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House Democrats request fair representation in committee assignments

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Tennessee State Assembly

The leaders of the House Democratic Caucus are requesting that Speaker Cameron Sexton increase their representation on several key House committees and subcommittees. House Minority Leader Karen Camper and Democratic Caucus Chairman John Ray Clemmons say that Democrats are underrepresented on six standing House committees. The leaders say the most notable omissions are the Education Administration Committee where Democrats have only three of 19 seats and the K-12 subcommittee where there is only one Democratic member out of nine. This year, education issues are expected to take center stage in the legislature as Gov. Bill Lee seeks a dramatic expansion of his school voucher program. In a letter delivered to Speaker Sexton, the leaders say the percentage of total Democratic members is cited as a benchmark in the House’s Permanent Rules of Order and are asking that Democrats be added to following committees:

  • The appointment of at least one additional Democrat to the Education Administration Committee who could also serve on the K-12 subcommittee;
  • The appointment of at least one additional Democrat to the Civil Justice Committee who could also serve on the Civil Justice subcommittee;
  • The appointment of at least one additional Democrat to the Local Government Committee who could also serve on at least one or more of its subcommittees; and,
  • The appointment of any current member of a standing committee to any remaining subcommittee that only has one Democratic member.

“We believe these requests to be fair, and they would bring our House closer to full compliance with Rule 6 by better ensuring proportional representation among our respective political parties,” the letter goes on to say.

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