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Tennessee Lawmaker Calls For Special Session Amid Historic COVID-19 Spread

December 21, 2020 – Fox17 (WZTV) – By: Kaylin Jorge

A Tennessee lawmaker is calling for a special session amid historic level of the COVID-19 spread in Tennessee.

Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) is calling on fellow lawmakers to join him in submitting a written request to Speaker Sexton and Lt. Governor McNally seeking to convene an extraordinary session to address steps to be taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gov. Lee, whose wife currently has COVID-19, addressed Tennesseans Sunday, implementing an indoor gathering limit to 10 people, limiting spectators at indoor sporting events and asking employers to have employees work remotely for the next 30 days.

Doctors and lawmakers have criticized Lee as he continues to resist calls for a statewide mask mandate.

“Tennessee families and small businesses need help and deserve leadership right now. My fellow legislators and I cannot sit idly by while Gov. Bill Lee fails to act and Congress refuses to provide sufficient relief,” said state Representative John Ray Clemmons. “Tennesseans have rightfully lost confidence in our governor and lost patience with Washington. These folks are more worried about politics than just doing their job and helping people.”

Clemmons included a list of things he says needs to be accomplished:

  • to provide unemployment relief to the thousands of Tennesseans still out of work;
  • to provide additional small business relief and grants;
  • to enact a plan to effectively invest the stockpiled TANF funds;
  • to address the budgetary needs of our public education system;
  • to provide hazard pay to K-12 public school teachers and school-based employees in the form of a 4% salary increase;
  • to make necessary reforms to our unemployment insurance system;
  • to take appropriate steps to allow TennCare expansion, which would inject billions of dollars of much-needed funding into rural and urban communities and protect and create new jobs;
  • to strip Gov. Bill Lee of all statutory emergency powers allowing him to unilaterally spend Tennessee taxpayer money on no-bid contracts; and,
  • to enact a temporary statewide facial covering requirement.

A special session doesn’t have to take place outside the regular general Assembly Legislative Session, it ‘s designed to deal with the topic that is called for.



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