NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee General Assembly will meet for the first time in 2022 on Tuesday. Ahead of the session, local lawmakers sat down with us to discuss their goals.
Each said that they have a multitude of issues on their list to work through. One of the first orders of business this session will be redistricting.
Due to population growth, districts are re-divided every decade after the census to make sure they each have about the same number of people. Rep. John Holsclaw Jr. (R-Elizabethton) is on the redistricting committee.
“When you combine those territories then you have to somehow you know one representative is going to have run against another one,” Holsclaw said. “They’re really going to be make a big stink about that so that’s probably going to ensue in the first month of our session.”
While redistricting is a priority, it won’t be the only topic covered this session. Rep. Scotty Campbell (R-Mountain City) said he’s hoping to work on a local infrastructure project.
“I’m going to continue to advocate for a boat ramp for Johnson County to have access to Watauga Lake,” Campbell said. “USDA Forest Service and TWRA are already a part of that conversation that’s ongoing.”
COVID-19 will also continue to be a big topic of discussion and lawmakers hope omicron won’t be impacting their work.
“If you end up with a whole lot of people sick then I’d say the speaker would probably have to postpone some things and come back,” Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) said.
Tennessee state Senator Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) said the budget this session is his number one priority.
“There’s only one constitutional obligation we have and that’s pass a balanced budget,” Lundberg said. “It’ll be a pretty substantial budget of about 43, 44 billion dollars.”
“We had 1.2 billion dollars last time I checked in overages in Tennessee, and we’ve got to look at what we’re going to do with that,” Hulsey said. “If we’re going to pay some of that back to taxpayers who paid it in.”
The Tennessee General Assembly will reconvene on Tuesday at 12 p.m. central time.