Johnson City Press: Matthew Hill named deputy speaker of the House
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Matthew Hill named deputy speaker of the House

Zach Vance • Jan 10, 2019 at 11:43 PM

7th House District Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, is going to have a busy 2019 as the 111th Tennessee General Assembly gets underway.

On Thursday, newly elected House Speaker Glen Casada selected Hill to serve as deputy speaker of the House, putting him fourth in line for the speakership. Hill is the first Northeast Tennessee lawmaker to serve that role in at least 23 years.

“I’ve watched other representatives in that role, and I was able to see the impact and influence they were able to have. When Speaker Casada informed me he would like me to serve in that role of leadership, I was really thankful,” Hill said.

“I really want to say thank you to the families of the 7th House District of Washington County. Without their continued support, obviously, we wouldn’t be able to be in this awesome leadership role. My No. 1 goal in this position is to use it to continue to help the folks that send me to Nashville and allow me to represent them in the House of Representatives.”

After his re-election victory over Democrat Nathan Farnor in November, Hill is now tied for sixth in House seniority with eight consecutive terms under this belt. The House had 28 new members sworn in for this session, the most turnover since the 89th General Assembly.

In his new role, Hill will be responsible for helping schedule and guide the flow of legislation on the House floor, as well as assisting Casada in administrative decisions. Hill will also part of the negotiations with the governor and Senate when it comes time to approve the budget.

As deputy speaker, Hill will serve as House chairman of the Rules and Ethics Committees. In addition to those duties, Hill will also chair the newly created TennCare Subcommittee and serve as a member of the influential House Budget Subcommittee.

“Every single piece of legislation that has a fiscal impact of some sort, cost or savings, will go through the Budget Subcommittee. Every single request for funding will go through the Budget Subcommittee, and it’s a much smaller subcommittee than most. So we’ll just go through every single appropriation request as well as budget amendments,” Hill said.

“In the time I’ve been in the House, TennCare has pretty much, more-or-less stayed the same. It’s really time for a real, hard look at TennCare, and really some true, meaningful TennCare reform. And that’s something that Speaker Casada wants to see happen, and I’m happy to be able to lead that effort.”

Hill’s other committee assignments include: Finance Committee, Finance Subcommittee, Health Committee, Public Health Subcommittee, the Insurance Committee and Calendar & Rules Committee.

“All the committees are obviously extremely important. Budget (Subcommittee) is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, and to be able to do that along with everything else is pretty neat,” Hill said.

“This means we’re going to be very, very busy, but it’s going to be a good kind of busy because we’ll be able to really help Washington County, Johnson City, Jonesborough and really all of Northeast Tennessee.”

6th House District Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, was selected to serve as chairman of the Constitutional Protections & Sentencing Subcommittee and a member of the Judiciary Committee, Health Committee and Public Health Subcommittee.

3rd House District Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville, will be chairman of the House Commerce Committee and a member of the Business Subcommittee, Utilities Subcommittee, Banking & Investments Subcommittee, Insurance Committee, Life & Health Insurance Subcommittee and the Calendar & Rules Committee.

4th House District Rep. John Holsclaw, R-Elizabethton, will serve as chairman of the Employee Affairs Subcommittee and a member of the Commerce Committee, the Banking & Investments Subcommittee, the Consumer & Human Resources Committee.

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