But I Could Swear I Spent 20 Hours in Judiciary Committee on Just One Afternoon

There’s an interesting chart in the current issue of the subscription-only Tennessee Journal that compares the hours spent in House committee meetings in 2009, the first year of the 106th General Assembly, with the hours spent in 2011, the first year of the 107th General Assembly.
Former House Speaker Kent Williams was running the show, of course, for the 106th and the Democrat-Republican makeup was pretty close. This year, House Speaker Beth Harwell is in charge and Republicans have an overwhelming majority.
The chart shows a total of 421 hours, 47 minutes spent in official committee meetings during the first year of the 106th. For this year, that was down to 337 hours, 40 minutes.
Most all committee times were down with one notable exception: The Finance Committee met for 53 hours, 16 minutes back in 2009. This year’s Finance Committee met for 69 hours, 5 minutes.
More typical was the Judiciary Committee, famous in both the House and Senate, traditionally, for long-winded debate. The 2009 version logged 40 hours, 2 minutes; the 2011 edition just 20 hours, 20 minutes.
Legislative leaders have done some boasting about adjourning on May 21, the earliest date since the 1998 session – back when Don Sundquist was governor – adjourned on May 1. The legislature adjourned June 18 in 2009; June 9 in 2010.

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