Haslam chides legislature for too many bills during recent session

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 3:34pm

Gov. Bill Haslam scolded state legislators Tuesday for introducing too many bills and pledged to try to make them dramatically curtail their lawmaking next year.

About 2,200 bills were filed this year, and Haslam said the legislature should chop that number by one-third to save the state government time and money.

“Everybody says there’s no way. But I think there is a way to do that,” the Republican governor said during a speech to the Lawyers’ Association for Women.

“One of the points that we try to make is that every bill that’s proposed actually does cost money. We have commissioners who have to run down and say, 'How does this impact? What’s it going to cost?' And then we have to have a position on that,” said Haslam, who has been lampooned in the media for his reluctance to publicly take positions on issues.

To reporters after his speech, Haslam said he planned to “have a conversation” with legislative leaders about redundancy and wasting time.

“A lot of times there’s three or four bills filed about the same thing by the same party members. … As Republicans, we’re the party of smaller government. Let’s see if we can do that in terms of bill proposals.”

Haslam’s comments are certain to irk Republican legislative leaders, who boasted of their efficiency at the end of this year’s session. While there was plenty of the usual dawdling, the session did adjourn after five months on May 21, the earliest end to any session in 13 years. Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey claimed that saved taxpayers $450,000 in legislative expenses.

13 Comments on this post:

By: WickedTribe on 6/21/11 at 1:59

Sorry to break it to you, Haslam, but the Republicans are the party of bigotry and ignorance not smaller government. So don't expect any fewer bills until they get voted out.

By: govskeptic on 6/21/11 at 3:18

The Governor is new, he'll soon learn that is the business of a separate
branch of government and not a part of his own administration duties. This
may take the legislature slapping his hands a couple of times versus bowing
to his wishes to distinguish the difference!

By: pswindle on 6/21/11 at 4:30

Who's the Boss? We have a Governor that does not know the difference. TN is in for a rocky 4 years. Why do incompetent people run and get elected becaue they are republicans? Mike would have made a better governor, but he could not sell himself and the GOP has TN fooled.

By: nash615 on 6/22/11 at 7:29

What a prick.

By: global_citizen on 6/22/11 at 7:31

Well here's an idea. Let's stop giving heed to the silly soapbox bills we saw in this legislature like the "Don't Say Gay" bill and the bill seeking to allow teachers to teach "creation science".

By: Funditto on 6/22/11 at 7:58

Did his wittle bitteh hand get sore signing or what?

By: dva56 on 6/22/11 at 8:15

I guess we need to change how we refer our governor. Perhaps Emperor Bill would be more appropriate.

By: Maryat1225 on 6/22/11 at 2:36

This is not about being Republican or Democrat. I worked at the Legislature and there is so much time wasted by staff members handling copycat bills, certificates, memorials, honors for anniversaries, new babies, birthdays, etc., etc., etc., for constituents. Multiple bills filed for the same purpose are a huge waste of staff time, i.e., salaries. Get down to business and then go home.

By: treehugger7 on 6/23/11 at 6:25

They can't go home soon enough for me!!

By: Radix on 6/23/11 at 9:10

Funny, Obama is shaping up to be one of the worst presidents ever statistically, meanwhile Tennessee is doing better than most states and some want to bash the Governor for chiding the legislature, which you don't like either?

By: rbull on 6/23/11 at 10:20

One of the quickest ways to save the taxpayers money is to get rid of that Speaker of the Senate, Ron Ramsey.......what a prick. He thinks he is the Governor at times and if will remember during the last election his a$$ was soundly beaten thank the LORD>

By: pswindle on 6/23/11 at 11:46

Tennessee's new legislative body walked into a good situation that was left by the former governor. This Governor and the legislative body has been a total joke. What have they done to move TN forward? Nothing, but work on social and church issues. President Obama has done a terrific josb in saving American after the mess of Bush and Cheney. How short our memories are.. The South thinks that they will rise again We happen to have a bright black man as president., and the white men and some women cannot take it. It is eating away at their very core. I know that many of you as I have received some of the nastiest emails concerning our president. Remember Chip and the dragon song. That did not get him very far. The South is still living in the last century. Don't tell me that I am wrong about the race problem in TN. I hear it every day from friends and foe alike.

By: ididntdoit on 6/28/11 at 7:40

Here's an idea: use your caucus meetings to agree on a platform and streamline bills that create jobs for OUR state and protect citizens of OUR state. Too many bills copy proposed legislation in other states or are designed as a way to thumb our noses at federal laws. Next year they'll be carefully designed to pander to a particular voting population even when there is no chance of passage. I'm not a politics-hater; I still think our system is best, but if we thought we were getting rid of these problems last election, we have only ourselves to blame when the "bull" gets deeper (and it will).