Tag Archives: rush

Rush to Adjournment Sparks Complaints

Some state legislators of both parties are criticizing the push to end the legislative session quickly, contending the rush has led to confusion and limited vetting of bills by lawmakers working long hours.
House Calendar Committee Chairman Bill Dunn of Knoxville has become one of the first Republicans to publicly criticize the rush to adjournment, first in a speech to the House Republican Caucus in which he said some colleagues were left “glassy-eyed” by listening to bill presentations hour after hour. He repeated the criticisms in an interview aired Thursday on WPLN, Nashville’s public radio station, that irritated Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey.
“If the speaker of the Senate had to sit in on a committee and study 85 bills and sit there for six hours and try to do his work, he might have a different view,” Dunn said. “He doesn’t feel the pain that we are (feeling).”
Ramsey, specifically citing Dunn’s remarks, devoted the first portion of his weekly news conference later in the day to disputing the notion that lawmakers are working too fast in trying to meet the deadline he and House Speaker Beth Harwell have set for ending the 2013 session. At one point, they had set the date as April 19. Ramsey has since moved it up a day to April 18.
If the target is met, adjournment will come earlier than any annual session of the General Assembly since 1990, according to a listing provided by Ramsey’s office. Last year, adjournment came on May 2.

Continue reading

Mistakes Made In Legislature’s Rush to Adjourn (154 bills in 3 days)

By Lucas, Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pressed by GOP leaders to end the legislative session earlier than usual, the General Assembly passed 154 bills in the final three days of the session, 30 percent of the year’s entire package of enacted legislation.
According to an Associated Press analysis of public records, lawmakers moved out 133 of them in the final two days. That number was roughly a fourth of the 510 bills the Secretary of State’s office lists as passing both chambers during the session that stretched from Jan. 11 to May 21.
“That was utterly ridiculous,” said Democratic Rep. Jimmy Naifeh of Covington, who tried to get lawmakers to extend the session a few days. “It’s just all because they wanted to rush this thing through, and for what reason I’m not sure except for them to be able to say that they got us out on that particular day.”
Among the bills were items that were extensively debated, such as reshaping tenure and collective bargaining for teachers. Others got little attention, including measures that brought far-reaching changes to how residents are allowed to use the Internet, and some are going to need to be redone in the next session because they contained mistakes.

Continue reading