Sunday, October 26, 2008

Status quo will remain at General Assembly but subsequent vote for Speaker's job will determine fate for Tennesseans in growing budget crisis

The dean of Tennessee Capitol Hill reporters, Tom Humphrey of the Knoxville News- Sentinel, sees status quo in General Assembly leadership after dust settles after Nov. 4.

That means Sen. Ron Ramsey remaining lieutenant governor and head of the Senate. It also means a Democratic majority in the House. That means a Democratic -- probably current speaker Jimmy Naifeh will remain in charge. He, however, is being challenged for that job by fellow Democrat Gary Odom, who is the House Majority Leader.

Whomever wins the speaker's job will determine whether Gov. Phil Bredesen gets to wield an ax to the state budgets and to the lives of the most vulnerable in this state. Tennessee expects at least a $600 million budget deficit in the current fiscal year when the General Assmebly opens its new session in January. Naifeh has been a rubber stamp for anything Bredesen proposes.

So stay tuned. The election that really affects your lives and taxes is here in state legislative races and the subsequent House Speaker's election.

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