Gardenhire named Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee chairman

State legislators receive committee positions

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / State Sen. Todd Gardenhire speaks Nov. 10 during a groundbreaking ceremony for the location for an expansion of Clinica Medicos.
Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / State Sen. Todd Gardenhire speaks Nov. 10 during a groundbreaking ceremony for the location for an expansion of Clinica Medicos.

Note: This story was updated on Jan. 13 to correct the position to which Rep. Esther Helton-Haynes was appointed on the House Insurance Subcommittee.

NASHVILLE — State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, was named Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Thursday after the retired financial consultant agreed to conditions set by Lt. Gov. and Senate Speaker Randy McNally.

One was easy. The other could be a bit harder to maintain, Gardenhire said.

"He made me promise to be nice to people," quipped Gardenhire, who noted the other condition, being fair, he sees as a much easier lift.

The assignments to multiple committees were among hundreds made by McNally, R-Oak Ridge, and House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, as members of the new 113th General Assembly wrapped up their organizational session Thursday.

(READ MORE: Key education issues to watch as Tennessee lawmakers return)

Area appointments include:

-- McNally reappointed Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Because he became a committee chairman, Gardenhire lost his seat on Finance, which controls state taxation and spending.

-- Sexton, meanwhile, reappointed Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain, as House Finance Committee chairwoman.

-- Sexton also renamed Rep. Dan Howell, R-Ocoee, as chairman of the House Transportation Committee and appointed Rep. Greg Vital, R-Georgetown, as its new vice chairman.

-- Rep. Esther Helton-Haynes, R-East Ridge, is the new chairwoman of the House Insurance Subcommittee, while Rep. Iris Rudder, R-Winchester, is chairwoman of the State Government Committee's Public Service Subcommittee.

(READ MORE: Tennessee governor promotes 'Transportation Modernization Act' in Chattanooga)

Here's how the assignments played out across portions of Southeast Tennessee:

-- Watson: In addition to heading up Finance, Watson also serves as a member of both the Commerce and Health committees as well as the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.

-- Gardenhire also serves as a member of the Education Committee. And he continues as co-chairman of the powerful Fiscal Review Committee, with the term of the position, voted on by members of the respective chambers, being for four years.

-- Freshman Sen. J. Adam Lowe, R-Athens, was named to serve on the State & Local, Energy, and Government Operations committees.

-- Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, serves on the Transportation, Government Operations, and Energy committees.

-- In addition to the Finance Committee, Hazlewood is a member of Commerce, Transportation, and the Calendar and Rules committees.

-- Helton-Haynes also serves on the Health and Local Government committees.

-- Rep. Greg Martin, R-Hixson, was appointed to the Transportation, Local Government, and Government Operations committees.

-- Rep. Yusuf Hakeem, D-Chattanooga, was named to the Education Instruction, Health, and Government Operations committees.

-- Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton, was appointed to both the Health and Agricultural & Natural Resources committees.

-- Freshman Rep. Kevin Raper, R-Cleveland, was appointed to the Education Instruction as well as the Local Government committees.

-- Vital was also named to the Agricultural & Natural Resources and to the Commerce committees.

-- Rudder, meanwhile, will also now serve on the Health and Insurance committees.

(READ MORE: Sen. Gardenhire introduces bill to revoke entertainment status for Chattanooga's Station Street, charges area 'crime-infested')

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