Sunday, April 20, 2014 · 4:56 p.m.

Roundup provides a review of the week’s top government stories from Chattanooga, Nashville and Washington, D.C.

Bipartisan budget bill awaits president’s signature
The Senate passed a budget agreement that sets funding levels for the federal government until September 2015. The deal could bring an end to the paralysis that has surrounded the nation’s capital for three years and help resume a normal budgeting process.

Passage in the upper chamber on a 64-36 vote Wednesday came a week after it got overwhelming support in the House. The bill now awaits the president’s signature.

Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker voted against the legislation.

Alexander was one of 67 senators who agreed to let it go to the floor for an up or down vote. He said that although it does not do enough to reign in entitlement spending, he appreciated the bipartisan negotiations that brought the deal together. Corker said the government shutdown in October weakened Republicans’ hand while it was being worked out.

Command staff in the Chattanooga Police Department: (from left to right) Tommy Kennedy, Randy Dunn, Stan Maffett and Kirk Eidson. (Photo: Contributed)

CPD leadership leaving, reason unknown
Most of the command staff in the Chattanooga Police Department announced their resignations this week. Among them are Police Chief Bobby Dodd, Deputy Chief Tommy Kennedy and Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson. Assistant Chief Randy Dunn decided to retire a few weeks ago.

That leaves Assistant Chief Stan Maffett, who will take over as interim chief once Dodd’s resignation becomes effective Dec. 31. Mayor Andy Berke announced a committee to search for a permanent replacement. The three-member panel will be looking at candidates inside and outside of the CPD, and the search will likely take months, Berke said.

The outgoing officers have not spoken to the media, but the sudden, collective exodus of the department’s top brass has generated increased speculation and rumors. The resignations occurred against a backdrop of uncertainty amongst police officers and firefighters, who are concerned that the pension system could be getting a major overhaul next year.

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