Well, I tried to start with West Meade’s own version of Strom Thurmond, Douglas Henry. He’s the most interesting to me because 1) I may run against him next time, just for kicks and 2) he sounds like Foghorn Leghorn.
But I’ve run into a problem. Seems Mr Henry is most fond of memorializing, commemorating, bridge-naming, and all those ceremonial things senators do. I did, however, find one interesting piece of legislation he sponsored, SB1973 (PDF), which clarifies the intent of Families First. I have no idea why he thinks we’re missing the spirit of the law, or why we need to change it, but here is the text, in its entirety:
(j) It is the intent of the general assembly that programs administered under this act, as compiled in sections 71-3-152 – 71-3-165, inclusive, be administered in ways that further the purpose of promoting financial self-sufficiency for recipients of services provided, while not discontinuing services and assistance to persons in dire need and who are not reasonably capable of living without assistance due to incapacity, crisis or low functional ability.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring
I’ll be honest, I have no idea why this is necessary. “Families First” was TN’s version of welfare reform, and I have no idea how the law as it is currently manifested is not meeting the text above. Maybe some of our more legislatively-attuned can explain this to me.
There is little more that Henry has sponsored that is interesting. A bill that allows big municipalities to establish fire company in-service fire inspection programs. A bill that allows “school bond authority to appoint designees to serve in the member’s place as a trustee of the chairs of excellence endowment trust fund”. A strange rewording of the greenways law. A pilot program for mental health care in large cities.
Try as I might, I find it hard to make any of this into compelling discussion. I think that’s why he-who-must-not-be-named is blogged about so much. As annoying as he is, at least he’s not boring. Let’s face it, most of the work of the legislature is sausage grinding. Another thing you must remember, in West Meade/Belle Meade/Hillwood, we prefer “boring” out of our representatives. Which explains how the very interesting Bob Krumm lost to Henry. However, this doesn’t make for very good blogging.
But now, I’ll turn my attention to my much younger rep, Gary Odom. Certainly he’s introduced something blog-worthy? I’ll research and report my findings back to you.
I AM trying though. Hopefully I won’t get too many points marked off for turning it in late!