Lee extends executive orders through September

Gov. Bill Lee arrives for a press conference on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee has extended several executive orders through the end of September, including special provisions to allow governing bodies to meet electronically and for bars to sell alcohol to go.

Here’s the full release from the governor’s office:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee today signed Executive Order No. 59 to extend certain, targeted provisions of Executive Order Nos. 36, 38, 49, 50, 54, and 55 through September 30, 2020 to facilitate the continued treatment and containment of COVID-19 through regulatory flexibility, promoting social distancing and wearing face coverings in public places, and protecting vulnerable populations.

Gov. Lee also signed Executive Order Nos. 60 and 61, which extend through September 30 provisions that allow for electronic government meetings subject to transparency safeguards and remote notarization and witnessing of documents, allowing for implementation of best practices developed during COVID-19 for providing live broadcasts of electronic meetings and safely conducting in-person transactions, respectively, beginning October 1.

Executive Order No. 59 extends previous provisions that:

  • Urge persons to wear a cloth face covering in places where in close proximity to others, while facilitating local decision-making concerning face covering requirements;
  • Urge social distancing and limit social and recreational gatherings of 50 or more persons, unless adequate social distancing can be maintained;
  • Limit nursing home and long-term-care facility visitation, while providing a framework for safe, limited visitation, and continue the closure of senior centers;
  • Provide that employers and businesses are expected to comply with the Governor’s Economic Recovery Group Guidelines (e.g., Tennessee Pledge) for operating safely (the 6 counties with locally run county health departments have authority to issue different directives on businesses/venues);
  • Provide that bars may only serve customers seated at appropriately spaced tables and must follow the Economic Recovery Group Guidelines (e.g., Tennessee Pledge) for restaurants (the 6 counties with locally run county health departments have authority to issue different directives on businesses/venues);
  • Continue access take-out alcohol sales to encourage carryout and delivery orders;
  • Allow broad access to telehealth services;
  • Increase opportunities for people to easily join the healthcare workforce;
  • Facilitate increased testing and health care capacity;
  • Extend deadlines and suspend certain in-person continuing education, gathering, or inspection requirements to avoid unnecessary person-to-person contact; and
  • Increase opportunities to work remotely where appropriate.

Executive Order No. 60, as previously extended by Executive Order No. 51, is extended through September 30 and allows governing bodies to meet electronically regarding essential business as long as they provide electronic access to the public and meet the safeguards established in that order to ensure openness and transparency. The order ensures that governmental entities are able to carry out essential business in a safe, transparent way without creating large gatherings in a confined space and endangering persons, particularly those at increased risk of suffering severe illness from COVID-19, while requiring that governing bodies transition toward adopting best practices developed during the pandemic, like providing real-time, live public access to electronic meetings, beginning October 1.

Executive Order No. 61, as previously extended by Executive Order No. 52, is extended through September 30, and allows for remote notarization and remote witnessing of documents, subject to compliance with certain procedures. The order ensures that persons, and particularly populations especially vulnerable to COVID-19, including older adults and persons with compromised immune systems or serious chronic medical conditions, can continue to engage in commerce and execute legal documents without requiring in-person contact while also making preparations to implement best practices for a safe return to in-person transactions beginning October 1.

15 Responses to Lee extends executive orders through September

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Why does #LeeTheTyrant think the Tennessee Constitution allows him to Write laws? Where is our Legislature?

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    karen bracken says:

    This Governor is a tyrant. All his EOs need to be ended. The number of deaths in TN never warranted a shut down but it sure let him cash in on federal money while children are traumatized and parents cannot oay their bills.

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    steve cates says:

    Thanks for this, Lee, but a pox on you and your wife for flaunting NO mask wearing at a 1500 person gathering ( in close proximity) last night in WAshington , D. C.!!!

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      A “pox” is a virus disease so steve cates is wishing that the Governor of this state and his wife fall ill with I assume the Chinese Flu because they didn’t wear a mask while attending a function outdoors some 800 miles away which simply goes to show that you don’t have to be a leftist stormtrooper to have the totalitarian mentality of a leftist stormtrooper.

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        Donna Locke says:

        I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve read lefty faux-journalists, bloggers, and other whiners here in Tennessee wishing cancer, death, etc., on conservatives, independents, and anyone else who has a clue and doesn’t vote the way they do. I can name names. They are all allergic to facts.

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      Eddie White says:

      Protective helmets would also have been appropriate to get through the leftist mobs waiting outside the White House.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    So, our Gov. attended a press conference about the Covid Virus without wearing a mask and nobody in his entourage had one on either. That is the way to lead by example, except it is exactly the wrong example. The Republicans just don’t seem to get it. 178,000 fellow Americans are dead and they just disregard any and all scientific evidence about controlling the virus. Agreed, masks are not 100% but they do offer at least some protection. Risk Vrs. reward and when the risk includes sickness or death, the wearing of a mask is pretty low-cost & high reward protection. Why is this so hard for (R) to grasp? You don’t just wear a mask to protect you, you wear it to protect OTHERS!

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    Eddie White says:

    I don’t like masks. I don’t like wearing them or seeing everyone else wearing them. But I am tired of this pandemic and if wearing a mask might help get us through this sooner, then I will put them on. I am going to choose to trust those persons who have spent 10-12 years in college studying medicine on this subject.

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    Phil Lassiter says:

    Bill Lee is a governing much like Mayor Cooper. I suppose that style of governance is very acceptable now to the clear majority of the major donors In the state. Once. Again. Pure fact.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      That’s the “fun” of voting for and/or donating to a No Record Candidate for high office, it apparently provides some sort of excitement as to exactly what the candidate is going to do once he assumes office. Speaking of which, about 19% of the voters in the First District voted for No Record Candidate Diana Harshbarger which was enough to win in this first past the post state and it seems that Diana is involved with Ted Cruz’s “20 For 20” campaign initiative to support conservative candidates so maybe, just maybe, we’ve lucked out and bought ourselves about 20 Heritage points as she replaces the most tepid conservative Phil Roe (Heritage-69%).

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    Robyn says:

    Don’t agree with many decisions Lee has made. Won’t be voting for him next time around! He has to follow the rules he demands of Tennesseans!

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