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Tennessee legislature needs to wrap up its business and adjourn as soon as possible

Local 24 News commentator and political analyst Otis Sanford explains why

MEMPHIS, Tennessee —

The coronavirus outbreak has completely upended our daily lives. Schools are closed, sporting events are canceled and many restaurants, stores and bars are either shutting down or reducing hours. Even those massive political rallies, thank goodness, are being called off. With all of that happening – or not happening, to be exact – it makes perfect sense for the Tennessee legislature to wrap up its business and adjourn as soon as possible. Which means in the next few days.

Getting that done won’t be easy. There are several critical issues that must be resolved before lawmakers put a wrap on the 2020 session. They include popular items such as paid family medical leave and expansion of early childhood literacy programs.

But I believe the 99 members of the state House and 33 members of the senate can get those issues approved, pass a budget and adjourn in a week to 10 days. That will mean leaving behind some unpopular – and frankly unnecessary proposals – such as the fetal heartbeat bill – and allowing adults 21 and over to carry around handguns without a permit.

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Besides, Governor Bill Lee can always call a special legislative session later in the year to deal with any crucial issues that can’t get done now.

The point is, everyone is facing drastic changes in their lives. And nothing is more important for lawmakers than protecting public health – including their own.

And that’s my point of view. I’m Otis Sanford, for Local 24 News.

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