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Tennessee lawmakers begin 2021 legislative session; Sexton re-elected as House Speaker

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Posted at 8:15 AM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 13:52:57-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) — Tennessee lawmakers returned to Nashville to kick off their annual session amid a pandemic and an FBI probe that drew searches of multiple legislative offices by federal agents last week.

As the session got underway, Cameron Sexton (R - Crossville) was re-elected as House Speaker and acknowledged the challenges of 2020. Sexton said he hopes there will be new opportunities in 2021, and one of those is getting students back in classrooms as soon as the state can.

The State Senate also re-elected Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R - Oak Ridge) for a third term as Speaker of the Senate.

Tennessee's legislative session is likely to stretch for several months. An early order of business for the GOP-supermajority General Assembly will be a special session called by Republican Gov. Bill Lee starting Jan. 19 to address education challenges that have popped up during the virus outbreak.

Lawmakers are also likely to consider some proposals that were paused last year due to COVID-19, including a permitless handgun carry bill backed by Lee.