Tennesseans Hoping For More Transparency During Legislative Session May Be Disappointed

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

The Tennessee General Assembly is promising more transparency during this year’s legislative session. A new dashboard has been launched, a resource that will allow Tennesseans to view all House committee and floor calendars, legislation, amendments – both those proposed, as well as those approved – and video on all House legislative initiatives. 

Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville-District 25) stated in a press release that the dashboard will give Tennesseans “the same access as their representative in real-time and make the legislative process the most transparent in Tennessee that it has ever been.” Amendments are to be added to the legislative tracker in real time and redline edits to legislation will also be accessible.

However, Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands says that according to Rule 60 on page 14 of the House Rules, an amendment can be filed by 2:00pm and be heard the following day.

“A caption bill with one sentence, can become a 20-page bill in less than 24 hours,” said Humble. “With the rules in place, no one, not even committee members, really has an opportunity to review the amendments before they are being heard. This is not transparency. The new dashboard is great. But it doesn’t resolve the root of the problem.”

“We have a real transparency issue in Nashville… We have a process called ‘caption bills’ and there are good reasons to have them,” Americans for Prosperity State Director Tori Venable has stated before. “We want to see every amendment placed online for public review before it’s voted on…”

While the amendments will technically now be available ahead of voting, there will still be little time for Tennesseans to review these amendments that are added to caption bills and communicate with their representatives about them.

Tennesseans who wish to know which committees their representatives will be serving on this legislative session may find that information HERE.

A new health subcommittee has been created under the House Health Committee. Named the Population Health Subcommittee, it will be chaired by Representative Michele Carringer (R-Knoxville-District 16) and is meant to deal with proposed changes to Tennessee’s abortion laws.

In the Senate, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge-District 5) made two key senate appointments. Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga-District 10) has been appointed to serve as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a position vacated by Mike Bell. McNally also reappointed Senator Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol-District 4) as chairman of the Education Committee.

Tennesseans who wish to know which committees their Senators will be serving on this legislative session may find that information HERE.

In a disappointing turn of events, Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma-District 16) was removed from her role as Deputy Speaker. 

Bowling earned The Tennessee Conservative’s Tough Tusk Award in 2022 for her deep, principled moorings in conservatism and for her bold steps to solve problems that conservative primary voters care about.

The role of Deputy Speaker is now held by three Senators – Shane Reeves (R-District 14), John Stevens (R-District 24) and Dawn White (R-District 13.)

In the Tennessee Conservative’s 2022 RINO Report, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally was named RINO Legislator of the Year in the Senate, while Shane Reeves and John Stevens made the Top 5.

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at paula@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

2 thoughts on “Tennesseans Hoping For More Transparency During Legislative Session May Be Disappointed

  • January 19, 2023 at 11:37 pm

    Sadly, Stevens is from my district. He’s one of the worst.

  • January 23, 2023 at 8:24 am

    re: Reeves I’m glad I did not vote for him.
    He is so weak its just down right insulting for him to be in our legislature.
    One could a truck thru “His” RINO e-verfy law.


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