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Haslam’s TRA Bill Draws Fire, Continues to Advance

Ignoring a plea from the Republican chairman of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority and criticism from Democratic legislators, a Senate committee Thursday approved Gov. Bill Haslam’s plans for a transformation of the agency.
“Maybe it’ll work. Maybe not,” said TRA Chairman Kenneth Hill of the Haslam plan. “Why go there and inflict damage to the utilities of Tennessee and to the people of Tennessee … then have to come back and fix it?”
Hill, appointed to the TRA by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, said the utility-regulating agency is working extremely well, cutting back on costs on its own, operating at a lower cost than any similar regulatory agency in the Southeast and earning top scores in national ratings in such areas as enforcing gas pipeline safety.
In contrast, he contended that the governor and Herbert Slatery, the gubernatorial legal counsel who has served as point man in pushing the bill through the Legislature, has never explained why an agency “doing a good job” needs to be changed.

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