Tennessee lawmakers launched a special session Monday to work on legislation that would provide health care providers, schools, and businesses broad protections against coronavirus lawsuits.
However, the GOP-dominant Statehouse is already raising eyebrows by also crafting legislation that would both significantly increase penalties against protesters and those who illegally camp on state property.
Governor Bill Lee convened the special legislative session after lawmakers failed to advance a handful of key bills in the final moments before adjourning in mid-June. Along with protest and COVID liability legislation, Lee is also seeking to pass a bill that would expand telemedicine access as the state battles its COVID-19 outbreak.
Tennessee has reported more than 123,900 cases and 1,233 deaths statewide as of Monday.
While lawmakers met briefly to outline details of the special legislative session on Monday, outside the Capitol building cars honked to show their support of the protesters while people held signs and pushed to get inside.
70th District Representative Clay Doggett will be guest on WKSR 100.9 Bonus Hour Friday at 8:30 a.m. to update people in Giles and Lawrence County on this week's special session.