A spokesman says Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is "likely" to sign into law a bill to allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their cars no matter where they are parked. The House on passed the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison on a 72 - 22 vote Thursday.
Before the vote, Speaker Beth Harwell assured Republican colleagues that the measure is endorsed by the National Rifle Association and that members of the business community are "holding their noses" about its passage despite concerns about security and property rights.
Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell’s announcement that she wants to impose a cap on how many bills are filed each year has lobbyists scrambling. Under Harwell’s proposal each lawmaker would be limited to 10 bills each session. That’s an average of about two bills a piece for the more than 500 lobbyists registered at the state Capitol.
The Tennessee General Assembly votes for Republican leaders today. House Speaker Beth Harwell is unopposed in her bid for another term the head of the lower chamber. Although no one has stepped up to challenge Harwell, there are challengers for the number two position, House Speaker Pro Tempore. Curtis Johnson of Clarksville is running against incumbent Judd Matheny of Tullahoma.
Heavy debate on a series of bills in the Tennessee House has delayed the conclusion of the General Assembly. The chamber recessed after 10:00 last night, but is scheduled to return at 8:00 this morning. Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell says the early start should give lawmakers every chance to conclude their business by the end of the day. The lower chamber had more than 45 bills remaining on its calendar, including a measure to require drug testing for welfare recipients and a proposed overhaul of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.
The National Rifle Association is at odds with Tennessee Republican leaders over proposed limitations to a bill requiring employers allow workers to store firearms in vehicles parked on company lots. The NRA's chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, has demanded in a letter to state lawmakers that the original bill be adopted without any changes. The measure is roundly opposed by business groups and the state's police chiefs on the basis that it would infringe on property rights and raise safety concerns.
Supporters of a Tennessee measure to ban the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students have put off consideration of the bill after being told Governor Bill Haslam is concerned about the bill. The start of yesterday's House Education Committee meeting was delayed 15 minutes while Republicans huddled in Speaker Beth Harwell's office with an unidentified member of the Haslam administration. Republican Representative Joey Hensley later announced he was putting off the bill for a week.