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Bill Aims To Take Away Special Protection For Emergency Workers

Bill Aims To Take Away Special Protection For Emergency Workers

CREATED Jan 21, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – State lawmakers spent much of Tuesday debating a bill that would take away special protections for firefighters, police and health care workers.

Senator Bill Casey of Collierville sponsored the bill and faced criticism from other Republicans. The legislation would remove extra fines for attacking health care workers, police officers and firefighters.

"We're not taking away the protections from our policemen and firemen who do a great job," said Senator Brian Kelsey. "We're simply adding those same protections for the average Tennessean."

In 2013, a bill was passed that enhanced penalties for assault and aggravated assault committed against police officers, firefighters and health care workers. Fines were increased to $5,000 for assault and $15,000 for aggravated assault.

Senator Mark Green of Clarksville said the data from other states shows they are more likely to be attacked and deserve the extra protection. Senator Kelsey counter argued saying those groups don't deserve special treatment in the courtroom.

Senator Stacey Campfield asked Senator Kelsey to roll his bill for a couple of weeks while he asks some questions. The bill will come again in two weeks.