Watson named chairman of Senate Government Operations panel

Watson named chairman of Senate Government Operations
panel

By: Andy Sher, TimesFreePress.com

NASHVILLE — Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has named state Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, the new chairman of the Senate’s Government Operations Committee and appointed Sen. Jack Johnson, R-College Grove, to head the Senate Commerce, Labor & Agriculture Committee.

Lt. Gov. Ramsey, R-Blountville, announced the changes in an address to the Associated General Contractors of Tennessee on Thursday.

The shuffling of chairmanships came about as a result of the recent resignation of state Sen. Paul Stanley, R-Germantown. Mr. Stanley quit after his affair with his 22-year-old intern came into public view. That came about after her boyfriend allegedly tried to blackmail Mr. Stanley. Mr. Stanley had been chairman of the Commerce Committee.

Also considered for the Commerce vacancy was Sen. Dewayne Bunch, R-Cleveland, the current Commerce vice chairman.

In shifting Sen. Johnson to head Commerce, Lt. Gov. Ramsey created another opening at the helm of the Government Operations Committee, where Sen. Johnson was chairman.

Sen. Watson, who has served on the Government Operations Committee since his 2006 election to the Senate, said he felt “very honored” by the appointment.

The Government Operations Committee handles legislation creating new departments, commissions, boards, agencies or councils of state government. It has the responsibility to reauthorize existing departments, commissions, boards, agencies or councils of state government. The panel also reviews regulations from Tennessee departments, commissions, boards or agencies.

“Jack and I worked very well together,” Sen. Watson said. “We’ve worked over the past few years to try to get that committee to function more efficiently.”

He said he didn’t “anticipate making any drastic changes in how the committee is run.” Sen. Watson said he also expects to remain on the Senate Finance Committee.

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