It is really getting down to crunch time now. Most committees are closing up. Rumor has it we will close up session the last week in May, first week in June. However with everything going on with TennCare, many people feel we may be back for a special session. When, I don't know. Some say in July-others August or September.
Regarding the Student Bill of Rights. UT and the THEC (Tennessee Higher Education Committee) representatives finally decided to sit down and talk about Senator Finney and my concerns for students' rights.
It was total crunch time. We had to make a decision in a 30-minute conversation. We were faced with the choice of either forgetting about any negotiation and moving forward with the risk of burning bridges, or putting the bill aside for the year and work something out with our universities ensuring that students have rights and recourse.
With some light assurances from the representatives that we would at the very least sit down again with some people and talk further about negotiating, we decided to continue on a peaceful course with the reminder that if this is just a stall tactic, this bill will be back with a vengeance next year---and no more Mr. Nice Guy!
Later in the day I went to the subcommittee to watch the gun bill that I've talked about on this site. It was a forgone conclusion that it would be killed, but it sounded interesting to watch. I missed the first half of the meeting but others filled me in.
The house was packed-all seats were filled and plenty of people were standing around the perimeter. There were also 3 or 4 cameras there. I guess the news did get out! (Bloggers read it here first and then sounded the alarm. Bloggers are relentless!!)
Unfortunately I missed the best part of the meeting. Apparently Naifeh complained about all the calls, e-mails, and threats going on about this bill. I wonder if he was complaining about the complaints and threats coming into his office, or coming out of his office---because I heard there were plenty of both.
Oh well, the debate was good but the bill was killed as expected and not to be seen again this year. A lot of good points were made and people know the issue is out there. They saw clearly and now know Speaker Naifeh killed it. Hopefully, the subcommittee issue was raised to a new level-and truly, that was the real story all along.