112th TN General Assembly convenes; McNally, Sexton re-elected Speakers

The 112th Tennessee General Assembly was gaveled into session Tuesday, Jan. 12, to swear in legislators and to formally elect leadership positions.

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally was formally re-elected for a third term as Speaker of the Senate. Rep. Cameron Sexton was re-elected to a second term as Speaker of the House. Both called for unity amidst the backdrop of national unrest, a global pandemic, and the Christmas day bombing in Nashville.

During the two-day organizational session, appointments of legislative committee and subcommittee chairmen, as well as committee assignments were made.

A special legislative session called by Gov. Bill Lee is scheduled to begin Jan. 19. The special session will focus on education with teacher pay, student literacy, testing, and the difficulties caused by COVID-19 among the issues to be addressed.

The governor’s annual State of the State address, when he releases his proposed budget and provides information about his legislative agenda, is scheduled for Feb. 8.

Both speakers have released COVID-19 protocols, repeating many of the same procedures set in place last session, but adding new ones as well. Visitation to the state Capitol and Cordell Hull Building will be restricted and by appointment only. Annual Days on the Hill by various organizations will not be allowed to further limit the number of individuals on Capitol grounds.