Tennessee Medical Freedom Bills To Be Considered In Senate and House Committees

Published March 16, 2021 

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

Nashville, TN – Next Week, the Tennessee Senate Commerce and Labor committee the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee will likely be voting on a pair of bills pertaining to the medical freedoms of Tennesseans. 

Senate Bill 0320 (SB 0320) and House Bill 0794 (HB 0794), as introduced, prohibit a person from denying an individual the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement on the grounds of the wearing or use of a medical device, or whether the individual has received medical treatment. 

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

SB 0320 is sponsored by Republican Senators Joey Hensley from Hohenwald, Janice Bowling from Tullahoma, and Frank S. Niceley from Strawberry Plains.  It was filed for introduction on January 22nd, passed on first consideration on February 8th, passed on second consideration of February 10th, and then referred to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. 

Senator Shane Reeves (R), who is on the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, states, “I support business owners to do what they think is best for their staff and customers. (Specifically, if the business owner is in the healthcare space and is taking care of clinically vulnerable patients).” 

Senator Paul Bailey (R), who is the Chair of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, says, “This is a strong bill that supports our citizens individual rights. It is my understanding that this legislation will be amended so I am looking forward to seeing the new language once it has been added.” 

HB 0794 is sponsored by Republican Representatives Susan Lynn from Mount Julie and Representative Jay D. Reedy from Erin.  It was filed for introduction on February 9th, referred to the Commerce Committee on February 11th and assigned to the Business and Utilities Subcommittee on February 20th

Representative Patsy Hazlewood (R), who is on the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee, states, “I have not yet heard arguments for or against.  I will listen in committee and ask any questions I might have based on the discussions.  In just looking at the summary of the bill, I would be supportive.”

Before the bills go to the floor of the Tennessee General Assembly for a vote, they must first be voted on and passed by the Senate Commerce and Labor committee the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee. 

Since there is about a week before the committees review the bills, now is the time for Tennesseans to contact the Senators and Representatives on the committees to voice support for the bills.   

Some say that letters are the most impactful form of communication. 

Tennessee Senate Standing Committee Commerce and Labor
Image Credit: tn.gov

Paul Bailey – sen.paul.bailey@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-3978 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 736 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Art Swann – sen.art.swann@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-0981 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 748 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Frank Niceley – sen.frank.niceley@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-2061 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 712 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Raumesh Akbari – sen.raumesh.akbari@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-1767 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 762 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Jack Johnson – sen.jack.johnson@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-2495 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 702 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Shane Reeves – sen.shane.reeves@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-1066 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 752 Cordell Hull Bldg.. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Steve Southerland – sen.steve.southerland@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-3851 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 722 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Bo Watson – sen.bo.watson@capitol.tn.gov  – (615)741-3227 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 706 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Ken Yager – sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov – 615)741-1449 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 704 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Tennessee House Subcommittee Business and Utilities
Image Credit: tn.gov

Clark Boyd – rep.clark.boyd@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-7086 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 528 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Rebecca K Alexander – rep.rebecca.alexander@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-2251 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 516 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Kent Calfee – rep.kent.calfee@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-7658 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 542 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Patsy Hazlewood – rep.patsy.hazlewood@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-2746 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 622 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Jason Hodges – rep.jason.hodges@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-2043 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 508 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

John B Holsclaw, Jr. – rep.john.holsclaw@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-7450 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 652 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Curtis Johnson – rep.curtis.johnson@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-4341 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 612 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Eddie Mannis –rep.eddie.mannis@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-2287 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 568 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Dwayne Thompson – rep.dwayne.thompson@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-1920 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 406 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Kevin Vaughan –rep.kevin.vaughan@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-1866 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 519 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville, TN 37243 

Jason Zachary – rep.jason.zachary@capitol.tn.gov – (615)741-2264 

425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 
Suite 616 Cordell Hull Bldg. 
Nashville TN 37243 

Bill Summary:

Under present law, it is a discriminatory practice for a person to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of a public accommodation on the grounds of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin. A person who is aggrieved by a discriminatory practice in a public accommodation may file a complaint with the human rights commission or file a civil suit. 
 
This bill adds the wearing or use of a medical device and whether a person has received medical treatment to the grounds for which it is a discriminatory practice for a person to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of a public accommodation. The full text of this bill defines “medical device” and “medical treatment”. 
 
This bill adds that a person complying with the prohibitions against discrimination in public accommodations, those under present law and those added by this bill, is not subject to a private cause of action resulting from that compliance. 

Present law authorizes county health officers to order: 
 
(1) The quarantine of any place or person, if the county health officer finds that quarantine is necessary to protect the public health from an epidemic; 
 
(2) The closure of any public establishment, facility or building if the county health officer finds unsanitary conditions of such a nature and extent to significantly threaten the public health; or 
 
(3) The closure of any public establishment, facility or building, if the county health officer is otherwise authorized by law to take that action. 
 
This bill adds that, not withstanding the powers of county health officers described in (1)-(3) or any other law, a local government entity is prohibited from enacting or enforcing a requirement the compliance of which by a person would constitute a violation of the prohibitions against discrimination in public accommodations, those under present law and those added by this bill. 

The Tennessee Conservative reached out to all the Senators and Representatives listed above for comment. 

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One thought on “Tennessee Medical Freedom Bills To Be Considered In Senate and House Committees

  • March 16, 2021 at 6:49 pm
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    There is no description of who is the health county officer, nor of the procedure by which will be able to declare the quarantine. Is still dangerous, but is better than up to now.

    Reply

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