Monroe County will keep the same two
state representatives in the Tennessee General Assembly after
incumbent Republicans Jimmy Matlock, 21st House District, and John
Forgety, 23rd House District, swept to landslide victories in
Monroe County will get a new, but at
the same time familiar face for state senator, as beginning the day
after the election, Mike Bell took over for Randy McNally due to
Bell previously served as a state
representative for Monroe County in the 23rd State House District. He
won a Senate seat in 2010.
Not only did Republican state lawmakers
fair well Tuesday in Monroe County, the GOP increased its majority
statewide in both bodies of the Tennessee General Assembly.
Republicans now have a "super
majority" in both the Tennessee House (70 to 28) and Senate (26 to 7).
But will that mean big changes for
Not necessarily, according to Bell.
Bell points out, the GOP already had
majorities in both bodies and has passed a lot of legislation
following Gov. Bill Haslam's lead.
Bell said having a super majority means
that even if the Democrats walked out of sessions, as happened in
Wisconsin not long ago, there are now enough Republicans to still
conduct business since they would still have a quorum.
"That (a walkout) has never happened
in Tennessee," Bell said.
The state senator said Nashville is not
as partisan as Washington, D.C.
"In Nashville, we will fuss and
fight, but we also know it is not personal," Bell said.
Matlock and Bell said legislators will
face some key issues right off the bat when the 108th General
Assembly opens session in January.
One of those issues will be whetherto
expand Tennessee's Medicaid/TennCare program under the Affordable
Health Care Act often known as "Obama Care."
Bell and Matlock said state lawmakers
will look at possibly cutting the sales tax on food again, as was
done in the last session.
Other issues that will likely come up
include reforming workman's compensation in Tennessee and school
vouchers, allowing public funds to be used for private school