Democrats drop ‘fill-in’ proposal
NASHVILLE (AP) — Senate Democrats are withdrawing a bill that would have allowed temporary replacements for sick lawmakers.
Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis says an attorney general’s opinion indicated that the law would have been unconstitutional.
Kyle’s bill would have targeted lawmakers like Sen. Ophelia Ford, another Memphis Democrat who missed much of last session and all of the current one so far because of health issues. The 57-year-old Memphis Democrat said in March that she had a severe case of anemia.
On Thursday, Methodist University Hospital issued a statement saying Ford is in stable condition but needs to remain hospitalized.
Republicans had raised concerns about a provision that would have allowed ill lawmakers to name their own replacements.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, a Blountville Republican, welcomed the withdrawal and says he plans to ask Ford for more details on her illness next week.
Read SB2586 on the General Assembly’s Web site at: http://www.legislature.state.tn.us
Published in The Messenger 1.25.08