108th General Assembly gets to work in Nashville

108th General Assembly gets to work in Nashville

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The 108th Tennessee General Assembly convened at noon in the state Capitol. The 108th Tennessee General Assembly convened at noon in the state Capitol.
Lawmakers are sworn in. Lawmakers are sworn in.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor

NASHVILLE (WATE) - The 108th Tennessee General Assembly convened at noon Central time in the state Capitol for what officials are hoping will be a short session.

But that could change depending on the contentiousness of a number of issues, including Medicaid expansion, public safety and education.

In the House, there are 24 new members and among them is Democrat Gloria Johnson from the 13th House district.

"There's a huge responsibility, so I've been thinking so much about that responsibility, and the responsibility to the people who support me and all my constituents. This is an important job and I've got to do it right," said Johnson.

Also new from the Knox County delegation is Republican Roger Kane who is elected to the newly-formed 89th House district.

"It honestly was a lot to take in. Never being a member of politics, particularly I've never even been in the chamber before, just taking it all and the grandeur of this place is just great and the history. And just being able to hear the gavel coming down and know that now you're a part of history is a lot to take in," said Kane.

Both House and Senate leaders are hoping to finish the session about Apr. 1.

State Rep. Ryan Haynes thinks that timeframe is a bit ambitious.

"Whenever you have 99 people in any house or party, you'll have disagreements," said Haynes. "Our goal is good government and with the supermajority of Republicans in the House we should be able to accomplish that."

Among the orders of business was the reelection of Nashville House member Beth Harwell to Speaker of the House.

Work by both the House and the Senate will begin after Jan. 28, the tentative date for Gov. Haslam to announce his budget in the State of the State address.

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