Tenn. state representatives could see limit on number of bills

Tenn. state representatives could see limit on number of bills

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State Representative Joe Armstrong thinks this will help the most important bills get through. State Representative Joe Armstrong thinks this will help the most important bills get through.
State Representative Bill Dunn has his own idea for the plan, with a rolling limit on the number of active bills a representative can introduce. State Representative Bill Dunn has his own idea for the plan, with a rolling limit on the number of active bills a representative can introduce.
State Senator Stacey Campfield thinks it could help eliminate redundancies, but complicate senate bills, since legislation has to pass in both the house and the senate. State Senator Stacey Campfield thinks it could help eliminate redundancies, but complicate senate bills, since legislation has to pass in both the house and the senate.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - When the General Assembly reconvenes Tuesday, representatives in the state house might not be able to introduce as much legislation as they have in the past.

That's due to one of several changes potentially in the work.

House Speaker Beth Harwell is looking to limit representatives from filing more than ten bills per session.

It would force representatives to prioritize the bills they introduce, but not everyone agrees on how the limitations should be made.

State Representative Joe Armstrong thinks this will help the most important bills get through.

"I think this is a way of making legislators prioritize, as well as, if they're going to introduce legislation, that it's not form let's say, grandstanding or headlines, but absolutely legislation that will affect their community and the districts they represent," Rep. Armstrong explained.

State Representative Bill Dunn has his own idea for the plan, with a rolling limit on the number of active bills a representative can introduce.

"I've always pushed for the idea of limit the bills to about seven, but then once a bill passed or once one failed for the year, you could introduce another one. That way throughout the session, you would be urged to move things along and make decisions," explained Rep. Dunn.

State Senator Stacey Campfield thinks it could help eliminate redundancies, but complicate senate bills, since legislation has to pass in both the house and the senate.

"What you're going to see is a lot of rookie and new people getting pushed legislation on them that they're not ready to handle, stuff that's pretty complex that they're not ready to answer the questions on, but because we are limited, those rookie guys are going to be forced to carry a lot more water," Sen. Campfield said.

The bill limit would not include local legislation, congratulatory resolutions, or the governor's package.

Some legislators fear some of the smaller issues will be pushed to the side if representatives can't introduce bills without limits.

The proposal has yet to be approved, a special committee will be appointed by Speaker Harwell to review it once session begins next week.

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