By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam will address a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday about his decision on whether to expand Medicaid to cover more uninsured people under the federal health care overhaul, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Lawmakers plan to authorize the gathering during regular floor sessions Wednesday morning, the official told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the joint assembly hadn’t yet been publicly announced.
The governor’s office did not immediately return messages seeking comment, though Haslam’s spokesman recommended reporters attend the House floor session at 9:30 a.m. CDT.
Haslam hasn’t indicated whether he’ll recommend expanding TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, with the federal government paying the entire cost for the first three years and at least 90 percent thereafter.
“This is an incredibly complex issue,” Haslam told reporters earlier this week. “Every day I learn something new about the law, about its impact on Tennessee, about its impact on local governments, about its impact on businesses.”
House Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh announced today that he would not seek election to another term. Here’s the news release issued by his office: News release:
NASHVILLE – Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) announced today on the House floor that he will not seek re-election to his district 81 seat this fall. Naifeh has served in the House of Representatives for 38-years, 18 of which he spent as Speaker of the House.
“Governor McWherter always told me when it was time to go home, I’d know it. After talking with my family and friends, I believe the time has come for me to pass the torch to the next generation of leaders,” said Speaker Naifeh. “All told, I’ve given 40 years of my life to public service: 38 in the legislature and two as an Infantry Officer in the Army. Now I’m looking forward to a little more time for myself and a lot more time with my grandkids.”
Naifeh was elected to the House of Representatives in 1974, after losing his first bid for office in 1972 by 13 votes. Since that time he has never lost an election. In addition to being the longest serving Speaker of the House in Tennessee history, Naifeh served as Floor Leader, Majority Leader and President of the National Speaker’s Conference.
He has received numerous legislator of the year and service awards during his tenure, including the prestigious William M. Bulger award which is given every other year to one state legislative leader who has worked to preserve and build public trust and whose career embodies the principles of integrity, compassion, vision and courage.
“In all aspects of my life, I’ve always tried to be an effective leader. I think a lot of that stems from my army training. When I came to the House, it was no different. I got into leadership during my second term with the ultimate goal of becoming Speaker. I achieved that goal and I’m proud of what I accomplished during that time.”
Naifeh is a long-time supporter of public education and places the Jimmy Naifeh Center in Covington, a branch of Dyersburg State Community College, among his most proud accomplishments. Outside the legislature Naifeh’s work with St. Jude is well known. For the past 19 years, he has hosted an annual legislative golf tournament in Nashville to benefit ALSAC/St.Jude, where he serves on the Board of Directors.
“My Dad came here from Lebanon and couldn’t even speak English! He always told me what a privilege it was to live in this country and that we had a responsibility to give back. Whether it was my work with St. Jude or in the legislature, I’ve always tried to remember that and use what power I had to improve the lives of everyday people.”
Naifeh has 3 children (Jim, Beth and Sameera) and 6 grandchildren (Sarah, Jay, Sam, Jameson, Jack and Katherine). He plans to explore future options, while spending more time with his grandchildren. NOTE: More below, including text of Naifeh’s remarks and other news releases.
Emailed letter from Weston Wamp:
After months of prayer, advice and planning, on October 2nd I announced my candidacy for Congress from Tennessee’s 3rd District.
Our nation is at a crossroads. I believe that members of my generation, the “Debt Paying Generation,” must begin to show leadership and offer a new mentality in Washington D.C. Together, we can change the direction of our country before it’s too late.
The status quo is not working and it’s clear that people want something different.
As a young entrepreneur, I’ve seen how the free enterprise system relies on young leaders to bring new ideas, solve problems, and push the envelope. We need that in government.
It’s time for leadership that transcends partisan politics and puts our country ahead of political party. For too long DC politicians have tried to convince the American people that they can solve the economy’s problems. Their efforts have failed to encourage growth, resulted in a convoluted tax code and over-regulation of small businesses.
We need leaders who will reform and simplify the tax code to provide more certainty and fewer burdens for small businesses. The federal government shouldn’t pick winners and losers; it should get out of the way of entrepreneurs, risk takers, and hard-working Americans who are the proven job creators.
I am passionate about leading my generation to meet the challenges that threaten the future of our country. Your help will allow me to share my message with people across Tennessee’s 3rd District.
Please visit westonwamp.com, watch and share the web video “Generations,” connect with the campaign on Facebook and Twitter and, most importantly, please invest in my campaign financially.
Contributions of any size are important to the success of this campaign and giving the “Debt Paying Generation” a strong voice in the debate in Washington. Follow this link or the one below to donate now!
I thank you in advance for your support!