Tennessee lawmakers sworn in, elect top leaders

Associated Press • Jan 8, 2019 at 3:12 PM

Tennessee lawmakers have officially voted in their top legislative leaders to oversee the House and Senate for the next two years.

On Tuesday, House Republicans and a small handful of Democrats elected Rep. Glen Casada as the chamber’s next speaker. He replaces outgoing Speaker Beth Harwell.

Casada says it’s his goal to make the House more involved in the state’s budget-setting process.

Over in the Senate, Randy McNally was elected as speaker. The Oak Ridge lawmaker first became speaker in 2017.

Former Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris — who is now a federal judge in Memphis — swore in McNally as speaker and the members who were voted in last election.

Tuesday marked the first day of the 111th General Assembly, where lawmakers were sworn in and other top legislative leaders were elected.

5:15 a.m.

Tennessee lawmakers are preparing to kick off the 111th General Assembly, ushering with it a new governor and a booming freshman class poised to tackle the state’s most high-profile issues while also setting the budget.

The Tennessee House and Senate will meet Tuesday afternoon at the statehouse in Nashville to start a session that’s scheduled to last several months.

The first day’s item of business for the Republican-dominated General Assembly is to formally elect speakers for the House and Senate. The GOP caucuses for both bodies had previously decided their leaders before Tuesday, but still need to cast a formal vote inside the Capitol.

Republican Gov.-elect Bill Lee is scheduled to be inaugurated on Jan. 19. He replaces term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

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