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Tennessee lawmakers continue special session

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Legislation designed to provide sweeping liability protections against coronavirus lawsuits to schools, health care providers and businesses advanced in Tennessee on Tuesday.

The Republican-dominant Statehouse is currently convening for a special legislative session to address not only COVID-19 liability but also telemedicine coverage and penalties against protesters.

Gov. Bill Lee announced last week that he was convening a special legislative session to address a handful of bills lawmakers failed to advance earlier this year before adjourning in mid-June.

Back then, the main dividing line over the liability bill was whether to make its protections retroactive to early March, which the Senate supported and the House opposed. The telemedicine bill was spiked as a response to the failure to pass the liability bill.

Meanwhile, protesters have held demonstrations outside the Capitol for weeks demanding a meeting with Lee to discuss "racial justice" issues, but the Republican has declined, and instead called for law enforcement agencies to review various policies.

GOP lawmakers are still finalizing details of the bills and are expected to finish their business on Wednesday.

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