Both speakers said they expect a bill revoking local government’s rights to ban guns in their parks will make it to the floor, but hinted they may make provisions for children’s parks.
“I’m about to incriminate myself here, I guess,” said Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey told a room of reporters, editors and publishers at a conference hosted by the The Associated Press - Tennessee Press Association.
“I do keep a firearm in my pickup truck. I have a gun carry permit. There are crazy people out there. And I do. I suppose if I went by Steele Creek Park in Bristol, I’m supposed to take it out, and leave it at the house, or leave it laying at the curb as you go in and come out. It’s about common sense. At it is about 400,000 people who have gone through a background check, have a fingerprints on file, have proven they’re not criminals. Only those,” he said.
Asked to detail how she feels about the idea, Harwell said, “I believe it is a constitutional right. And what he just said, we’re not letting all people carry guns in parks. And there some parks that don’t have children’s facilities, two of them are in my district. Percy warner, etceteria. We’ll continue to work through it and we’ll have it on the floor. I predict we will.”
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey was U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s special guest at the president’s State of the Union address last night. He walked out after a half hour.
While the lieutenant governor joked with fellow Senate Republicans this morning that his exit would make an entertaining political statement, he said he left the address early due to security and his need to get back to Nashville in time for session this morning.
“I’ll be right upfront with you. I stayed for the first 30 minutes of the State of the Union address. It was an experience, though. Because I was flying back last night to be here for session, and if we stayed until the end you were trapped for about an hour before they let you out in the gallery. So I left a little early,” he told the Nashville Post.
“That was fun, just the whole ceremony of it all. It was one of those once in a lifetime experiences,” said Ramsey who added he had never been to the State of the Union address.
But the visit also “reiterated to me why I have no desire to go up there,” he continued. “I think our founding fathers designed a system that’s embedded with gridlock and that’s not necessarily bad. I just think what we can accomplish on a state level is much more than they can. I’m extremely happy where I am. ”
On the president’s call for governments to raise the minimum wage — an idea House Democrats have said they’ll push this year — Ramsey said he’d oppose that, saying rural areas can’t afford mandatory higher pay.
“Places like Nashville where you have trouble getting labor, minimum wage doesn’t matter because you’re always paying $2 or $3 above that, but out in the country where the living standard is less, then they need to leave it where it is now so people can find jobs,” he said.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey says he’s opposed to a plan on its way to the Senate floor requiring the elections of the state’s top lawyer.
Ramsey said he should have shared his sentiment with lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee before the measure passed Tuesday, but didn’t realize the group would take it up so soon in the session, let alone let it emerge from committee.
“Bottom line, raising money for statewide election would end up tainting attorney general,” Ramsey told reporters Thursday. “But I do think the way we do it now is wrong.”
The measure to elect the attorney general won a 6-2 vote in the committee this week. The proposal would attempt to amend the state constitution, an endeavor that has a long way to go, including needing approval from two General Assemblies before it could be put to a voter referendum in 2018.
Ramsey said he’d rather the legislature appoint the attorney general, per a bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, which won favor 22-9 last year in the Senate.
For now, Attorney General Bob Cooper’s term is up Sept. 1 when the state Supreme Court is charged with making an appointment. That selection could mean renewing Cooper or appointing someone new. Ramsey said the court should eventually replace him with a Republican.
“I would think that the attorney general should more closely reflect the elected representative body of the state,” said Ramsey.
The governor will "re-engage" the legislature on school vouchers this year with the same plan that got tied up in partisan bickering near the end of the legislative session. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey says he wants something more, and says he's working on getting the governor on his side.
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