Legislature Adjourns Without Protesting Federal Health Law

State legislators adjourned early this morning, 136 days after going into session in January. The Senate completed its business at 1:13 a.m.; the House followed suit four minutes later.

House Speaker, Kent Williams: “I hereby declare the House of Representatives of the 106th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, adjourned, sine die.”

“Sine Die” means “without a date.”

Lawmakers passed a state budget last week, but other issues, like federal health care changes, kept them in session. Republicans in both chambers wanted to protest the new law, but failed to agree on how to do it.

The state House and the state Senate passed different versions of a bill that claimed the federal law was unconstitutional. The issue came to a head between the House sponsor, Susan Lynn, and the Senate sponsor, Mae Beavers. Lynn is running for Beavers’ Senate seat and there has been considerable friction between the two lawmakers.

Both were assigned to the conference committee that tried to find common ground between the two bills. So was State Representative Gerald McCormick, who said they couldn’t reach a compromise.

“The reality is, we don’t have the votes to do it, in my opinion and that’s why I didn’t sign onto this, in addition to the governor’s staff, a few minutes ago, indicating they didn’t think the governor would be too pleased with it, either.”

McCormick also said he didn’t want to have to come back later in the month for a special session to override the governor’s expected veto.

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