Tennessee’s legislators will begin their legislative session on Tuesday, and it will not be a typical opening week for them.
Getting organized is the normal procedure for week one, but State Representative Ryan Williams said they will spend the end of this week deciding on Tennessee’s Medicaid Block Grant waiver. Williams said they will come back next week for the special called session for education funding.
“Education funding that holds local school systems harmless because of the loss of population of students that sit in chairs because of COVID,” Williams said. “Next week, we would normally take two weeks off from the organizational session, but next week we will reconvene on Tuesday.”
Williams said this is to ensure that schools get additional resources, on top of what they would normally receive. Williams said business is usually not done during the organizational session, but will stay through the end of the week to get the Medicaid Block Grant Waiver to a vote.
“This will be an exception, we will stay an extra day so we can hear these bills on block grants in subcommittees and full committees,” Williams said. “So that we can vote on the House floor, because time is of the essence in regards to this topic.”
Williams said there are other things atop his agenda heading into the legislative session. He said this includes an issue he feels is especially important to the Upper Cumberland.
“The issues in regard to homelessness,” Williams said. “We’re trying to figure out ways to get people help and to also deal with the challenges associated with trespassing on both public and private property.”
Williams said the organizational week sets the standard for the year at the capitol. He said constituents can view legislative sessions online and can visit committee meetings in-person, with limited capacity.