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Sat, Dec 20, 2014

House committee assignments keeps Coleman in chair

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New state House of Representatives Speaker Kent Williams did something odd in Tennessee politics last week when he assigned committee chairmen.

He did it in a bipartisan way.

Meaning Republicans head seven committees and Democrats head six.

Also, all committees are split evenly between the two parties, except Government Operations, where the Democrats have a one-vote advantage, and Calendar and Rules, where the Republicans have a one-vote advantage.

Williams (R-Elizabethton) came into power in a bipartisan vote and vowed at the time to run the state house in an equitable way.

He became speaker of the house after siding with house Democrats in the vote, while the Republican caucus voted for Jason Mumpower (R-Bristol). The house is divided 50-49, with Republicans holding a one-vote advantage.

With Williams casting a vote for himself, along with the Democrats, he essentially voted himself into the speaker role.

Because of Williams decision to make committee assignments based on experience Rep. Kent Coleman (D-Murfreesboro) kept his spot as chairman of the house Judiciary Committee. He will also serve on the Finance, Way and Means, and Calander and Rules committees.

Newly elected Joe Carr (R-Murfreesboro) and Rep. Curt Cobb (D-Eagleville) were selected for the Commerce Committee. Cobb will also serve on the Small Business Subcommittee.

Rep. Donna Rowland (R-Murfreesboro) will serve on the Children & Family Affairs Committee, Family Justice Subcommittee,

Rowland will also serve on the Conservation and Environment, the Finance Ways and Means, and Fiscal Review committees, as well as the Select Committee on Education.
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Members Opinions:
March 20, 2009 at 2:12am
This could be an extremely important precedent. It has the potential of truly revolutionizing the way state government operates.

Dare we hope that the Tennessee House of Representatives, recently a laughing stock among pundits and bloggers across the country, could become a model issue-oriented body? Could Tennessee legislators establish a degree of bipartisanship beyond anything Pres. Obama hoped (but failed)to accomplish at the national level?

The answer depends on us more than on these members of the General Assembly. Althouth they are a much more competent and high minded group of persons than most Tennesseans realize, they can be no more non-partisan than we permit them to be.

So while the idealist in me says this is breathtaking, my more realistic angel says "don't hold your breath."

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