Lawmakers To Return For Another Day

Posted at 10:14 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 23:39:08-04

Lawmakers in both chambers will be back at the state legislature Thursday to finish the business from Wednesday, the scheduled final day of the legislative session.

A lengthy debate over a proposed veto override, partisan squabbling and a disagreement over a tax cut were major contributors to the delay.

The House bid to override Gov. Bill Haslam's veto of making the Bible the state's official book ended up falling short after two hours of debate.

"We can put it all over the billboards on every corner in the state of Tennessee, but if this is not in your heart, we're doing nothing but mocking God," said Rep. Johnny Shaw (D) Memphis.

The House missed the override by seven votes.

The rest of the day was marked by sniping between Democrats who tried to amend various Republican bills and the GOP super majority killing those efforts.

"I'm all for not doing amendments on the floor without consulting the sponsor and without going through the committee system, but since the minority party doesn’t want to adhere to those rules than, again, what's good for the goose is good for the gander," said Republican Caucus Chair Rep. Glen Casada (R, Franklin), repeating a line he used numerous times during the spat.

In apparent retaliation, Casada added what some Democrats considered a crippling amendment onto a juvenile justice bill sponsored by Rep. Karen Camper (D, Memphis), irritating Democrats. Casada offered a truce if Camper rolled the bill to the end of the meeting, and when it resurfaced it passed without incident.

Republican leaders also grappled with efforts by members of their own party to try to expand a planned cut in the Hall tax on earnings from stocks and bonds. That bill moves back to the House Finance Committee Thursday morning at 8 a.m. before the full House reconvenes at 9 a.m.

The Senate meets again at 10 a.m.