TRA Restructuring Bill Wins House, Senate Approval

The House has joined the Senate in approving Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to restructure the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, which Democrats contended is unnecessary and unwise.
The bill, SB2247, returns to the Senate for concurrence on an amendment that says part-time directors of the new agency will be given state health care coverage as well as a $36,000 salary. The Senate is expected to approve the amendment, sending would send the bill to the governor for his signature.
(UPDATE NOTE: The amendment was approved, bill sent to gov.)
House Republicans rejected several Democrat-sponsored amendments, including one that would have replaced this year’s Haslam TRA reform plan with last year’s Haslam TRA reform plan, which failed.
Last year’s version called for replacing the present four-member TRA board with three full-time members and a full-time executive director. This year’s version would set up a five-member part-time board with a full-time executive director.
House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh also criticized the Haslam administration for secrecy about the process used to develop the proposal. The reference was to the administration refusing to fully comply with a Chattanooga Times-Free Press request for information on the top-to-bottom review that led to drafting of the proposal. (Previous post HERE.)
The final House vote on the bill was 60-28. The Senate vote was 20-13.

Three Republicans voted no in the House: Reps. Joshua Evans, Greenbrier; Matthew Hill, Jonesborough; and Jimmy Matlock, Lenoir City.Only one Democrat, David Shepard of Dickson, voted for the bill.

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