Randy McNally

Speakers quietly drop hand-held sign ban at Cordell Hull

The Tennessee Legislature has quietly revised its “Facility Use Policies” to remove a ban on all signs within the Cordell Hull building. Moving forward, “small letter sized signs that do not obstruct the view of visitors are acceptable,” according to the policy.

Under the previous set of rules, all signs were banned, regardless of whether they were hand-held or mounted to sticks or poles. The fact that this was done in the name of preventing “a serious safety hazard to visors and tenants” was the cause of much mockery because it was imposed alongside a new policy allowing handgun carry permit holders to be armed within the building.

House Democrats announced Wednesday that Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville) had requested a legal opinion from state Attorney General Herbert Slatery about whether ban on “hand-carried signs and signs on hand sticks” violates the First Amendment. Jones’ letter is dated Jan. 11.

House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) signed the revised policy on Jan. 3.

Note: This post comes via Erik Schelzig, editor of the Tennessee Journal. Previous post on the policy, HERE.

Haile named state Senate speaker pro tempore; Bowing deputy speaker

Press release from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

NASHVILLE — Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) today announced the appointment of Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Senate. Haile replaces Jim Tracy who resigned late last year to accept a presidential appointment.

Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) will replace Haile in the position of Deputy Speaker.

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McNally realigns Senate committees

Press release from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

NASHVILLE — Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) today announced state Senate committee assignment changes for the second annual session of the 110th General Assembly. The changes come as a result of the resignation of three Senate members since the legislature adjourned in May. Two of the resigning senators, Doug Overbey and Jim Tracy, accepted presidential appointments.

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Speakers ban protest signs, animals from legislative quarters — guns permitted

Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell have approved a new policy that prohibits “hand-carried signs and signs on hand sticks” at the Legislature because they “represent a serious safety hazard,” reports The Tennessean. The speakers had earlier approved a policy change to allow handgun permit holders to bring their weapons to legislative hearings and offices.

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UT to accept ACT test scores despite administrative foul-up

Press release from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) today announced the University of Tennessee has agreed to accept scores from the October 17 mis-administered ACT tests at Bearden High School and Alvin C. York Institute in Jamestown. The University’s decision was delivered to Lt. Governor McNally by University of Tennessee Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick.  Continue reading

Overbey sworn in as U.S. attorney, resigns state Senate seat

Former state Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, resigned his Senate seat effective 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee at 3:30 p.m., reports the Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times.

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Speakers OK guns at the legislature — after move to Cordell Hull quarters

Handgun permit holders were prohibited from bringing their weapons into the Legislative Plaza, but when the General Assembly relocates to the remodeled Cordell Hull building, permit holders will be able to keep their guns when visiting lawmakers or attending committee meetings.

House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally announced the new policy in a joint statement to media:

“Carry permit holders will be allowed to carry their firearms into the Cordell Hull Building, the new home of the Tennessee General Assembly. Tennessee carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding demographics in our state. To receive a permit, a citizen must be fingerprinted, submit to a background check and receive firearm training. Permit holders wishing to carry their firearms into Cordell Hull will be required to present their permit at security. A thorough screening process will determine the validity of the permit. Once that validity is established, a permit holder will be allowed exercise their Second Amendment while visiting their state government.”

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McNally: I’ll run for reelection and nothing else

Statement from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

“There have been many changes in Tennessee politics revealed in the past few days and months. Many great friends are leaving public service and many are pursuing other opportunities.

Personally, I am staying put. I am not interested in running for any other office than those I currently hold. I love the state Senate and plan to run for re-election to continue to represent the great people of my district.

It has been the honor of my life to serve as Speaker of the Senate and Lieutenant Governor, I hope to retain the support of my caucus and my Senate colleagues and stand for re-election for that position as well.”

Harwell, McNally establish medical marijuana panel

In accord with an agreement reached back in March, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally on Friday appointed a joint House-Senate committee to study medical marijuana and make a report to the Legislature for next year’s session.

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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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