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Harwell Proposes Bill Limits, Committee Shakeup

Harwell Proposes Bill Limits, Committee Shakeup

CREATED Dec 19, 2012

By Jennifer Kraus
Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On the heels of a NewsChannel 5 investigation, state House Speaker Beth Harwell is proposing to overhaul the way lawmakers in the State House do business.

This comes after a NewsChannel 5 Investigates report back in April which exposed how members of the House routinely voted for other lawmakers.

Our investigation into ghost voting in the state legislature showed how House members voted for absent colleagues and sometimes even clocked them in, making it appear as if they were present when they were not. Many lawmakers, we discovered, used special sticks to push the voting and attendance buttons. Now, Speaker Harwell's plan calls for each member to vote for only him or herself.

Her other proposed changes include limiting members to 10 bills per session and restructuring the committee system to balance out everyone's workload.

She also proposes doing away with the requirement that every document be printed to reduce the amount of paper used in committee and floor sessions.

These changes will have to be approved by the House Rules Committee after the Legislature convenes next month.

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