NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office is suspending all exemptions issued under the COVID-19 omnibus bill after preliminary injunctions put in place by federal judges.
The exemptions issued by the comptroller’s office allowed private businesses, governmental entities, schools and other employers with federally awarded or amended contracts, subcontracts, or post-secondary grants to impose COVID-19 vaccine requirements as a condition to receipt of federal funds. So far, the comptroller’s office issued 69 exemptions since the law went into effect on Nov. 12. These exemptions may be reinstated if the injunctions are lifted, and it is legally permissible, officials from the comptroller's office said.
On Tuesday, a U.S. District judge from the Eastern District of Kentucky issued a preliminary injunction and enjoined the federal government from enforcing the vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Because of that, the comptroller’s office can no longer find that compliance would result in a loss of federal funding.
Similarly, a U.S. District judge from the Western District of Louisiana issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on Tuesday enjoining and restraining the federal government from implementing certain healthcare providers to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The comptroller’s office has granted exemptions to Medicare and Medicaid providers, and these exemptions are also suspended.
The Comptroller’s Office will continue to accept and process notices for exemption during this time; however, no exemptions will be granted unless it is legally permissible. Notices may be submitted by clicking here.