Randy McNally

McNally gets legislative longevity award

News release from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

NASHVILLE — Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) has received the Thomas B. Murphy Longevity of Service Award from the Council of State Government’s Southern Legislative Conference. Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) presented the award to McNally at the group’s annual meeting last week in Biloxi, Mississippi.

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McNally appoints ‘watchdog’ Victor Ashe to new term on state museum board

Former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe, who has clashed repeatedly with other members of the board governing the Tennessee State Museum in the past, was appointed Friday to a new four-year term on the panel by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally.

Further from the News Sentinel:

McNally, who shares appointments to the board formally known as the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission with House Speaker Beth Harwell, also reappointed Nancy Baker De Friece, a Bristol realtor. The old terms of both expired Friday; their new terms began Saturday.

“He’s had a great public service record – as a legislator, as a mayor, as an ambassador – and he’s also been a strong advocate of the public’s right to know,” said McNally when asked about the Ashe appointment.  “Certainly, as a watchdog, he has few people who are his equal…. And we definitely need someone from Knox County on the board.”

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McNally named to Republican Lieutenant Governors Association board

News release from Republican Lieutenant Governors Association

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 21, 2017) – The Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA), part of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), today announced the full 2017 Executive Committee. The committee is made up of lieutenant governors from across the U.S. and they will work closely with the previously announced RLGA leadership team of Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, Chairman; North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Vice-Chairman; Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Co-Chair for Policy; and Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Co-Chair for Finance.

The 2017 Executive Committee is made up of Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

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New ‘blue ribbon task force’ on juvenile justice system set up by speakers (Haslam gets a seat)

News release from House Speaker Beth Harwell’s office

NASHVILLE – Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) this week announced the formation of the Joint Ad Hoc Tennessee Blue Ribbon Task Force on Juvenile Justice. The task force will be co-chaired by Speaker Harwell and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville).

The task force will study, evaluate, analyze, and undertake a comprehensive review of the state’s juvenile justice system, using a data-driven approach. The members are charged with developing evidence-based policy recommendations that will lead to potential legislative action that will protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and contain costs while improving outcomes for youth and families in Tennessee.  Continue reading

McNally, Harwell eye review of open records exceptions

Responding to a suggestion at a Tennessee Press Association meeting, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally recently said the legislature “probably” should reconsider the hundreds of exemptions to the state’s Open Records Act since it was enacted in 1957 and House Speaker Beth Harwell says she’ll think about it.

When the law was first passed declaring most records of public agencies open to citizens, there were just two exceptions – medical records of public hospital patients and security information held by state military officials. Since then, legislators have enacted more than 350 exceptions, according to a Tennessee Coalition for Open Government count.

The House and Senate speakers were questioned about the exceptions and the possibility of reviewing them to determine if all are still warranted. McNally replied the exemptions could be revised to make each subject to expiration unless periodically renewed by the legislature – similar to the “sunset” system in place for all state government departments, boards, commissions and agencies. Each governmental entity must be periodically renewed by the legislature – typically every six years – or it will “sunset” and cease to exist.

“I think that’s an idea we probably need to pursue,” said McNally.

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McNally: Administration revising Fall Creek Falls privatization plan

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally says Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration is revising its plans to privatize Fall Creek Falls State Park and will change provisions seen as bypassing the State Building Commission, reports the Times-Free Press.

Speaking with reporters Thursday, McNally, the Republican Senate speaker, shed additional light on the controversy that forced Department of Environment and Conservation officials to abruptly drop a request for proposals from companies interested in operating the 26,000-acre park in rural Van Buren and Bledsoe counties.

The plan includes giving whomever is eventually picked as the concessionaire some $22 million appropriated in this year’s budget to tear down and build a new park inn and convention center.

“Well, the administration has backed it up, and I think they’re going to go back through the Building Commission process, which is what we wanted,” McNally said. “They’ll have to have the plan approved there, and then the Building Commission will also have to approve the design.” 

McNally described the controversy as “somewhere between a bump in the road and a roadblock. It’s not a roadblock, but it’s not as insignificant as a bump in the road.”  Continue reading

McNally says bathroom bill no longer needed; sponsors disagree

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally says that he sees no need for Tennessee’s so-called bathroom bill now that President Trump has issued a new guidance on transgender students and rest rooms, reports The Tennessean.

“I think given what the Trump administration has done, my assessment would be it’s not needed,” McNally said Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education announced that their agencies were withdrawing a guidance advanced last year by the Obama administration that permitted students to use restrooms for their chosen gender.

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Protesters prompt McNally to push tighter security

A day after shouting protesters stopped two legislators from holding a Legislative Plaza press conference, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said Thursday that a return to tighter security measures at the state Capitol complex is needed.

From The Tennessean:

McNally said… that he is considering reinstating a policy that was eliminated to require visitors to the legislature to have an ID scanned and wear a badge while visiting. He said some of the behavior from protestors, like preventing them from getting on elevators and leaving “shouldn’t occur.”

“We’re in favor of going back to have a little more security,” McNally said.

The move would require a joint effort between both Senate and House leadership.

McNally said it may require an entry process similar to what is used in most schools, which require visitors to scan an ID at an entry point and wear a visitor’s badge.

“I think people having name tags on, it’s a little bit of a deterrent to being violent or disruptive,” McNally said.

Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, said constituents should have easy access to their representatives, and the House Democratic Caucus will soon begin having come-one-come-all type meetings weekly in the Plaza to allow constituents to ask questions.

“We should be bending over backwards to allow the public to come speak with us,” he said.

Note: Previous post on protesters stopping the new conference is HERE.

McNally: Chances of gas tax passage ‘about 50-50’

Excerpt from a Kingsport Times-News report:

At Friday’s Regional Legislative Breakfast, incoming Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said the chances of the IMPROVE Act passing unscathed are about 50-50.

“I think a lot depends upon whether the Senate and the House make overall changes or smaller changes,” McNally, R-Oak Ridge, said of the proposal before the breakfast held at the MeadowView Marriott and attended by about 220 business leaders and elected officials. “Personally, I don’t like the escalating clause (indexing the fuel tax to keep up with the rate of inflation). I think legislators should be able to increase or decrease the tax as needed. I just don’t like taxes tied to inflation. That could get you in a lot of trouble.”

Rep. David Hawk, a member of the House Finance Committee, commended Haslam’s proposal but said Republicans are working on an alternative plan.

“One of the concerns I had is the fact there are so many moving parts to it,” Hawk, R-Greeneville, said of the IMPROVE Act. “You’re raising this, you’re lowering this, you’re going in a lot of different directions as the issues are being debated, and that gives people the opportunity to poke a hole in the plan. … I’m working with my colleagues both in the House and the Senate to try to come up with a plan that is a little more simple, but still will achieve our transportation needs.”

Rep. Gary Hicks, also a member of the House Finance Committee, indicated there may be several proposals to fix transportation funding.

“Let’s vet it. Let’s see what’s in it,” Hicks said. “ … We need to make sure it is what we need. One of the most important pieces of that gas tax that I look at is the local piece and what it provides to local governments. … This is something we definitely have to listen to.”

McNally makes more Senate staff appointments

News release from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally’s office:

NASHVILLE – Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) today announced additional staff appointments to the Office of the Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate. These appointments follow last week’s announcement of longtime McNally aide Rick Nicholson as Senate Chief of Staff.

Debbie Martin, Executive Assistant to the Lt. Governor

Lt. Governor McNally’s Executive Secretary for nine years, Martin will be involved in all aspects of Lt. Gov. McNally’s office and will serve as his chief scheduler. A 30-year veteran state employee, Martin lives in Hendersonville with her husband, Tracy. The Martins have one adult daughter and two grandchildren.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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