Let legislators fill U.S. Senate vacancies? Senators say no

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bill to have state lawmakers fill U.S. Senate vacancies has been defeated.

Under a proposed amendment to the bill (SB1793) sponsored by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee lawmakers would have been called into a special legislative session to decide the successors of U.S. senators who don’t complete their full six-year terms.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee defeated Beavers’ amendment on a voice vote on Wednesday, and then voted 6-2 against the original version of the bill that would have called for a special election to be held within about 100 days of any vacancy.

Under current state law, the governor appoints a temporary successor until a new campaign to complete the unexpired term is held at the next regular two-year election cycle.

Note: Not surprisingly, the Haslam administration opposed the bill — both in the original and the amended versions.