Gov. Bill Haslam has quietly voiced disagreement with nearly two dozen bills introduced by Republican members of the General Assembly this session, a Knoxville News Sentinel report shows.
Although Haslam has issued "fiscal flag" letters to lawmakers in the past, the governor is also objecting to proposals where "philosophical" differences exist this year, according to his office. Specific reasons for disagreement aren't given, but the governor's office usually will commit to meeting with the lawmaker to discuss.
"The administration understands this is an important issue to you and is cognizant of your efforts. The administration, however, respectfully disagrees with this legislation in its current form," the typical text from a letter reads.
Of the 22 bills opposed by Haslam, three have been co-introduced by lawmakers from the Chattanooga area.
Bills submitted by local lawmakers include:
—SB726 by Sen. Bo Watson and Rep. Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville, which says the state Baccalaureate Education Trust Fund can contract with "any professional" for services.
—HB1022 by Rep. Vince Dean and Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, which says local governments need not follow any new state law, with some exceptions, that costs the government more than $100,000 that is not covered by state government.
—HB1097 by Rep. Richard Floyd and Watson, which revises procedures for assigning a state-paid nursing home to bed people with intellectual disabilities now on a waiting list.
To view the full list of bills questioned by Haslam, click here.
Updated @ 11:04 a.m. on 3/12/13 to correct a factual error: SB726 was originally reported as SB728.