If the Tennessee General Assembly has its way, the Tennessee Ethics Commission will get a slap on the wrist in the next 10 days. No matter what, though, it's a legislative reprimand.
In the waning hours of this year's legislative session, lawmakers successfully attached to a bill an amendment that would immediately cap the number of audits the TEC could perform on lobbyists, prohibit most TEC staff from making informal advisory opinions, and ensure that legislative intent is examined by the TEC when making advisory opinions.
These measures would become effective with the signature of Gov. Phil Bredesen, who has 10 days to either sign the bill, let it become law without his signature, or veto it.
The TEC has been the subject of sharp criticism – public and private – throughout this legislative session. Earlier this year, the Tennessee Lobbyist Association encouraged its members to refrain from asking for any more advisory opinions because it was concerned that TEC staffers were straying from legislative intent.
Throughout the controversy, TEC executive director Bruce Androphy has steadfastly maintained that the commission he works for has been doing what it was chartered to do and has not strayed from the responsibilities given to it by statute.
In what is sure to be an entertaining meeting, the full TEC board will meet on Tuesday of next week. Androphy has in the past likened TEC meetings to appearing before an appellate court.
In related news, the body that actually appoints people to the state's appellate courts, the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission, officially begins its wind-down period in July and will cease to exist next year without legislative action.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS