Speaker Harwell Proposes Changes To Decades-Old House Rules

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) on Wednesday announced she is recommending changes to the Tennessee House of Representatives internal rules that will make the governmental process more efficient and save taxpayer money. The changes follow an effort two years ago to streamline operations.
 
"Tennessee taxpayers have entrusted us with the task of governing--something I take very seriously," Ms. Harwell said. "These changes reflect the will of Tennesseans: that state government operates efficiently and effectively while saving money.
These changes also reflect the will of the body. After surveying the members of the last General Assembly, we have incorporated some of their suggestions as well. While Congress remains mired in partisan gridlock and continues to waste time, the state legislature is working toward better government."
 
The changes include:
  • Restructuring the committee system to balance the workload of each;
  • Adopting the annual ethics resolution into the House Rules which will ensure the body is abiding by an ethics policy from the first day;
  • Limiting the number of bills filed to 10 per member annually which will encourage members to prioritize;
  • Reaffirming that each member vote for only him or herself;
  • And deleting the requirement that every document be printed to reduce the amount of paper used in committee and for floor sessions.
Speaker Harwell noted the committee restructuring, bill limits, and paperless measures are among those that will, in the long run, save the Tennessee taxpayer money.
 
"The new committee system will balance the workloads of each committee, ensuring that they are as efficient as possible. Bill limits will reduce duplication and ensure each member prioritizes their issues. I am seeking to eliminate the requirement that every document we produce as a body be printed in effort for us to adapt to the technology available and reduce the enormous amount of paper used each year. Each of these measures together ensure a more efficient, effective, and accessible government. This will also give us more time for thoughtful, deliberate analysis on each piece of legislation—which is something Tennesseans expect and deserve."
 
The proposed recommendations will be taken up by the House Rules Committee, which will be appointed by the Speaker in January.
 

Multiple Arrests Made In Burglary In Progress On Sunnyside Drive

Chattanooga Police Department responded on Monday, at approximately   12 p.m. to 5208 Sunnyside Drive on a burglary in progress.   Upon arrival  officers were informed to be on the lookout for a brown SUV with several parties involved. The victim was identified as Lander Lewis. Officers located and stopped the vehicle at 28 th and 6 th   ... (click for more)

Collegedale Commission Approves New Zoning Designation For Collegedale Station Development

Collegedale is growing. Rezoning of a 100-acre tract and approval of a new zoning designation at the commission meeting Monday night will allow for the new development named Collegedale Station. Property along Apison Pike at Pattentown Road and in front of The Summit, a sports complex owned by Chattanooga, was rezoned to Planned Commercial Development Overlay. This will permit ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)

Baylor Ends Big Week With Win Over GPS

The Baylor volleyball team probably doesn't get many days off during the week in midseason, but they earned a day off on Tuesday following a long and successful stretch in the last eight days. The Lady Red Raiders, won 10 of 11 matches in the last eight days, including a big win over arch-rival GPS on the road Monday night.  As a result, coach Sarah Lail urged her girls ... (click for more)

UTC's Hudson Named Special Teams Player Of The Week

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Tommy Hudson is the Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, the league office announced today.  Hudson scored twice in the Mocs 42-6 win at Austin Peay on Saturday .  Hudson returned three punts for 65 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown in the third quarter.  That added to his 33-yard receiving ... (click for more)