Second Session of the 110th General Assembly Convenes

January 8, 2018

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, the Tennessee Legislature convened to close out the business of the 110th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. Since 2018 is an election year, there is an expectation that the legislative session will be shorter than usual, potentially adjourning as early as mid-April. The Governor’s office, half of the Senate, and the entirety of the House will be up for election. Further, there is an unprecedented amount of turnover in the legislature due to retirements and appointments, which will lead to more competitive races this summer and fall. With a new Governor, Speaker of the House, and many new legislators, the 111th General Assembly will bear little resemblance to its predecessor when it convenes in January of 2019.

New Members

As a result of appointments and resignations throughout the offseason, the General Assembly will welcome several new legislators to the upcoming session. Senator Art Swann (R-Maryville), formerly a sitting state representative, was selected by the Blount County Commission to replace State Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) who was appointed by President Trump to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. State Representative Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), won the special election triggered by State Senator Mae Beavers’ (R-Mount Juliet) decision to resign from her seat to run for Governor. Yet another special election was triggered when State Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), was appointed as State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development office by President Donald Trump. The primary for former Senator Tracy’s district will be held January 25 and the general election will be held March 13. Finally, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) has been nominated by President Trump to serve as Federal Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee and is awaiting confirmation. Senator Norris is currently serving in his role as Senate Majority leader, but will most certainly resign upon confirmation. 

As for the House of Representatives, Jerome Moore, formerly a Blount County Commissioner, has been appointed by that Commission to fill the open seat of Rep. Art Swann. And due to Rep. Mark Pody’s election to the Senate, the Wilson County Commission will appoint someone to fill that vacant seat. We are awaiting the official date for the Wilson County Commission to make that appointment.

Dates to Remember

Although no resolution has been passed at this time, it is expected that Governor Haslam will deliver his final State of the State address the week of January 29.

All bills introduced in 2017 will carry over to this Session. In the meantime, legislators have already filed some bills and will likely file almost 1,000 other bills before the filing deadline.