KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — State lawmakers continue debating changes to COVID-19 regulations in Tennessee. A special session kicked of Wednesday.

Issues on the table include banning vaccine requirements, limiting mask mandates, and scaling back the authority of local health boards and the governor. Lawmakers could soon vote on a ban, impacting most businesses, requiring proof of vaccination from employees or customers despite growing opposition from some business leaders.

Stewart Harris, a constitutional law professor at Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law, said the Legislature has the authority to regulate businesses in the state and make many of the above mentioned changes. However, he believes some of the proposals could result in legal challenges.

Harris says federal mandates like the one proposed for larger employers across the country through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would supersede state law.

“Any conflict between a Tennessee law and federal law is going to result in the invalidation of the Tennessee law,” he said. “That’s because of the supremacy clause in the United States Constitution, which makes federal law supreme.”

He also noted some business owners, who feel harmed by being prohibited from requiring vaccinations or masks, could also take their grievances to court.

“That business owner who wants to have a vaccine mandate, who wants to have masking requirements, is now being told he can’t do that, and he might argue that this is a violation of his property rights, his due process rights to property,” Harris said.