Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Information please

I'm waiting for the House Calendar and Rules Committee to meet so I can see how they handle HB1652 regarding Category IV diplomas. So many of the same people who voted against it in the House Education Committee are also on the Calendar and Rules Committee that you have to wonder if they'll let it move forward.

There is no certain start time for this meeting. It is scheduled to start after Education, a budget update, after Government Ops and Finance, Ways & Means. Forget sufficient notice to the people regarding how things are being done or what's being done. Forget knowing when they're meeting. Forget know what they're meeting about. It's fruitbasket upset season at the Tennessee Legislature. Sadly, it's normal for our legislature, particularly the House, to lollygag for the first several months and then cram as much legislation through and past inquiring citizens and advocates as possible in the last couple of weeks. The result is that often no one knows what they're actually working on and sometimes you have to believe that's by design.

I watched a few minutes of the Government Operations Committee and was astonished to find that the Committee Chair Rep. Barbara Cooper (D-Memphis) was NOT providing Rep. Mike Bell the list of entities that the committee was voting on NOT sunsetting. Because Rep. Cooper has a habit of being a 'low talker' it was hard to follow but it sounded like they were about to vote on the status of some 90 entities. Rep. Bell requested that the bill be rolled to the 'heel' of the calendar in order to allow time for him to review the list and make an informed vote. Clearly irritated by the inconvenience she told him that the list was being printed but she insisted the vote occur then. Being denied reasonable information, Rep. Bell did the only thing he could at the time. He voted no.

1 comment:

Donnell K said...

Thank you for your attention to this, and for alerting readers to actions of the legislature. I'm following this also, and published a blog post with some additional thoughts at that will support your work. Thanks!