"Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a sweeping measure into law on Friday that will largely ban COVID-19 vaccine passports and restrict the enforcement of mask mandates across the state," The Epoch Times reported.
"The new law will take effect immediately, banning government entities, public schools, and many private businesses from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of entry, or mandating vaccines among their staff," the outlet continued.
Businesses that serve as federal contractors and thus receive federal funds, to include public universities, may be excluded from the order and able to issue their own vaccine and mask mandates but only after they apply for approval from the Tennessee comptroller's office if they can convince officials that not implementing the requirements will cause them to lose out on federal funding.
Some institutions of higher learning, along with other companies in the state, have already begun inquiring about the exemption. The state comptroller's office plans to put an application form online to speed up the process, according to John Dunn, a spokesman for the agency.
“I think most businesses don’t want the intervention that was delivered first by the federal government,” Gov. Lee told reporters on Wednesday, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
“We had a federal government who required businesses against their will to require their employees against their will to make a personal health decision which is an egregious overreach by the federal government," he maintained.
Tennessee Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton, who pressed Lee for the special session, lauded the governor's signing of the new bill.
“A big win 4 upholding the constitutional rights of all citizens!” noted Sexton on Twitter. “Proud that we protected parental rights & the ability of Tennesseans to make health decisions free of government intrusion & coercion while also drawing a line in the sand against Biden’s unconstitutional overreach.”
The Epoch Times adds:
The new law also only allows public schools and government entities to mandate masks if there are at least 1,000 COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 residents within a 14-day period. No county in Tennessee has reached that figure since the start of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. Even if a mask mandate is enforced, it would only be allowed to last for 14 days.
The measure would also allow for people who left their job because they refused the COVID-19 vaccine amid workplace mandates, to qualify for unemployment benefits.
Biden issued his vaccine mandate Sept. 4 for federal workers and contractors as well as all private sector businesses who employ 100 or more workers. It's not clear how the regime arrived at the number 100, but it can't be because someone within the White House is 'following the science' because if that were so, the mandate would apply to all businesses since the virus doesn't care how many employees work at any given company.
Last week the court found that the mandate “exposes [petitioners] to severe financial risk” and “threatens to decimate their workforces (and business prospects).” The court also noted that “the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate.”
“The Mandate is a one-size-fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers) that have more than a little bearing on workers’ varying degrees of susceptibility to the supposedly ‘grave danger’ the Mandate purports to address,” the ruling further noted.