Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) on Thursday announced state Senate committee assignments for the 108th General Assembly. Lt. Governor Ramsey was elected to his fourth term as speaker of the senate on Tuesday.
“The most important job I have as speaker of senate is appointing the committees that hear and deliberate the legislation before us as representatives of the people of Tennessee,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “Placing the right people in the right places is crucial to making sure not only that good legislation rises to the top but that all legislation gets a fair hearing.
“The senate is comprised of extremely talented individuals. I am confident that the committees I have appointed today will succeed in keeping government small, taxes low and the legislature running on time.”
The senate has nine standing committees and four select committees: Commerce and Labor; Education; Energy, Agriculture, and Natural Resources; Finance, Ways and Means; Health and Welfare; Government Operations, Judiciary; State and Local Government; Transportation and Safety; Ethics; Delayed Bills; Rules; and Calendar.
House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) on Thursday announced committee and subcommittee appointments for the 108th
General Assembly. The announcement comes after a new proposal by the speaker to shake up the standing committees in an effort to make the process more efficient and save taxpayer money.
“When I was elected Speaker, I made clear that a limited and efficient government was my priority. Reaching those goals will always be a work in progress, and to that end I proposed changes to the committee system to balance the workload of each committee. I am confident this system will serve us well in the 108th General Assembly,” said Speaker Harwell.
“When appointing committees, I consider each member’s area of expertise, experience, previous service, and their interests,” said Speaker Harwell. “I’m confident I struck that balance and I’m looking forward to working with each of the members over the next two years as they serve in these roles.”
The House formally adopted Speaker Harwell’s recommended changes to the House rules on Thursday.
“I look forward to working with each of the new committee chairs and officers on the issues that matter most to Tennesseans,” she concluded.
New State Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) will serve on three committees in the Tennessee State Senate, including the Judiciary Committee, Education Committee and the Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
“I could not be more pleased with the committee assignments given to me by Lt. Governor Ramsey,” said Senator Gardenhire. “The citizens of the 10th Senatorial district know that I am very concerned about education, particularly as it concerns vocational education and helping students who reside in Chattanooga’s inner city. Everyone talks about jobs, jobs, jobs, but a critical element of economic growth is that our education system must focus on careers, careers, careers.
“We need a school dedicated to doing the job that the old Kirkman High School did for many Chattanoogans. That is to give students the opportunity to train for the jobs that are associated with a trade to give them a long lasting career in Southeast Tennessee.”
The Senate Education Committee reviews all legislation regarding K-12 schools and higher education.
“We also need to re-focus our resources to the elementary school age group,” added Senator Gardenhire. “I firmly believe if we don’t catch these kids before they get to the fifth grade, their future education prospects will be bleak.”
As a member of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Gardenhire will hear legislation concerning energy; agriculture, farming, forestry; natural resources; conservation, game and fish, mines and minerals.
“My appointment to the Energy & Agriculture Committee, along with Senator Mike Bell, will mean Bradley County will have two state senators looking out for a major portion of the economy and livelihood of thousands of constituents that live in Bradley County,” he said.
Senator Gardenhire will also serve with Senator Bell on the Senate Judiciary Committee. That committee’s scope includes all bills dealing with civil laws, criminal laws, judicial proceedings, apportionment of elected officials and governing bodies, and all matters relating to the courts, as well as law enforcement.
“Again, Senator Bell and I will be together on a committee that hears all the matters that affect our courts, State Constitution and the way justice is administered in the state of Tennessee,” added Senator Gardenhire. “What a great way to start my term as state senator for Bradley and Hamilton counties.”
The General Assembly will take a brief recess to make office assignments and await budget details before convening the first full week of the regular 2013 legislative session on Jan. 28.
Click on the here for the full list of senate committee assignments and here for house assignments.