Tennessee lawmakers passed one of the first bills of the new legislative session Thursday, a rule that limits the number of bills a legislator can introduce to 15 per year.
The measure, put forward by House Speaker Beth Harwell last month, was initially set at 10 bills per lawmaker per year. Upon introducing the proposal, Harwell said the changes were intended to streamline the General Assembly and make the legislative process more efficient.
Previously, lawmakers had no limit on how many bills they could file. The new rules do contain exemptions, such as allowing the governor to submit a higher number of bills.
Because the limit on bills is 15 per lawmaker per year, the output of bills introduced during a full two-year period of the General Assembly would be 30 bills per lawmaker.
In a news release, Harwell said she was proud of the vote.
“This is an important step in furthering the principle of limited government that our Founding Fathers intended and one that voters expect,” Harwell said.
Harwell also announced committee assignments for the 99 members in the state House of Representatives on Thursday, including the five representatives from Hamilton County.
District 26 Rep. Gerald McCormick, who is also House majority leader, will serve on the Business and Utilities Committee, along with the Calendar and Rules Committee.
District 27 Rep. Richard Floyd will serve on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, along with the Local Government Committee.
House District 28 Rep. JoAnne Favors will serve on the Insurance and Banking Committee.
House District 29 Rep. Mike Carter, who was recently sworn in to his first term, will serve on the Civil Justice Committee, along with the Ethics Committee.
House District 30 Rep. Vince Dean will serve as chairman on the Transportation Committee and will also serve on the Local Government Committee, as well as the Calendar and Rules Committee.
In the Senate, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey also announced committee assignments for the 33-member body Thursday, including the two senators from Hamilton County.
District 10 Sen. Todd Gardenhire, who was recently sworn in to his first term, will serve on the Education Committee; the Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee; and the Judiciary Committee.
District 11 Sen. Bo Watson will serve on the Finance, Ways and Means Committee; the Health and Welfare Committee; and the Rules Committee.