Glen Casada, Brandon Ogles

State Reps. Glen Casada (left) and Brandon Ogles (right) both represent Williamson County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

More than 80 bills were proposed in recent weeks as part of a larger effort to curb COVID-19 restrictions across the state, with a large bill being passed by the Tennessee legislature over the weekend during the special session.

With its dozens of provisions, including the ban of mask mandates in public schools unless under certain conditions and a ban on vaccine mandates at certain businesses, the comprehensive package saw contributions from lawmakers from across the state.

Here are what lawmakers representing Williamson County pushed for in the package.

Glen Casada

Rep. Glen Casada, who represents eastern Williamson County as part of Tennessee’s 63rd House District, proposed two bills aimed at curbing COVID-19 restrictions in the weeks leading up to the special session; House Bill 9035 and House Bill 9036.

While the two bills themselves failed to garner enough votes in various committees, their passing would have been “redundant,” Casada told the Home Page, as elements of his bills were included in the package through various amendments.

House Bill 9035, which was ultimately passed in the package as an amendment, would prohibit licensing boards from taking adverse actions against a health care provider based on their recommendations to a patient regarding treatment for COVID-19. 

In essence, this bill would allow for health care providers to prescribe treatments for COVID-19 based on their own “independent medical judgement” without adverse consequences from medical licensing boards.

House Bill 9036 would prohibit public schools, governmental bodies and many private businesses — with some exceptions — from instituting vaccine mandates.

Brandon Ogles

Rep. Brandon Ogles, who represents northern Williamson County as part of Tennessee’s 61st House District, proposed four bills in the weeks leading up to the COVID-19 special session: House Bills 9011, 9012, 9013 and 9055.

House Bill 9011 would prohibit private businesses from denying service based on vaccination status with some exceptions, and House Bill 9012 would protect the right of Tennesseans to refuse vaccines based on religious grounds or by right of conscience. Both bills saw inclusions in some form in the larger package.

House Bill 9013 would prohibit health care providers from administering COVID-19 vaccines to minors without the written consent of parents or legal guardians, whereas House Bill 9055 prohibited businesses from taking adverse actions against employees who object to COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 special session

While the exact language of the two Williamson County representative’s bills differed slightly from the the final COVID-19 package, all six bills saw their provisions included in some form.

Having passed in the state Senate, Gov. Bill Lee is expected to sign the package into law sometime this week.