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Regional & National

Legislators' use of 'Sunset Law' questioned

August 1st, 2011 7:19 am by Staff Report

NASHVILLE (AP) — Recent disputes in the Tennessee legislature have opened lawmakers to contentions they are trying to intimidate agencies with a law that gives them more control over state bureaucracy.

The legislature has reviewed state agencies since 1977, when it set up a process of letting departments, agencies and boards go out of business unless lawmakers voted to reauthorize them.

The idea was to keep agencies from running indefinitely.

But the practice has taken on renewed prominence as Republican lawmakers have assumed more power, The Tennessean reported.

Tennessee lawmakers have held up reauthorization of at least 11 agencies amid questions about their policies and enforcement decisions. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has opened an inquiry into the actions of two lawmakers in one dispute dealing with the disciplining of three nurse practitioners.

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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