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.
 

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANGEL, ASHLEY RENEE 52 HIDDEN HOLLOW CIRCLE CROSSVILLE, 38571 30 Hamilton County DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE BANDY, DARRIUS LAMAR 1620 34 STREET ENSLEY BIRMINGHAM, 35208 29 Collegedale Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) BELLAH, GREGG SHANNON 3303 NICKAJACK ... (click for more)

Ringgold Boy, 4, Drowns In Motel Pool At Knoxville

A four-year-old Ringgold, Ga., boy died in a motel pool in Knoxville on Sunday afternoon. He was identified as Anderson Cooper Goldsmith. The incident happened at the Quality Inn on Cedar Bluff Road. Police said several families were in the pool when a man felt something bump against his leg. He found that it was a small child. The boy was pulled from the pool, but ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Look At My April Garden

On this April Fool’s Day, as I take my monthly stroll through my virtual garden, there are gorgeous flowers and there are weeds, which appear to be trying harder than the flowers. So let’s see what we find before searching for “The Prize Egg” on Sunday. A FLOWER to the New York cab driver who told a young writer, “Always remember that everyone you meet knows something that you ... (click for more)

'Canes Edge Mustangs On Cox's Game-Winner In 7th

  Maybe it was just East Hamilton’s turn to win a tight game. After dropping 5-4 and 2-1 decisions to District 5-AAA rivals Bradley Central and McMinn County, respectively, the Hurricanes weren’t about to lose their third straight one-run decision in league play on Tuesday. So, Kyle Cox and Matt Milita, two of the team’s five seniors, decided to do something about ... (click for more)

Central Scores Early, Hangs On To Beat Red Bank, 7-6

Central baseball coach Glen Carter could finally breathe a sigh of relief. His Purple Pounders had bolted to a 7-0 lead in the first three innings of Monday's 6-AA skirmish with the Red Bank Lions and things were looking pretty good for those guys in purple. But it all came down to Red Bank's final at-bat.  The Lions sent eight hitters to the plate and scored ... (click for more)