BULLETIN: Strife Between Speakers and Chambers Kills Two Key Bills in Tennessee Legislature

On eve of adjournment, Senate and House trade death blows to Judicial Redistrictng, Charter Authorizer bills. UPDATED

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Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey gets report from state Rep. Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol), House sponsor of Judicial Redistricting measure, on failure of bill.
  • JB
  • Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey gets report from state Rep. Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol), House sponsor of Judicial Redistricting measure, on failure of bill.
BULLETIN: Strife between legislature’s two chambers and two speakers spells doom for two key bills.

NASHVILLE: The state Senate will shortly adjourn for the year without passing the Charter Authorizer bill (HB702/SB830) that easily cleared the state House on Thursday.

The reason? A tit-for-tat response to the House’s killing of a bill, favored by Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville), to revise the state’s judicial districts. That bill (HB0630/SB0780) was defeated 28-66, with House members of both parties rebelling and expressing defiance against what several members referred to as dictation by the Senate.

One result: Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), Senate sponsor of Charter Authorizer, will apparently not even bring it to the floor. If she does, before what is now an imminent adjournment, it will “go nowhere,” says source in position to know. Ramsey’s attitude is said to be, “Don’t get mad, get even!"
Though sibling rivalries have happened before between House and Senate and between their respective speakers, this is the most serious schism yet involving the GOP leadership. At one point, there was a heated exchange in Legislative Plaza between Gresham and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville).
Details to follow

UPDATE: The Senate formally adjourned for the year Friday afternoon, minutes after state Sen. Gresham asked that SB0830, the Senate version of the Charter Authorizer bill, be referred to the Senate Calendar committee.

The fate of the Authorizer bill appeated sealed when the House overwhelmingly defeated a Judicial Redistricting bill favored by Lt. Gov. Ramsey, but various principals attempted to put together an improvised deal with inducements that could appease Ramsey and save the Authorizer bill. As it turned out, however, there weren't enough carrots in the package.

Formal adjournment of the 2013 session awaited only action of the House to adjourn.

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