Tennessee House advances bill to ban reappointing lawmakers booted for behavior

1 month ago 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republicans in the Tennessee House voted Monday to advance a bill that would prevent local governments from reappointing state lawmakers who were expelled due to behavior.

The proposal is one of several restrictions being considered after the GOP's high-profile expulsion proceedings last April against Democratic state Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson. It would bar what happened after: Jones and Pearson were reappointed and quickly went back to work.

One of the Legislature's staff attorneys expressed concerns about the bill last week, telling House lawmakers during a committee hearing that it raises constitutional questions and suggesting proposing the change to voters in a constitutional amendment instead.

Rep. Johnny Garrett, a Goodlettsville Republican who sponsored the bill, argued that the Tennessee Constitution would allow the change.

“I believe that the language is absolutely clear,” Garrett said.

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