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Controversial bills on tap as state lawmakers return to the Tennessee Capitol


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Controversial measures are on the agenda as the State Assembly begins a partial restart of its 2020 legislative session Tuesday.

State lawmakers paused the 111th General Assembly on March 19 as the coronavirus crisis gathered steam.

The House and Senate officially gavel their sessions open again next week, but the House has committee hearing scheduled each day through Friday.

Among the issues up for debate in committee Tuesday, a measure that would require school children to play sports based on their birth gender, at least three bills allowing college athletes to earn money, and attempts to end, delay or defund Gov. Bill Lee’s school voucher plan.

A recent report by the Nashville Scene suggests the speakers of the House and Senate are at odds over exactly what should be considered as the Tennessee Assembly continues its pandemic stalled session.

The Scene quotes a spokesman for State Senate Speaker Randy McNally saying the Speaker wants to concentrate on legislation that addresses the ongoing health crisis. Further cuts will likely be required to balance the state budget as pandemic battered tax revenue continues to fall, and lawmakers may choose to allocate additional resources to combat COVID-19.

Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton reportedly wants to also make time for legislation considered high-priorities by the GOP majority, including abortion, religious freedom and gun rights.

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