New legislation is moving forward in the Tennessee legislature to implement a ban on government-mandated COVID-vaccine passports, but not a ban on passports required by private companies.
On Wednesday, the Tennessee Senate Commerce Committee approved an amendment to a bill governing county health boards to bar any “state or local official, entity, department, or agency” from requiring individuals to present proof of vaccination from the novel Wuhan coronavirus. The committee passed the bill with the attached amendment by 5-1 vote and two senators absent with the governor’s blessing.
At Wednesday’s hearing, a representative from Lee’s Department of Health testified the proposed amendment “is coming directly from the governor’s office” and clarified in questioning that the law would still permit private corporations to implement mandates for COVID vaccination for service or entry, just as they may require masks.
“It still allows private business to make those determinations for private business,” said the Health Department representative.
At the hearing, Republican Sen.