moving to force school board members to declare a political party affiliation.

If passed, many of the proposed laws would be immediately superseded by federal regulations. Others would likely face immediate court challenges.

The special session gets underway Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m.