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Late Bills Committee: The Casual Legislative Session

By: Eryn Tripp and Dallas Foster

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Vice-Chairs and Chairs of each committee met at 8:00 P.M. last night in the Brentwood-Franklin Room of the Double Tree Hotel to consider bills that were to replace previous bills with problematic titles. The late bill session was an intimate gathering of the chairs and vice chairs of committees of TISL. Many of the attendees had dressed down to their jeans and TISL t-shirts, giving the function a more casual feel. The bills were steadily addressed, and most passed without any objections from the attendees with the power to vote. The Speaker went through the motions with impressive speed, the whole session closing in less than an hour’s time.

One of the bills up for approval was TISL Bill 200 “An act to commission a committee to create a new all-encompassing set of state education standards.” This bill, sponsored by Kailee Thornton and Emily Hawkins, motions to “review the Common Core State Standards and Tennessee State Standards and then create an overarching system of Tennessee State standards.” With only two in favor and eleven opposed, the bill was passed with disapproval.

TISL Bill 201, sponsored by Senator Tully Watson and Representative Thomas Bowman introduced a motion to change schools to a four-day school week, rather than the traditional five-day school week. Students would begin school forty-five minutes earlier each morning and complete school forty-five minutes later each afternoon. If passed, the local Boards of Education in the state of Tennessee would choose either Monday or Friday for students to forgo classes. This bill would save on fuel and energy costs due to school transportation, and half of the money saved would go directly to local education for curriculum. Eleven were in favor, and two were opposed. The bill passed with approval.

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