State Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, was appointed this week to the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.
The powerful 25-member body serves as a forum for discussion and resolution of intergovernmental problems and is comprised mainly of state senators and representatives. TACIR is expected to play a role in how the final legislation is shaped regarding annexations in Washington County and the rest of the state.
The commission consists of public officials from state and local government as well as private citizen members, whose mission is to resolve intergovernmental problems and provide research and in-depth analysis to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of government in Tennessee.
“I’m honored to have been chosen to serve on this commission by House Speaker Beth Harwell. In my previous years in the legislature, I witnessed the positive improvements and changes that originated from TACIR’s recommendations,” Hill said Wednesday in a news release. “I look forward to the year ahead and the thoughtful debate and discussion that will lead to an even better government for the people of this state.”
Often referred to as a “think-and-do-tank,” TACIR has studied issues ranging from public infrastructure to government modernization, and most recently, education financing and accountability. If called upon, the commission responds to technical requests by the General Assembly, state agencies and local governments.
SB 279, sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, is waiting to be heard on the Senate floor. The bill would halt all city-initiated, or so-called “forced” annexations statewide for two years, and its passage has major implications not only for Johnson City, but for Washington County as well.
The bill includes a provision that on or before Jan. 12, 2015, TACIR will complete a comprehensive review and evaluation of current state annexation laws and submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including the proposed legislation, to the speaker of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Responsibility for the appointment of four state senators and four state representatives to TACIR rests with the speaker of each respective chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly.
Hill is serving his fifth term in the legislature and is chairman of the House Local Government Committee.