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TN Senator Wants Liability Protections For Universities In Next Coronavirus Bill

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN News


As Congress continues to craft a new coronavirus relief bill, a Tennessee senator says liability protections for universities must be included.


Sen. Lamar Alexander—the chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Education Committee—told local and national reporters Thursday that university presidents across Tennessee have talked to him about their desire to open. But, Alexander said, they also shared concerns about facing legal action, even when they have been following safety protocols.

“Schools, colleges and businesses would be less likely to reopen if they think they are going to be sued if someone gets sick when they come back to school,” Alexander said.

The Republican mentioned that members of his party would push for liability protections if a new coronavirus relief bill is passed. Alexander said a failure to do this could make what’s been an already “difficult financial year” even more difficult.

The senior Tennessee senator also said that more testing will be available for universities and businesses before the beginning of the fall semester.

“All roads back to school, back to college, back to work, lead through testing,” Alexander said. “And fortunately it looks like we are going to have a lot of tests in August and September.”

This story was reported by WPLN

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán is Nashville Public Radio’s political reporter. Prior to moving to Nashville, Sergio covered education for the Standard-Examiner newspaper in Ogden, Utah. He is a Puerto Rico native and his work has also appeared on NPR station WKAR, San Antonio Express-News, Inter News Service, GFR Media and WMIZ 1270 AM.