Legislative Updates from Your Chamber

Chris Gobble, Chamber Senior Director, Public Policy

Each week, the Chamber keeps you up to date on Capitol Hill happenings. 

Tuesday Jan. 8, pursuant to Article 2, Section 3 and 8 of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, outgoing Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally gaveled into session the 111th General Assembly.

Both the House and Senate spent much of the week electing members to leadership positons and setting up this year’s rules and committee structure. After the Oath of Office was taken by all 132 members of the General Assembly, the first order of business was to formally elect McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and House Speaker Glen Casada (R- Franklin). The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce congratulates both McNally and Casada on their election to the top posts in their respective Houses.

Of course we’re a little biased, but Wednesday, Jan. 9 in Nashville was notable for another reason. The Chattanooga Chamber had quite the presence in Nashville, loading a bus and descending upon Capitol Hill for the first annual Chamber Day on the Hill. Members interacted with the Hamilton County delegation, the Lt. Gov., Speaker of the House, Special Assistant to Gov. Bill Lee Chris DeVaney and Secretary of State Tre Hargett. The Chamber thanks everyone who spent time with us last Wednesday. We’re fortunate to have representatives who care deeply about Chattanooga and Hamilton County and we appreciate their service to our community and state.

The day ended at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Nashville at the Tennessee on Tap, Chambers of Commerce Reception, hosted by the Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville Chambers. We mingled with legislators and business leaders from across the state. We look forward to building on the success of our first Day on the Hill.

The first week of session concluded on Thursday, Jan. 10 with committee assignments from both the House and Senate. Our Hamilton County delegation is uniquely positioned to represent Chattanooga and Hamilton County through their noteworthy committee assignments. Below you can find an exhaustive list of committee assignments for the Hamilton County delegation.

Speaker Casada made his mark on the House almost immediately with a different committee structure than that of Speaker Harwell. An expansion of subject matter specific subcommittees will hear bills before being referred to one of 12 standing committees, one fewer than years past. Speaker Casada also appointed two democrats to chair committees, keeping a promise for “partnership, not partisanship” which he regularly highlighted throughout his campaign. Rep. John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) will chair the Naming, Designating & Private Acts Committee and Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-Old Hickory) will chair the Property & Casualty Insurance Subcommittee.

The General Assembly recessed until Friday, Jan. 18 when legislators returned to Nashville for the swearing in of Gov. Bill Lee on Saturday, Jan. 19 on War Memorial Plaza.

The tentative bill filing deadline in the General Assembly is scheduled for Feb. 7. At this time, your Chamber will review every piece of legislation to determine impact to the Chattanooga region and business community. We will continue to update you throughout session on important pieces of legislation and other interesting happenings on Capitol Hill.

Please stay tuned for our next legislative update scheduled for the next full week of session, Jan. 28. To learn more, or to get involved with the Chamber’s policy and advocacy work, please contact Chris Gobble, Senior Director of Public Policy, at [email protected]

Know a Chamber member who would like to receive these updates? Let us know. 

Committee Assignment List:

District 10: Todd Gardenhire

2nd Vice Chair – State and Local Government Committee

Member – Finance Committee

Member – Judiciary Committee

District 11: Bo Watson

Chair – Finance Committee

Member – Commerce Committee

Member – Heath Committee

District 26: Robin Smith

Chair – Life & Health Insurance Subcommittee (* Chairman Smith is the first freshman legislator to ever helm a committee)

Member – Facilities, Licensure & Regulations Subcommittee

Member – Health Committee

Member – Insurance Committee

District 27: Patsy Hazlewood

Vice Chair – Finance Committee

Member – Finance Subcommittee

Member – Banking and Investment Subcommittee

Member – Commerce Committee

District 28: Yusuf Hakeem

Member – Banking and Investment Subcommittee

Member – Commerce Committee

Member – Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee 

Member – Local Committee

District 29: Mike Carter

Chair – Civil Justice Subcommittee

Member – Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee

Member – Judiciary Committee

Member – Local Committee

District 30: Esther Helton

Vice Chair – Health Committee, Facilities

Member – Licensure & Regulations Subcommittee

Member – Local Committee

Member – Property & Planning Subcommittee

For a complete list of House Committees, visit this link:


For a complete list of Senate Committees, visit this link:


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