By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
CROSSVILLE –During an exclusive interview with the UCBJ, Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton briefly discussed the issues facing the legislature this session and the changes he has made over the last four months in an effort to improve the system and increase the transparency of the legislative process.
“I spent a lot of time trying to improve the processes in the House, to streamline things and have more transparency,” explained Sexton. “It’s always been a practice of the House that any amendments filed in subcommittee aren’t seen until they are adopted by the full committee, which can be a two or three week process.
“I’ve had a lot of people ask, ‘Why can’t we have those amendments earlier?’ So, we made the change that we are going to roll out in session, where when you go to the state’s website, all the amendments filed in subcommittees are now going to be online, so we are fully transparent on everything that is being considered. Hopefully that will help.”
Sexton also standardized the bill filing deadlines to 5 p.m. on Friday for Monday committee meetings and 10 a.m. the business day prior to committee meetings held on other days. This removes the guessing about deadlines that has occurred in previous sessions. Additionally, this allows the legal and research departments time to evaluate the bills and provide advice as needed.
The 111th General Assembly reconvened Jan. 14 in Nashville. Sexton was elected as the 83rd Speaker of the House of Representatives in August 2019.