Coach Bill’s Team and Fumbles on the Legislative Playing Field

Andy Sher begins a roundup report on the snags Gov. Bill Haslam has encountered in passing his legislative agenda by repeating the governor’s likening of his administration to a football team – last year spent in the locker room trying on helmets and shoulder pads; this year on the field to play.
It’s a good thing they’re wearing shoulder pads and helmets. Because even though he’s a Republican and the state House and Senate are GOP-controlled, Haslam and his team are running into their fair share of blocks, tackles and head-butts as they try to move bills.
….Haslam spokesman David Smith said that “in proposing substantive and meaningful legislation, it is not surprising that there is a lot of debate and discussion as part of the legislative process.”
Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson, R-Hixson, said Haslam is encountering the normal checks and balances provided by the legislature.
Lawmakers respect the executive branch and the agendas that governors put forth, Watson said.
But, he added, “To think that just because he’s a Republican governor and we’re a Republican legislature, that we’re not going to do our duty as representatives of the citizens — it would be a false assumption.”

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