General Assembly Unlikely To Amend New Laws In January
Photo: TN Governor Bill Lee (left), Speaker Cameron Sexton (center), Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (right) ; Photo Credit: Speaker Cameron Sexton / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
Governor Bill Lee signed the COVID-19 omnibus bill into Tennessee law on Friday but already there is talk of amending parts of it when the General Assembly reconvenes in January. Lee stated last week that he believes the provision requiring hospitals to allow indefinite family visitation for COVID-19 patients was meant to only apply to end-of-life situations and he expects Tennessee lawmakers to make changes when they meet next year.
Business leaders are also hopeful that provisions aimed at holding them accountable for injuries and adverse effects that their employees may face after complying with vaccine mandates, will be watered down so they can avoid potential lawsuits.
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Tennessee state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Jim Brown, sees the new law as adding yet another challenge onto the already very full plates of businesses. “Small businesses are now exposed to new private rights of action [while] dealing with a severe labor shortage, supply chain disruptions and rising inflation.”
Business leaders should not expect any relief from the Tennessee legislature in respect to these new laws according to House Speaker Cameron Sexton. In an interview with The Tennessean last week, he dismissed the possibility that the General Assembly will eliminate the right of individuals to seek compensation from businesses.
“No, that’s not going to happen,” said Sexton, “If a person feels like they have to take [the vaccine] to keep their jobs because it is mandated, and something goes wrong, they should be able to have their day in court.”
Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and contributor to The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.