Capitol Hill Update from State Representative David Byrd October 6, 2021

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   Epidemic Response Strategy –Public Chapter 346 formulates a better response strategy for the state in the case of a statewide epidemic. The legislation implements a statewide collaborative pharmacy practice agreement with a licensed pharmacist to administer vaccines to vulnerable populations.

   Vaccines / Individual Rights – Public Chapter 513 prevents a law enforcement agency, governmental entity, or governor or chief executive of a local government from requiring citizens to receive the SARS-CoV-2 virus vaccination against their will. Students of public higher education institutions who are enrolled in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy or another health care profession who may be subject to policies or rules of a private office that delivers health care services are exempted from the bill. 

   Vaccine Passports / Health Boards and Pandemic Restrictions –Public Chapter 550 provides local boards of health act only in an advisory role to elected county mayors regarding COVID-19 restrictions. This legislation also prohibits a state or local governmental official, entity, department or agency from mandating a private business to require “vaccine passports” as a condition for entering their premises or utilizing their services. 

   Reducing Shortage of Nurses – Public Chapter 340 allows unlicensed, recent graduates of an accredited nursing school to practice nursing upon graduation under the supervision of a licensed registered nurse for up to 120 days or until they take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. The legislation continues the governor’s COVID-19 executive order. 

   Physician Assistants –Public Chapter 565 recognizes the modern role of physician assistants by allowing them to have their own independent board. 

   As always, I am truly humbled and honored to be your voice on Capitol Hill. If there is ever any issue I can assist with, please reach out to my office by calling 615-741-2190 or emailing me at rep.david.byrd@capitol.tn.gov.

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