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

Some contrasting commentary on passage of gas tax bill

From Tea Party leader Judson Phillips, writing in Tennessee Star (excerpt):

The Tennessee Republican Party died on April 19, 2017. Ten years after the GOP became the majority party in Tennessee, led by a liberal governor, the party committed political suicide.

By voting for the largest tax increase in the history of the state of Tennessee, the Republicans in the state legislature knifed their base in the back and repudiated everything they claim to stand for. Tennessee Republicans routinely make campaign speeches talking about how conservative they are and how they believe in limited government.

Today, Tennessee’s conservative base knows this is a lie… Unfortunately, the Tennessee Republicans supermajority in the legislature chose to listen to a lame duck, feckless crap weasel governor instead of the people who put them in office.

From Gov. Bill Haslam

“The IMPROVE Act is the largest tax cut in Tennessee history, makes us more competitive as we’re recruiting manufacturing jobs and keeps our transportation network safe, reliable and debt-free for the next generation of Tennesseans. While there remains action to be taken on this legislation, I want to thank both chambers for their votes today on the IMPROVE Act, particularly Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Reps. Barry Doss (R-Leoma) and Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) for their work carrying the legislation.”

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Haslam appoints new ABC commissioner; Harwell and McNally may do same soon

West Tennessee pharmacist Richard Skiles has been appointed by Gov. Billl Haslam to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, filling  vacancy left on the board by the resignation in January of Mary McDaniel of Memphis.

While Skiles is the newest member of the panel, he probably won’t have that status for long, as observed by Nashville Post Politics. A bill already passed by the Senate (SB556) was approved by the House State Government Committee on Wednesday. It adds two new members to the ABC – one appointed by the House speaker, the other by the Senate speaker – to join the three now appointed by the governor.

Similar legislation passed the Senate last year, but was killed in the State Government sub about the same time the ABC’s executive director abruptly quit the post – moves that Senate Republican Leader  Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro says were related.

The House sponsor this year is Republican Rep. Bill Sanderson who shares Kenton as a home town with new Commissioner Skiles and is also chairman of the full State Government Committee.

Note: For a lengthy review of the pending bill and some of the ABC politics involved, see a News Sentinel report HERE. An excerpt:

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Harwell maneuvering to block Haslam tax plans

Gov. Bill Haslam’s tax package cleared the House Finance Committee Wednesday, but then House Speaker Beth Harwell said she’s developing another plan – one without a gas tax increase – that could derail the governor’s proposal next week.

The Times-Free Press says the move by Harwell, widely expected to announce as a candidate for governor after the session ends, blindsided Haslam, Senate Speaker Randy McNally and some other Republican leaders.

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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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