Education Committees Begin to Close, Shifting Focus to Finance

The Tennessee State Capitol Building at sunset.

Several legislative committees finished their business this week, including the Senate Education Committee, House Education Administration and Planning Subcommittee, and House Education Instruction and Programs Subcommittee.  Procedurally, the committees may reopen prior to the end of session if the House or Senate rules are suspended to advance legislation that had not previously been calendared. The Committees also are likely to reopen for confirmation hearings of newly appointed UT Trustees, pending the final passage of the Administration’s “UT FOCUS Act” proposal, which is supported by the University of Tennessee.

The closing of Committees signals the shift in legislative focus to the state budget, which must be passed prior to adjournment (projected in mid-April). Member budget amendments have been filed and budget negotiations are beginning.  Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) has filed a $3.5 million non-recurring amendment for the UT Health Science Center’s Center for Addiction Science, which is aimed at helping tackle the state’s opioid epidemic.

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