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.”

Overton County Fire Chief Indicted After Comptroller Investigation Reveals Missing Money

Former Hardy’s Chapel Volunteer Fire Chief Terry L. Priest is now facing indictment after an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office discovered a cash shortage of at least $37,496.11 in the volunteer fire department in Overton County.   Comptroller investigators noted a number of problems after conducting interviews and examining bank records, receipts, and ... (click for more)

Democrats Hit Ramsey Goal Of Republican Supreme Court Majority

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart was critical of reports that Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey "intends to let partisan politics dictate the choice for the next Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court." He said, “Until now, Tennessee Governors of both parties have picked Justices of our highest court based on merit, not politics.  For example, in 2007 Democratic Governor ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Could Obama Win Again?

When President Barack Obama spoke to the African Union yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he made a pretty brash statement: “I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he told the African leaders. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.” While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t think that’s true. Obviously, term limits keep Obama from running, but as I sit ... (click for more)

2015 High School Football Tour Recap

  High School football officially began Monday as prep teams throughout the state donned helmets and pads for the first time with the season opening weekend 24 days away.   The sixth annual chattannogan.com tour of Hamilton County schools began with Howard just before 7 a.m. and ended at Silverdale a few minutes before 10 p.m. – 13 schools and 173 miles. ... (click for more)

Three Marion Players On 2A Preseason All-State Team

Marion County's Corey Tucker, Christian Stephens and Alex Kirkendoll have been voted to the Star Physical Therapy Class 2A preseason all-state team in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. Other area players on the team are Tellico Plains' Ryan Bookout, Boyd-Buchanan's Eli Legg and Sweetwater's Bailey Byrum.  Marion County finished as state runner-up ... (click for more)