Tennessee governor's aide warned new COVID law was illegal

Tennessee Special Session
Posted at 11:23 AM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 12:23:31-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s office warned top legislative staffers that a bill limiting public health measures during the COVID pandemic would violate federal law.

They passed it anyway and the Republican governor signed it into law even though his legislative counsel warned that Tennessee risks losing federal funding for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Republican governor hasn't mentioned such concerns. Tennessee's attorney general must now defend the law Lee's top lawyer said was illegal. A federal judge asked the state to explain in court Friday how allowing unmasked students to share classrooms won't violate the rights of at-risk classmates.