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  • Writer's pictureState Rep. Kelly Keisling

Capitol Hill Review for the Third Extraordinary Session

State Representative Kelly Keisling (R-Byrdstown)

Lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill this past week for the Third Extraordinary Session of the 112th Tennessee General Assembly to consider legislation regarding vaccines and mask mandates, and other matters relative to COVID-19.

This session is unique because among a total of 64 extraordinary sessions that have been called since we became a state this is only the third time in Tennessee history that the legislature, rather than the Governor, has called itself into an extraordinary session.

Here are the major areas we tackled this week in session:

Vaccine mandates outlawed

  • Government entities shall not mandate a person receive a COVID-19 vaccine or mandate a private business or school to require proof of vaccination to access the business facilities or services.

  • A private business, government entity, school, or local education agency cannot compel proof of COVID-19 vaccination or take adverse action against a person who declines to do so for any reason.

Support natural immunity

  • Proof of COVID-19 antibodies may be used to gain admission to a place of entertainment.

Rejecting Biden’s overreach

  • No public money or resources shall go to the implementation, regulation, or enforcement of any federal law, executive order, rule, or regulation that mandates a COVID-19 countermeasure.

  • If a business or entity receives federal funding, they may submit a waiver request on a limited basis to the comptroller of the treasury.

Monoclonal Antibodies

  • The government will not interfere with a healthcare provider’s independent professional judgement on whether to recommend, prescribe, or administer monoclonal antibodies.

Protecting children

  • A healthcare provider shall not vaccinate a child without written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Rein in mask mandates

  • Government shall not mandate masks to access government facilities or services.

  • Government employers shall not require an employee to wear a mask except for in severe conditions. These mandates under severe conditions shall expire after 14 days.

  • Government shall allow exemptions on masks for medical conditions and religious beliefs.

No school mandates

  • Public schools and governing bodies of schools shall not require a person to wear a mask. Severe conditions may allow for masks on a limited basis for a maximum of 14 days.

  • Any school which uses government funds to mandate or require a mask in violation of this law shall be subject to potential loss of funds by the Department of Education and may face action by the attorney general.

Unemployment benefits approved

  • Anyone who would normally qualify for unemployment benefits and left their job due to refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine now qualifies for unemployment.

You have the right to a visitor during hospitalization

  • Hospitals must allow patients to have someone with them during care as long as the visitor tests negative and has no COVID-19 symptoms.

Reducing quarantines

  • The commissioner of health now has the sole ability to determine quarantine guidelines for COVID

  • No health entity, mayor, local government entity, or school has the authority to quarantine a person or private business for COVID.

Control your own home

  • A person is not prohibited from requiring proof of vaccination or masks in order for a person to provide products or services within the home.

-- Kelly Keisling serves as State Representative for House District 38 which encompasses Macon, Clay, Pickett, Scott, and part of Fentress Counties. To reach State Representative Kelly Keisling, call 615-741-6853 or email him at Connect with Kelly on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


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