TCSA Capitol Update: January 23 - 27, 2023

After the inauguration, the Senate returned this week for committees to hold their first meetings of the year and get organized. As most legislation is still being filed, bills were not heard for the most part. The House took this week off as it was shuffling offices and giving a chance for its 18 new representatives to get settled in. The House will return for business next week, which is just in time for the bill filing deadline in that chamber of Tuesday, January 31st. The Senate deadline falls a few days after that. As of press time for this newsletter, a little over 700 bills have been filed in each chamber. That number is expected to double by the end of next week. Only a few bills are scheduled for consideration in committees next week, in part because they must all go through 2 readings on the chamber floors before they are assigned to a committee.


One of the few bills on calendar that affects local government is HB 48 which limits the size of metropolitan governing bodies to 20 members. Of the three metro governments in Tennessee, only Nashville/Davidson County has a governing body larger than this proposed limit with 40 members. Hartsville/Trousdale County has 20 members on its commission. Lynchburg/Moore County has 15 members. Under the Tennessee Constitution, county commissions are capped at 25 members. Consolidated governments are not covered by that provision and are instead governed by the statutes that provide for the metropolitan form of government. The bill is scheduled to be heard by the Cities and Counties Subcommittee on Wednesday, February 1st at 3:30 p.m.