January 09, 2013

The Daily Buzz
Achievable Goals

Putting people first, however, requires more than a bipartisan vote for Speaker; it requires us to focus on jobs and education. There is little question that the economy is improving, but too many people in our state are still out of work. This means we need to pass legislation like my Tennessee First Act to give Tennessee companies first shot at state contracts, so your tax dollars go to create jobs here. It means investing in the West Tennessee Industrial Megasite in Brownsville so we can bring quality manufacturing jobs to our area. It means working with state government, local officials and private businesses to improve public education, so we can attract more high skill jobs like those at Quaprotek USA in Ripley.


The good news is that these are achievable goals. 

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Meet Tennessee's Most Powerful Lobbyists

Today's lobbyists are, by and large, professionals and experts in their field. The days of lobbyists wining and dining elected officials have largely been replaced by lobbyists making their case through hard facts and Powerpoint presentations.

And there is one other thing lobbyists need on Capitol Hill.

"The secret for success in my business, first and foremost, is your credibility," lobbyist David McMahan told TNReport. Lawmakers "have to trust you. They have to trust that your information is accurate."

Indeed, credibility was a common thread in all the lobbyists we spoke to for our report on the most influential lobbyists at Legislative Plaza for 2013. That may be more important in Tennessee than just about anyplace else.

In the national capitol, or in states such as California or New Jersey, lawmakers enjoy large staffs and research assistants. In Tennessee, lobbyists are, many times, the research assistants who help craft legislation.


Trent Seibert With The List Of The Most Powerful Lobbyists In Tennessee

House Bill Criticized By Some Republicans

Meanwhile, Rep. Cameron Sexton of Crossville, proposed setting a 15-bill limit this year, and 10 the next. And House Finance Chairman Charles Sargent of Franklin said committee heads should each get 10 additional bills because they often carry legislation on behalf of the whole panel.

Harwell said she'd be willing to consider setting a slightly higher bill limit, but did not agree with adding extra bills for committee chairmen, who she said she wants to focus on being the chief parliamentarian on each panel.

"What I want to see happen is the chairmen of committees not sponsoring a lot of legislation," she said. "I just want to change the mentality of too much legislation being brought."

Harwell's bill limit proposal was not among a series of sweeping rule changes approved by the chamber on Tuesday. Those changes included a reshuffling of the committee system, a ban on lawmakers voting for colleagues who are away from their desks and a limit of two ceremonial presentations per member for every two-year General Assembly.


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Quote Of The Day

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Quick Hits

Richard Locker on Tennessee legislature opens with largest freshman class in years. LINK


White's Creek on the Chair's race for the TNDP. LINK


Left Wing Cracker also weighs in on the race for Chair as well. LINK


HOPE Scholarship Funding Running Out for Some 



From Rep. Mike Stewart's Twitter account from yesterday afternoonHouse committees just changed to eliminate child and family and environment committees. Clear statement of Repub priorities.


 Cara Kumari on the 108th General Assembly's opening day. 



TFP cartoonist Clay Bennett on the 2013 Legislative Session. 


Kyle Proposes More Transparency

 State Sen. Jim Kyle pushed for greater transparency in the 108th General Assembly during the first day of session, by moving to apply the Open Meetings Act to the state Senate. 

Sen. Kyle's motion would have amended preliminary Senate rules to apply the act, applying the same standard to Senate caucuses that's followed by local governments, Senate committees and the Senate itself. Sen. Kyle withdrew his motion when Rules Committee Chairman Mark Norris agreed to take up the issue. 

"If Republicans want open government, they can join with us and support this proposal," Sen. Kyle said. "By amending the rules, their deliberations will be subject to public scrutiny, as should be the standard in state government." 

Under former Lt. Gov. John Wilder, the majority caucus meetings were open to the public, but that has not been the case under Republican control. 


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The Daily Buzz