Haslam Signs Bills Reshaping Boards And Commissions, TRA

Effort To Increase Performance, Accountability, Efficiency To Operations

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam Wednesday announced he has signed two bills from his 2012 legislative agenda that make structural changes to the Tennessee Regulatory Authority and 21 boards, commissions and licensing programs.

More than 200 of these organizations exist within state government, and many have independent hiring and spending authority with limited oversight.  Gov. Haslam announced a review of state boards and commissions during his 2011 State of the State address, and after a comprehensive evaluation, he proposed reforms to improve performance, accountability and efficiency.

“It is our job to make state government as accountable and responsive as possible to Tennessee taxpayers,” Gov. Haslam said. “These changes are a first step toward increasing the performance, accountability and effectiveness of state government to Tennesseans.”

House Bill 2385/SB 2247 changes the membership of the TRA from four full-time members to five part-time members, allowing the authority to attract well-qualified directors with applicable experience who may not have been able to serve full time. Also, the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House now jointly appoint a full-time executive director. The TRA bill was sponsored by state Reps. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville) in the House and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Sen. Mike Faulk (R-Kingsport) in the Senate.
 
Among other changes, HB 2387/SB 2249:
 
Eliminates 138 board appointments by combining boards and reducing and reforming the membership of
the Duck River Development Agency,
the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission,
Community Services Agency board, and
the Commission on Aging and Disability;

Combines seven boards into three –
the Conservation Trust Fund Board absorbs the Conservation Commission,
the Oil and Gas Board and Water Quality Control Board are combined to form the Board of Water Quality, Oil and Gas, and
the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Board, Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and Solid Waste Board are combined to form the Underground Storage Tanks and Solid Waste Disposal Control Board;

Gives the governor hiring authority for the executive directors of the following five agencies
the Commission on Aging and Disability;
the Commission on Children and Youth;
the Tennessee Higher Education Commission;
the Tennessee Arts Commission; and
the Council on Career and Technical Education.

The boards and commission bill was sponsored by state Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) in the House and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) in the Senate.
 
On April 11, the governor signed HB 2386/SB 2248, which transfers oversight of parolees from the Board of Probation and Parole to the Department of Correction. That proposal was also part of the governor’s public safety action plan.

Fingerprint Evidence Leads To Arrest Of Antonio Patton Is Armed Robbery Of Store On Bonny Oaks Drive

Fingerprint evidence has led to the arrest of Antonio Preze Patton for the robbery of a store on Bonny Oaks Drive last Dec. 2. Patton, 27, of 2829 5th Ave., is charged with aggravated robbery. Police were notified of the late-night holdup at the Mystik Mart. The clerk said two black males entered the store with their heads covered with hoodies. They appeared to be looking ... (click for more)

Elmore Charged In Home Invasion After Victim Sees Him In Court With Woman Who Was Charged Earlier

Evan Alexander Elmore has been arrested in a Jan. 14 home invasion after the victim saw him sitting in court with a woman who was charged in the case earlier. Elmore, 22, of 6807 Hickory Lane, is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary. Briona Turner was arrested earlier after the victim told police a woman who previously spent the night several times at his ... (click for more)

Repeal Obamacare, Congressman Fleischmann - And Response

Chuck: I'm writing to express my strong opposition to the plan that is being rolled out by Paul Ryan to replace Obamacare. And as I'm writing this, I'm remembering all the times you and all of your Republican colleagues over the last six years campaigned on REPEALING  Obamacare and used that call to action as the basis for your reelection. And I'm also remembering the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You, The Bald-Headed Lady

You were wearing a pretty sweat shirt and blue jeans when I saw you outside the Infusion Center at Erlanger Hospital on Wednesday. You were the one who was nearly bald and I was the guy you greeted with a huge smile as we said hello in passing. You reminded me exactly of my brother Franklin. Years ago when chemotherapy began to rob him of his hair, Franklin was pretty devastated ... (click for more)

'Canes Bounce Back With 8-7 Win Versus Trojans

Soddy-Daisy one-hit East Hamilton on Monday in a 6-2 win. The Hurricanes gathered for a little chat after the game, and discussed their plight more before Tuesday’s batting practice. Apparently, a few words went a long way toward yanking the ‘Canes out of a slump starting the season. “The players and coaches talked after Monday’s game and we got some things ... (click for more)

Jones Sends Vols Through First Spring Practice Session

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --  Tennessee took the field for the first of 15 spring practices on Tuesday , putting in two hours of work in helmets and shorts at Haslam Field. "I liked the energy. I liked our approach," said Vols coach Butch Jones after Tuesday's workout. "Everyone was trying to lead. That gets back to everyone can lead in their own way, shape and ... (click for more)