Tennessee State Representative Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka) on Thursday introduced a bill that would allow party affiliation to be designated during a school board election.
The legislation, if enacted, would alter the current election process, which allows individuals to campaign on a nonpartisan basis.
“Elections for school board members may be conducted on a partisan basis, and a person seeking a position on a board may campaign as the nominee or representative of a political party,” the bill reads.
The bill will be considered during an upcoming special legislative session, which begins on October 27. According to Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), the session “will cover a number of issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including overreaching health care mandates.”
If passed, the new law would go into effect in July of 2022.
Local school boards have been at the center of the debate of coronavirus mandates throughout the country, and Tennessee specifically.
Earlier this year, the Williamson County School Board held numerous contentious meetings over potential mask mandates for students and faculty members.
After the meetings, the officials decided to limit the number of speakers allowed to address the members and require proof of residence in order to speak.
“For several weeks, we have heard from Tennesseans that have significant concerns over the unconstitutional and burdensome mandates being imposed upon them,” said Speaker Sexton of the special session. “As an elected body, it is our responsibility to let the distinctive voices of our communities be heard on these issues. I look forward to working together with Lt. Gov. McNally, the House, and Senate to create solutions that preserve the individual choices, freedoms, and liberties of all Tennesseans.”
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Scott Cepicky” by Scott Cepicky.