Thursday, January 17, 2013
- by Rep. Ron Travis
Friends, it has been a fast hectic three days in Nashville. I was very grateful that I was surrounded by my family and friends during this time.
I was pleased to see people from all of the 31st district who took time to come to Nashville to watch me be sworn in. I do appreciate and want to thank them for their thoughtfulness and kindness.
I am meeting representatives and state senators from all parts of Tennessee and starting to build relationships with them that will prove to be beneficial during the upcoming months. On the close of the organizational session on Thursday where all the members of the house were sworn in, elected the Speaker, and received committee assignments, the House will recess for two weeks and reconvene on Monday, Jan. 28, to resume a normal schedule.
We have voted to limit each of the representatives to 15 bills a piece to limit the number of bills introduced during the session. For the first time in the history of the House these rule changes are the first-ever limits on bills. Each member will be limited to 15 bills per year, meaning 30 total for the 108th General Assembly. This will save money for the taxpayers of Tennessee. It also will do what the Speaker Harwell and the rest of us believe that government should be limited and we should limit regulations.
I welcomed to find out that I was appointed to the Agriculture and Natural Resources as well as Banking and Insurance committees. Agriculture and Natural Resources consist of 19 members and also includes our close neighbor, Richard Floyd from Red Bank. Besides dealing with matters concerning Agriculture, this committee also deals with overseeing the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and their governing body the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission.
I will continue my pledge to the people of my district to do the best for them in Nashville. There will be some hard decisions to make during the 2013 term. We will have to deal with taxes, TennCare, issues on gun control, guns in schools, being able to buy wine in the grocery and convenience stores to name some of the few topics that are already facing the legislature, not to mention the budget.
The budget is always a difficult piece to work on as we have to have a balanced budget as well as weigh what extent we are going to provide services to the residents of the State of Tennessee and be fair to all. The budget lies somewhere between that. Governor Haslam has done a great job trying to manage keeping the budget spending down to a minimum while still providing services.
I want all of the people in the 31st district to know that my office is open to everyone. There will be times that I will be busy conducting the business of the state but I do want to hear from you on the issues facing the district. I have yet to know where my office will be. I have been temporarily put in Room 103 of the Legislative plaza and am waiting for my permanent place.