New House Rules Streamline Government, Save Taxpayer Money Officials Say

Thursday, January 10, 2013
For the first time since 1997, the Tennessee House of Representatives on Thursday adopted permanent rules that will govern the body. Following the landmark vote, Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), and Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (R-Franklin) emphasized that the new rules will streamline government and save taxpayer money.
 
“I am proud of the House for voting to streamline government and adopt these new rules,” said Speaker Harwell.
“This is an important step in furthering the principle of limited government that our founding fathers intended, and one that voters expect.”
 
Among the rule changes are the first-ever limits on bills. Each member will be limited to fifteen bills per year, meaning thirty total for the 108th General Assembly. Previously, the Tennessee General Assembly averaged over 4,000 while surrounding states considered roughly 2,500.
 
“These changes will help the House of Representatives operate more efficiently, saving taxpayer dollars in the long run,” said Leader McCormick. “We will now be able to prioritize and focus more on those issues that Tennesseans expect us to tackle: jobs, lower taxes, and reducing government waste.”
 
Leaders say that restructuring the committee system will aid in a more efficient operation by better balancing the workload of each committee. Further, the new rules include the annual ethics resolution, meaning that the ethics standards now have the force of the House rules from the first day given to the body.
 
“We are citizen legislators—not full time. The public expects us to keep our business brief, knowing that many of the bills we pass regulate their lives,” said Chairman Casada. “I am looking forward to our work this year as we strive to make Tennessee an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Man Who Spent 2 1/2 Years In Jail Convicted Of Misdemeanor Carrying 6-Month Sentence

A man who waited in jail for two and a half years to go to trial was convicted Thursday on a misdemeanor assault charge carrying six months in the workhouse. After the jury verdict for the less charge, Criminal Court Judge Don Poole sentenced Deangelo Ross to six months. He was to be released on time served. Ross was facing charges of aggravated sexual battery and indecent ... (click for more)

Fleischmann Votes To Repeal And Replace Medicare SGR Formula

Representative Chuck Fleischmann voted on Thursday for H.R. 2 ,  the  Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act . After passage, Rep. Fleischmann released the following statement: “By repealing and replacing Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), we are not only improving health care for seniors, but we are saving money for taxpayers. Without this permanent ... (click for more)

The Problems With Prescription Drug Addiction

In Tennessee today, we have a major problem with prescription drug addiction, particularly when powerful opioid pain relievers are concerned.    For the first time in 2012, Tennesseans abused prescription opioid drugs more than alcohol.  Our young people ages 18-25 abuse prescription opioids at a 30 percent higher rate than the national average.  In just five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Recall J.C. Owens

If you were to go to Oakville, Ala, a little ways from Decatur, about the biggest thing you’d find would be some 20 or so Indian mounds, where the early tribes would bury their dead many centuries ago. But if you sniffed around a bit, you’d learn it was the birthplace of James Cleveland Owens, a man whose name is of no consequence to anyone. I’m proud to say I talked to him ... (click for more)

Innisdale Leaves Canadian Frozen Tundra For Pounder Classic

The annual Pounder Classic is becoming the long-distance destination for prep baseball teams seeking tournament experience that could serve as a springboard to seasonal success. A year ago, the Key West (Fla.) Conchs traveled 1,880 miles round trip to play a few games in Central’s tournament. This March a team from another country is making an appearance in the three-day ... (click for more)

Morris Resigns As East Hamilton Girls Hoop Coach

Derek Morris, the only girls’ basketball coach in East Hamilton’s six-year history, has resigned. Morris enjoyed a wildly successful four-year run in District 6-AA, but struggled mightily when the program moved up in classification to District 5-AAA. Morris’ Lady Hurricanes went 8-23 this past season. They defeated McMinn County’s girls 46-42 in overtime in the District ... (click for more)