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Majority Republicans quickly sideline bills proposed by Democrats during special session

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  The GOP majority in the Tennessee Assembly has quickly eliminated from consideration every bill proposed by Democrats during this week’s special legislative session.

Republican Gov. Bill Lee called the session to deal with three issues. The governor asked lawmakers to pass coronavirus liability protections for health care providers, businesses, schools and other organizations. He also wanted an insurance mandate for telehealth services, and Lee asked for enhanced prosecution tools to deal with protesters on Capitol grounds.

 

Minority Democrats in the House and Senate filed four bills as the session began Monday. One would have required police officers to identify themselves when arresting protesters, while another would have added additional rights protections for demonstrators.

 

The third would have added coronavirus to Workers Compensation coverage. The final bill would have stripped lawsuit protections from any business that flagrantly violated pandemic health restrictions.

 

The bills were quickly voted down along party lines in Senate committee hearings Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

 

The proposals were sidelined in the House before receiving any committee consideration.

 

The General Assembly is widely expected to wrap up its work Wednesday evening, the third day of the special session.

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