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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A bill that would increase the penalty for anyone convicted of assaulting a nurse is heading to the governor's desk for signing into law.

Measure (HB0864) passed in the State House of Representatives this week and awaits Governor Bill Lee's signature. The bill would give nurses the same protections that are afforded to first responders who are assaulted while performing their duties.

The bill's sponsor Representative Jesse Chism from Memphis said "Nurses have been on the front lines since the COVID-19 pandemic began and have always been the gatekeepers for the health of Tennesseans."

If the bill is signed into law, the penalty for assaulting a nurse on duty will be a $15,000 fine with a mandatory 90-day jail sentence.

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