Governor Bill Lee signs omnibus bill for special session COVID-19 – Community News
Covid-19

Governor Bill Lee signs omnibus bill for special session COVID-19

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said he will sign the special session omnibus law that will change how the state responds to COVID-19.

The governor announced the news on Wednesday. He said he had some reservations after reviewing the bill. However, he still plans to sign the bill, making it law.

The law will have a major impact on the ability of schools, businesses and local health boards to mandate masks or vaccines. Leaders in the state legislature wanted to challenge potential federal government mandates.

gov. Lee expressed only one concern. He wants the law to allow hospital visits for COVID-19 patients in end-of-life care.

“There’s a hospitalization call that we need to make a correction to and we’re going to look at each facility and see if there are other things we need to look at,” Lee said.

The governor also defended the decision to include companies in the bill. A group sent a letter to lawmakers asking them not to restrict how they are dealing with COVID-19. Ford representatives also reached out to state lawmakers, urging them not to ban mask mandates. That communication caused lawmakers to make a last-minute change in the law.

Still, Gov. Lee said he generally supports the idea behind the legislation.

“I think most companies don’t want the intervention that was first provided by the federal government. We had a federal government that forced companies, against their will, to require employees, against their will, to make a personal health decision which is blatant force majeure by the federal government. That’s what created the need to push back against that federal mandate. I think entrepreneurs understand that,” he said.

The governor has until Friday to sign most of the bills. He said his office is still reviewing the other seven laws passed by the legislature.