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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Our caucus and the Governor

The Republican caucus had a meeting with Governor this morning. He brought up how we need a bipartisan effort, how he works with us to help the state, and how he invites us to attend when grants are given out in our districts. He said we need to work together for our state to fix TennCare, how he has an open door policy and how he returns phone calls so help him out now.

I raised my hand and was recognized to ask the Governor if we were in fact working together to fix TennCare, then why hasn't the most qualified person-a doctor and a legislator, Dr. Hensley--been allowed to serve on the TennCare oversight committee.

Dr. Hensley has a wealth of knowledge and is basically shut out because of partisanship. The Governor more or less mumbled a bit about working in a system. In other words, he was saying “tough.”

Others stood up and spoke to the same issue. Others spoke with regard to the meth problem and how they have specific knowledge of the problem as well as effective solutions, but they too were shut out for the same reasons .

Others stood up and confirmed that they were in fact invited to the grant announcements, but how they were also told if they showed up, the grant would be cancelled.

Some said how they had called the Governor's office and were told that they were so “inept”, that they would not get to talk to the Governor. I know these legislators, and they are not inept.

The Governor did not know what to say. We talked about TennCare some more. The Doctor said how nice it was to finally meet the Governor and get to speak to his staff for once.

We went upstairs and voted on the budget. Dr. Hensley's amendment was killed, even though it was improved since my post yesterday and even covered more people for no more money.

We passed the budget as it stood. Even though there was a lot of good in the budget, there was too much waste-and it turned my stomach. I voted against it.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks again for your perspective.

    No legislator should go through nearly the entire session never having personally met the governor. It's a shame on Bredesen that he didn't reach out to each of them in December before the session.

    I'm glad you all finally had the opportunity to face the man and state some things in a forthright manner. All that, too, should have been done long before now.

    What was more important that getting to know the rest of Team Tennessee?

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  2. This just shows why it is vital to elect responsible legislators. What do the "Turncoat Two" feel about their vote for Wilder after his recent performance? Until the party stands up on principle, instead of "compromising " in order to get something done, we will continue to have Tenncare, ethics, etc. fiascos ad infinitum. Half a rotten loaf is not better than going back and trying yet again to bake a proper loaf!

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  3. I applaud you and other Republicans who voted the right way instead of the easiest way.
    Sharon

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  4. Rep Campfield,

    Is there any way you could post a line by line breakdown of how last years budget was spent? Maybe a column of what was budgeted and what was spent for each item? I believe a thorough audit of what TN is actually spending its money on is in order. To the average taxpayer, it does not mean much to say we spend x millions on education. What I want to know is we spent x millions on 1st grade school books, x millions on toilet paper for school, etc. Somebody in the state or local governments is making these decisions, and it should be published. I believe waste will stick out like a sore thumb if this information could be assembled into one place.

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