The doors of the Senate shall be open again

The Senate Education Committee meets on March 16, 2020, amid a ban on public attendance in the Cordell Hull Building (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The Senate is reopening to the public after shutting down most access during the pandemic. According to a Tennessee Lobbyists Association memo, the upper chamber is dropping most of the restrictions it had imposed when COVID-19 struck last year. The House restrictions were never as wide-ranging to begin with, and most its mitigation efforts were lifted last month.

Here is the memo outlining the Senate changes:

TLA Members,

We were notified of the following changes this evening:

Due to increased vaccine availability and the overall decline in the spread of COVID -19, Lt. Governor McNally will be implementing revised building protocols beginning Monday, March 8. These protocols apply to the 7th Floor of Cordell Hull Building, Senate Hearing Room I and Senate Floor Sessions:

1. Members of the public will be admitted to the Cordell Hull Building using the main entrance on Rep. John Lewis Way and will have elevator access to the 7th Floor.

2. Until elevator programming is adjusted, General Assembly staff will assist the public with elevator access to the 7th floor. Once programming is complete, elevator access for the public will be open.

3. Members of the public are encouraged not to enter a member’s office without an appointment.

4. Senate Hearing Room I will be open to the public with limited seating. So-cial distancing and capacity restrictions shall be maintained and enforced.

4. The public may access the Capitol through the tunnel for Senate Floor Sessions. One elevator will be designated for members only for session.

5. The Senate Gallery is open with limited seating available for the public and reserved seating for media. Social distancing and capacity restrictions shall be maintained.

6. The area outside the Senate Chamber is reserved for Senate staff.

7. The 8th Floor and 7th floor Senate Conference Rooms remain closed.

8. There shall be no Days on the Hill, group meetings or tours.

9. Appropriate CDC facial coverings are required in the Senate facilities of the Cordell Hull Building and the Capitol, including the tunnel.

10. Individuals with 2021 Photo Identification Badges issued by the General Assembly may access the Cordell Hull Building through the entrance on 6th Avenue.

11. The north elevator is reserved for members and staff, no public use.

12. Committee chairs may choose in-person or remote testimony for their committee meetings.

The protocols are subject to modification at any time.

32 Responses to The doors of the Senate shall be open again

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Just asking for trouble !

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Yea, damn that human desire for individual freedom and a return to normal. Be afraid, be very afraid now that the nanny state is taking its knee off of our necks.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    The state of Florida has been referred to as a test state for early dereliction of duty on mask wearing. I pointed out the other day when Florida Governor Desensless did away with the mask requirement against the health department & CDC guidelines that the numbers would rise fairly quickly. That was two days ago and Florida was then in seventh place in the country in new cases of Covid-19 per capita. Yesterday, Florida indeed moved up to number six in the country. Today they moved up again to fifth place for new cases. Now the nitwits in Tennessee want to follow their lead and join the failed policy group of states like Texas that are falling apart from Conservative mismanagement. They can’t even get water to drink or electricity for their homes with republicans in charge. And this is what Stuart and the conservatives are wishing for in Tennessee too. Yes, be afraid, be very afraid!

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      In the bizarro world of Taxpayer and his leftists friends Texas and Florida, two states in which people are streaming into, are falling apart while California, New York, and Illinois that taxpaying citizens are abandoning are utopias of good government. That’s OK Taxpayer so long as you don’t begin to take yourself too seriously so that in a fit of emotional catharsis you actually move away from this well governed state to one of the hell-holes that you so rhetorically admire.

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      James White says:

      Taxpayer #314,
      The water and electricity problem is in a Democratic controlled city (Memphis) and county (Shelby).
      And even the MLGW is much the same.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Keep repeating the same old crap and see how far that gets you in the real world Stuart! It amuses me when you assume some of the things you do about me or other posters on this site. You must have had a bad time in New York and California at least in your mixed up dreams. The senator representing the fake state of Texas can’t even stay put in his own mismanaged state while there are all those thousands of people flocking into it. You want us to believe that people are pouring into Texas because they have such cheap and reliable electricity and such clean and abundant water? You need to make up another diversion buddy! What a disaster.

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      Donna Locke says:

      Well, #314, I think Stuart is wrong that you are male. Am I right?

      You know, for whatever reason, I just don’t obsess over Covid. Most of my immediate family has had it, my mother’s cousin died of it, and I may have had it. If I had it, I survived it, and I am 70 years old with Type A blood, supposedly the type that gets the sickest. I am not going to get vaccinated because of previous sensitivities and reactions. One of the virus mutations may get me in the future, but I have survived Stage 3 cancer and I am not going to sit in my house and obsess over ANY of it.

      My Generation X kids and their spouses did not obsess even when they got sick with the virus. Three of them got pretty sick. All seem fully recovered now.

      The hyperventilation from the left over Covid has struck me as pathological. Pun intended, I guess.

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        Cryan says:

        I kind of get where you are coming from, but I mean you can’t deny it’s a pandemic. I see these stupid posts about it all being fake and doctors are “doctoring” death certificates. But they still can’t account for why so many people have died in the last year. It’s Covid-19!

        It’s scary. It is like the Spanish flu of 1918. It’s a once a century pandemic. I’m sorry for your loss and understand the sentiment of live and let live, but I think you at least understand where the fear is coming from even if you don’t agree with it. I hate that it’s even political.

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          Donna Locke says:

          Yes to the nature of this virus. I emphasized from the beginning that this is far more damaging and deadly than flu viruses we knew of. I just have noted the odd division of mental and emotional reaction to the facts of the virus. The left-leaning folks are more emotional and fearful and obsessed about it. It’s curious.

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        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        I have a theory that certain personality types are prone to be leftists, and certain personality types are prone to be rightists and yet other personality types don’t get themselves hot and bothered about politics at all. Leftists need a crises, no, even better, an “existential crises” that justify their controlling or coercing a people to do and live EXACTLY the way the leftists want them to live. Whether it’s the Chinese Flu or man made global cooling/warming that was supposed to destroy the earth whenever Al Gore said about twenty years ago or is now supposed twelve years in the future.

        This obsession to find any excuse to control what other people do and find some joy in exercising that control either directly or watching government bureaucrats do it is what I frankly find so unattractive about the authoritarian personality that the leftists display regarding issue after issue. Well, it takes all kinds and those of us who value freedom must do whatever we can to preserve our freedoms from those who are simply obsessed with depriving us of those freedoms.

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          MARLE says:

          35% of the annual flu transmission is by ASYMPTOMATIC carriers. Why on earth has Dr Fauci and Birx been acting like this is unique to Covid? The reason we haven’t been told to wear masks for Each Year for the Annual flu is that we 1) have a vaccine for that 2) it doesn’t kill in the same numbers due to prior years/decades of built up immunity in all but the severely immune compromised…. (aging tends to do that).

          We have most of the critical Misinformation thanks to the Brilliant Drs and their 75 years Combined experience with infectious Viral Community transmission. Could the Prior Administration have chosen a worse Duet to confuse and misinform the country???? Thank you Donald et al.

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          Donna Locke says:

          Fear and obsession may be related to risk taking and personalities more inclined or not to risk taking. That would fit in with the disputes over mask wearing. Risk-taking is on a continuum, with the extreme being totally casting one’s fate to the wind all the time in wide-open, ungoverned freedom — an extreme populated by rushes of testosterone, such as teenage boys in fast cars. But our society would be nowhere without people willing to risk a lot or everything. The risk takers, of course, feel confined and restricted by anything that feels like a cage or just “no.”

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          MARLE says:

          Risk taking is a joke these days…..bailouts, bankruptcy law changes in the 1980’s, free hospitalization for those “RiskTakers” who don’t have a pot to piss in and then rack up 2M in ICU costs. Please…!!! When “Risk Takers” bear the losses then I will be impressed with unbridled risk taking.

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            Donna Locke says:

            I am used to major risk takers. My dad climbed many stories up the skeletons of budding skyscrapers every work day and walked the high beams as an ironworker. Several of his friends fell to their deaths or serious injury. He looked at his family of five and his options and went back up even after falling one time and pulling himself up by one arm. He had some good Cherokee muscles. He volunteered for combat in World War II at age 15. I was thinking about him today.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Nobody is trying to DEPRIVE you of any “freedoms” you think you may have – your “freedoms” stop when your actions negatively impact others. This includes not wearing a mask and spreading the virus to others. You are free to shoot a weapon in certain places but you can’t shoot into your neighbors house. Your “theory” that some people need to have a crisis to control you is just another diversion to shed responsibility for your harmful actions. Selfish conservatives.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      In our society almost everything we do if we think about it long enough can be shown to “impact others” so that’s the test that leftists LOVE to use to show that they aren’t the control freaks that they appear to be when, in fact, it’s no test at all. On the other hand, for leftists it’s a great test because it justifies the command and control anywhere and everywhere that so turns them on.

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        Taxpayer #314 says:

        Yes Stuart, you finally figured it out – it is all just liberal smoke and mirrors or sometimes perhaps called a diversion? Liberals just love controlling all you conservative puppets. You dance and sing so sweetly.

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        Cryan says:

        If you’re so libertarian minded, then why in the world would you be a Republican? They are more authoritarian than any Democrat.

        Forced prayer in school.
        Ten commandments at the courthouse.
        The Old and New Testaments as the official books of the state.
        Telling business and small towns what the can and can’t do.
        Volkswagen wanted a Union.
        Nashville wanted to expand freedoms to “sexual eccentrics”

        Do I have to continue?

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          MARLE says:

          It’s only Authoritarian when it violates YOUR sensibilities (or lack of them) or Your agenda. That is how Stuart concludes that Dems are authoritarian but Republicans are not. And Tucker tells him nightly how correct he is in believing that. And what Tucker fails to hit home, heritage picks up the slack.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            I speak in terms of leftists, rightists, conservatives, liberals, etc. I rarely divide the world of politics between “Democrat” and “Republican” because while “Democrat” can reliably be said to mean “leftist” or “liberal” the word “Republican” in terms of political philosophy only means “not Democrat.” Of course, my goal in politics is to change that sorry fact so that “Republican” can reliably be said to mean “rightist” or “conservative” but that unfortunately ain’t the way it is at present.

            Something can be said to be “authoritarian” in terms of government power when it needlessly interferes with the traditional freedoms of an individual. It has nothing to do with my “. . .sensibilities (or lack of them) or [My} agenda.”

            As an avid watcher of the fabulous Tucker Carlson (FOX News, 7 & 11 PM weeknights) I can report that Tucker is serially critical of Democrats because they are leftists, very left. or extremely left and Tucker is a conservative with a populist seasoning. On the other hand, Tucker, like myself, is often critical of Republicans as so many Republican officeholders are comfy in their tall grass shelter supported by the Chamber of Commerce, NAM, etc. when they, in fact, should be outspokenly opposing or governing like. . .I don’t know. . .like a POLITICAL PARTY. (To see how it’s supposed to be done watch PMQ’s from the British Parliament, CSPAN Sunday 8 PM.) The Heritage Foundation, on the other hand, as a Sec. 501(c)(3) institution is neither supportive nor critical of political parties, only programs, legislation, etc. Hopefully that clears up whatever confusion some have had regarding this weighty matter.

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            MARLE says:

            Your “traditional Freedom” carried an obligation to pay for YOUR OWN results of freedom, not to pass them on to the body politic. Since we have changed all of that in favor of countless government interventions to bail out Bravado traditional Freedom demands responsibility. When that fails to materialize from within it gets imposed by the government.

            You should reasonably have all the freedom you can personally afford. And no more. Otherwise sob sisters and the irresponsible will bankrupt us all.

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            MARLE says:

            Tucker has no credibility when the only Repub he can find NO fault with is Trump. If minus Zero was a grade that is what Tucker deserves.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            That is wrong. Tucker has criticized Trump for not closing down the Afghanistan idiocy once and fore all as well as his bombing Syria. Tucker has also complained about Trump’s not ending the 401(b) visa scam. That’s just off the top of my head. Finally, Tucker has obvious reservations about Trump’s “unique” method of communication that results in needless rancor and hostility. Carlson is not a Trumpidian. Compare him to Rush or Hannity, there are your Trumpidians.

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            MARLE says:

            yes….compared to Rush or Hannity!!!! What a benchmark you hold him to in declaring him a non-Trumpian. Trump is the First President in 90 YEARS to lose the House, the Senate and the Presidency in one term. And Tucker can find little fault with him. Are you kidding me? YOU need to stop living in an echo chamber of resounding lies.

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            MARLE says:

            Your 3 examples are lame considering the 1000 plus lies Trump managed to off load in just 4 years. His trade policies were whimsical. His tax policy was full of broken promises. His agreement to release his taxes a major HOAX (he is the one who said he would regardless of requirement and the list is too endless to enumerate.

            Tucker spent so much time in praising him the ratio is so over the top a few crumbs of fault is meaningless. But leave it to you to find the few…..micro analyzing I believe you mistakenly label that exercise.

            Trump cost our country dearly. First president in 90 years to lose the entire governing apparatus. Has Tucker, the great sharer of facts and figures, ever mentioned that??????

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Tucker reflects the opinion of an overwhelming number of conservatives including myself. After the hideous Obama regime the Trump administration was a welcome breath of fresh air. His personality annoys a great many of us and he is far from perfect and in no way the best conservatives can do but the plusses of his administration far outweigh the negatives and just the first few weeks of the demented Big Guy’s administration has served to punctuate that fact.

            You hate Trump and in that opinion you join those on the left but very few on the right. Insofar as I can’t remember you expressing enthusiasm for any political figure or commentator, rather they all apparently have scores with minus signs on the MARLE scorecard, that isn’t surprising.

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            MARLE says:

            I don’t hate Trump; I Voted for him. I am unimpressed with his ability to govern or to pick sensible people to surround himself with for counsel.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          First you say “. . .he can find NO fault with Trump” and when I gently point out you are WRONG and I give you three examples off the top of my head of how wrong you are you now complain that he hasn’t been critical enough. I assume by “enough” you mean up to the MARLE standard of criticism which a number of us have diagnosed as the terrible heartbreak of TDS, but let’s not go into that again.

          Your recurring problem is that you judge Cruz, Tucker, et al. two of my favorite people in the whole world, on the standard of responders to the “On the Hill” blog when these are people in the public eye who can’t be as outspoken as we are and hope to be successful in Republican politics or FOX News. Unfortunately, there are many Trumpidians who are as humorless and intolerant as your average leftist and I admit, that presents a serious problem for the Republican Party and to a certain extent FOX News. (Note that poor bloke who CORRECTLY called Arizona for the Big Guy was quickly jettisoned because it was too quick, I guess, for the Trumpidians.) Those are the realities of playing in the big leagues. Neither of us like it but I am simply better at accommodating myself to the realities of playing in the big leagues. I simply am waiting to be called up after I am discovered.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Every time Stuart goes on one of his teaching rants, teaching “the people” about his conservative ideas, he does this odd thing and ends up his long, boring explaination by saying, “I hope this clears up whatever confusion some have.” Stuart, the confusion comes when you try to explain the advantages of conservative thinking. We understand your partnership with Tucker and the inexplicable way he operates. He takes conservative thinking to the extremes but he certainly does have your attention. What a duo!

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