Roane County not requiring face masks, not clear if that could change

As of Monday, Roane County had not invoked its ability to recommend or require face masks or coverings in the county, County Executive Ron Woody said in a video posted online.

On Friday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee granted county mayors in most of the state’s counties the authority to recommend or require face masks.

In a video posted on Facebook on Monday, Woody said there are two issues that have to be resolved before Roane County considers invoking the mandate.

First, Woody said the order, Executive Order 54, hasn’t been officially published, at least not as of Monday afternoon.

Second, the county will wait for guidance from the regional health director, Woody said.

“Generally, a regional health director would make a recommendation to a county saying (there) is a health issue to invoke a mandate or some type of action,” Woody said. “The health department has made no recommendation at this time.”

[Read more…]

Gov. Bill Lee issuing ‘stay at home’ order

Bill Lee

Note: This story was last updated at 4:48 p.m.

On Thursday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said he will sign Executive Order 23 requiring that Tennesseans stay home unless they are carrying out essential activities. Lee said he is issuing the order because data shows an increase in movements across the state.

“We need all Tennesseans who can to stay home,” Lee said during a Thursday afternoon press conference that was broadcast online.

The governor issued a “safer at home” order this week that urged people to stay home except for essential business. But not as many are staying home as officials would like, and there had apparently been some disregard for the public health guidance.

“It’s dangerous, it’s unacceptable, and it’s a threat to life in the community,” Lee said.

The new order goes further, he said.

“Staying home is not an option,” Lee said. “It’s a requirement.”

[Read more…]

Lee: Dine-in prohibited at restaurants, gyms must close

An order from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Sunday prohibits eating inside restaurants and requires gyms and fitness centers to temporarily close.

The executive order is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order, Executive Order 17, said restaurants, bars, and similar businesses that serve food and drinks must sell food only through drive-throughs or take-outs, or by delivery.

Businesses may sell alcohol by take-out or delivery when customers buy food. But the alcohol must be in closed containers and served only to customers who are 21 years old or older.

The measures are meant to help families, businesses, and the food supply chain. Lee’s office said.

[Read more…]

League Issues—Making Democracy Work: Immigration

In April 2008, the League of Women Voters of the United States announced its League position on immigration.

The League supports immigration policies that promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business, and employment needs of the United States; and are responsive to those fleeing persecution or humanitarian crisis. The League supports federal comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship. The League agrees that the deportation of unauthorized immigrants who have no history of criminal activity is inappropriate.

What does the executive action on immigration mean?

The executive action taken by President Barack Obama on November 20, 2014, is consistent with the League’s position as are the 39 similar executive orders issued by every president over the last 60 years in orders that have affected as much as 40 percent of the undocumented immigrant population.

The League supports the president’s action and believes this action is within the executive authority of the president. [Read more…]

Labor Secretary announces proposal to raise minimum wage for federal contract workers

Proposed rule would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for covered workers

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez on Thursday announced a proposed rule raising the minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts to $10.10 per hour. The proposed rule implements Executive Order 13658, which was announced by President Barack Obama on Feb. 12.

“A core American value is that hard work should be rewarded with fair pay,” Perez said in a press release. “And as the president said in his State of the Union address, if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty.

“Raising the minimum wage for workers on federal contracts will provide a much needed boost to many who are working hard, but still struggle to get by, and it will also benefit taxpayers with improved employee retention and productivity. Today the department took an important step toward making the promise of the executive order a reality for thousands of workers.” [Read more…]