Tennessee House passes Erlanger board overhaul act

Tennessee House passes Erlanger board overhaul act

February 15th, 2013 by Andy Sher and Louie Brogdon in Local Regional News

The Tennessee Capitol

The Tennessee Capitol

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Document: Erlanger Legislation

As the state House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed an overhaul of Erlanger Health Systems' board of trustees, a local county commissioner continued to press for answers to questions about how the new board will be set up.

The private act passed on a 95-0 vote.

"It is very time sensitive in our community," House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, told the chamber.

Local lawmakers are changing the board and its accountability functions, saying the move is needed because of problems and challenges faced by the public hospital. Among other things, it whittles the board from 12 to nine members and changes how trustees are appointed.

Erlanger's current board is set to meet Monday and vote on a new chief executive.

At a commission meeting at about the same time, Commissioner Tim Boyd reiterated his concerns about the proposed legislation.

At the close of a regularly scheduled agenda meeting, Boyd said he had issue with how the new Erlanger trustees and board chairman would be appointed under the legislation. He also took issue with the proposed law locking the county into a mandatory annual contribution to the health system.

"[The legislation] gives more power to a representative in Shelby County than this commission to decide who appoints the initial board members," Boyd said to commissioners.

Boyd urged fellow commissioners to demand a short list of board candidates and to discuss a list of 11 concerns he has with the legislation before signing off on the bill.

Boyd sent state legislators a letter outlining his concerns.