Long story, short.....LT. GOV. Ramsey stated the shorter the session the more things that can be accomplished thus saving all of us more money.......what a novel concept.Friday's adjourning of the Tennessee General Assembly marked the earliest date lawmakers closed up shop since 1990, and it was done having clocked the smaller number of legislative days since 1976.
In all, the Legislature was in session a little more than three months.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey issued a statement Friday afternoon, praising House and Senate members for moving quickly. Ramsey said the early finish ultimately saved taxpayer dollars for Tennesseans.
"The longer a legislature is in session, the longer the average taxpayer has to watch his wallet," Ramsey said. "I have always maintained that an efficient and focused General Assembly can finish the people's business on time and save taxpayer dollars in the process."
In 2012, the Legislature closed the books on May 1, and in 2011, lawmakers adjourned and left in late May.
Notable accomplishments for lawmakers this session included passage of a bill overhauling the way workers' comp claims are processed, approval of a measure to allow handgun permit holders to keep guns locked in their vehicles and successful legislation to allow voters to decide on an income tax ban at the ballot box in 2014.
Regarding bills of local interest, lawmakers approved a measure that will allow distilleries, such as Chattanooga Whiskey, to operate and sell their products in Hamilton County.
Left dead for the year were a plan championed by Ramsey that would have redrawn the lines for Tennessee's judicial districts, a charter authorizer bill backed by House Speaker Beth Harwell, Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal for school vouchers and legislation that would have allowed wine to be sold in grocery stores in Tennessee.
The General Assembly was also not required to discuss expanding Tennessee's Medicaid program under ObamaCare—a discussion widely anticipated for this year's session. Instead, Haslam opted to defer on making a decision to either deny or accept a federal offer to expand TennCare while continuing discussion with the Department of Health and Human Services regarding a "third option" to use federal dollars to purchase private insurance plans.
Barring the unlikely callback for a special session to debate a TennCare expansion, lawmakers will return to Nashville for the second session of the 108th General Assembly on Jan. 14, 2014.
WHAT WORLD DOES HE LIVE IN?