Tennessee lawmakers want TVA to conduct all board committee meetings in public

Lawmakers unanimously back bill for more transparency by TVA board of directors

The Tennessee Valley Authority's board of directors meets at TVA Headquarters on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Tennessee Valley Authority board is meeting Thursday in Franklin, Tennessee, for its quarterly board meeting to set policy and spending for America's biggest government-owned utility.

TVA spends tens of thousands of dollars each year in staff time, jet travel and rental fees to bring its board meetings and public advisory boards to different sites across its seven-state region. But the board committee meetings earlier this week where most of the discussion among directors about the agency will occur are not open to the public, even though Tennessee state legislators and the congressman from TVA's hometown think they should be.

Last month, both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly voted unanimously and Gov. Bill Lee signed a resolution in support of federal legislation to require TVA to conduct all board committee meetings in public.