published Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Tennessee House procedures, committees proposed for overhaul

NASHVILLE — State House members would be limited to introducing 10 bills per legislative session and no longer would be able to vote on legislation for colleagues away from their seats under a proposed overhaul announced today by Speaker Beth Harwell.

The Nashville Republican’s multi-point plan also restructures the House committee system. The purpose of the proposal, she said, is to streamline the process, help lawmakers set priorities and save money.

Among changes is splitting the Judiciary Committee into civil and criminal justice panels. Another calls for dividing the State and Local Government Committee into two panels with one dealing with state legislation and the other local proposals.

Two committees would be abolished. One is the Agriculture Committee, which will be merged with the Conservative and Environment Committee.

The other is the Children and Family Affairs Committee. Harwell said legislation there would go the new Judiciary civil committee.

Harwell said the reason for the committee shakeup is that some panels consider fewer than 100 bills a session while others plow through more than 500, leading to a rush of legislation.

The overhaul proposal would have to be approved by the House Rules Committee.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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