Just wanted to make sure that you knew, there is finally a ‘new day’ in the House of the Tennessee General Assembly.
After months of chaos, conflict, scandal, and disappointing behavior, a new Speaker has been installed in the House, along with a new House Republican Caucus Chair.
Speaker Cameron Sexton and Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison
Analysis: As new era begins, House leadership looks to shore up divisions, reach across the aisle
Joel Ebert and Natalie Allison, Nashville Tennessean Published 10:00 p.m. CT Aug. 25, 2019. After months of tumult, uncertainty and internal squabbling, the Tennessee House of Representatives is looking to turn the page.
Since the start of the year, the lower chamber saw the rise and fall of a speaker, a growing chorus for action on a member who’s faced allegations of sexual assault and the controversial passage of a school vouchers bill.
Last week, the chamber swore in Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, as its newest leader, while Republicans voted into leadership a member who this past session was relegated to irrelevancy.
And as is often the case with new beginnings, optimism reigns supreme among House leaders.
The task, however, remains tall for Republicans as they look to begin a new era.
With 94 Votes Cameron Sexton Elected as the Speaker of the Tennessee House During the General Assembly Special Session
August 24, 2019 Laura Baigert
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – During the Special Session of the Tennessee General Assembly on August 23, Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) was elected as the new Speaker of the House with 94 votes.
By Proclamation, the Extraordinary Session was called by Governor Bill Lee, as reported by The Tennessee Star, to facilitate, in part, a determination by the House of Representatives pursuant to its rules of who shall serve as Speaker.
The Proclamation followed a May 20 House Republican Caucus meeting, the outcome of which was a 45-24 vote of no-confidence in Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) following media reports of several scandals.
On July 23, Cameron Sexton was chosen by the House Republican Caucus after four rounds of voting to succeed Casada. Sexton bested five other candidates for the role, Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah), Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough), Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville), Jay Reedy (R-Erin) and Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville).
Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) called the August 23 Extraordinary Session to order at about 10 a.m., and a roll call was taken. Three House members, Representatives Glen Casada (R-Franklin), Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville) and Bill Sanderson (R-Kenton) were absent at the time of the roll call. Sanderson had announced his resignation just prior to the previous House Republican Caucus meeting, and Farmer arrived later.
In Three Rounds of Voting, Rep. Jeremy Faison Elected House Republican Caucus Chair, Replacing Speaker-Select Cameron Sexton
August 23, 2019 Laura Baigert
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – After three rounds of voting in a four-way contest, Representative Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) was elected the House Republican Caucus Chair, eventually receiving 40 votes.
The meeting of the House Republican Caucus was held at 4 p.m. in the Supreme Court chambers of the State Capitol. The meeting was announced by Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) at the previous meeting on July 24, during which Representative Cameron Sexton was selected by the Caucus as the next Speaker to succeed Glen Casada (R-Franklin).
The House Republican Caucus meeting was called to order by Representative Brandon Ogles (R-Franklin) and Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland).
A prayer, said by Representative Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka), was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a roll call by Representative Clay Doggett (R-Pulaski).
Of the 73 House Republican Caucus members, 71 were present, with Representatives Bill Sanderson (R-Kenton) and Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) absent. Representative Sanderson announced in July that he would be resigning from his position before the end of his term in 2020.
COMMITTEE AND APPOINTMENT CHANGES:
Rep. Curtis Johnson, the one-time speaker pro tempore under former House Speaker Beth Harwell, has once again risen to a top position of leadership in the chamber.
Sexton on Friday appointed Johnson, R-Clarksville, to deputy speaker, a leadership position hand-picked by the speaker.
Johnson replaces Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, whom Casada appointed deputy speaker in January and who was a key leader in pushing contentious legislation this session, including bills on school vouchers and a six-week abortion ban.
The most notable changes to the committee chairmanships included removing Rep. Matthew Hill, the former deputy speaker from Jonesborough, from his positions leading the ethics and TennCare committees.
Johnson will now take over the ethics committee, while Rep. David Hawk, who was largely shut out by Casada, is set to lead the TennCare subcommittee.
Rep. Andy Holt, whose prominence in the statehouse was boosted by Casada and who had been made chair of the finance subcommittee, has been removed from that position and moved to chairman of the agriculture subcommittee.
Rep. Susan Lynn will continue to lead the finance committee, while Rep. Gary Hicks will lead finance subcommittee and Hill has been made chair of the newly created finance appropriations subcommittee.
Other chairman positions remained the same, with the exception of Rep. Ron Travis being removed as chairman of the insurance committee and replaced by Rep. Robin Smith.
Rep. Ryan Williams will now take her position as chair of the life and health insurance subcommittee.
Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, has named State Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, chairman of the newly created House Appropriations Subcommittee, according to a press release from the state’s Republican caucus on Friday Read more here.
I can’t think of a group of folks that need our prayers more than this newly reconstituted House. Hopefully and PRAYERFULLY they can now get back doing what they were elected to do: take care of their constituents and do the business of the state.
Please join me in praying for them:
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.
1 Timothy 2:1-3