Ophelia Ford rants against nurses in Senate panel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A legislative proposal seeking to increase penalties for assaults on health care workers has caused state Sen. Ophelia Ford to launch into prolonged rants against nurses.

The Memphis Democrat in a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday railed against the nurses who attended to her during two recent hospitalizations.

Fellow Democratic Sen. Tim Barnes of Clarksville stressed that his proposal is not meant to be a "referendum on nurses," and that the effort reflects statistical evidence that health care workers face a disproportionate number of assaults.

Sen. Mae Beavers, a Mt. Juliet Republican and chairwoman of the committee, twice cut off Ford's angry commentary before the panel ultimately advanced the bill on a 5-4 vote.


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