Tennessee House of Representatives
Tennessee General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 10, 2023
Leadership
Cameron Sexton (R)
since August 23, 2019
Speaker pro tempore
Pat Marsh (R)
since January 12, 2021
Majority Leader
William Lamberth (R)
since January 8, 2019
Minority Leader
Karen Camper (D)
since January 8, 2019
Structure
Seats99
Political groups
Majority
  •   Republican (75)

Minority

Length of term
2 years
AuthorityArticle III, Tennessee Constitution
Salary$24,316/year + per diem, employee benefits, travel reimbursement[1]
Elections
Last election
November 8, 2022
Next election
November 5, 2024
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
House of Representatives Chamber
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, Tennessee
Website
Tennessee House of Representatives

The Tennessee House of Representatives is the lower house of the Tennessee General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Tennessee.

Constitutional requirements

According to the state constitution of 1870, this body is to consist of 99 members elected for two-year terms. In every even-numbered year, elections for state representative are conducted simultaneously with the elections for U.S. Representative and other offices; the primary election being held on the first Thursday in August. Seats which become vacant, such as through death, resignation, or expulsion, are filled either: by the county commission (or metropolitan county council) of the home county of the member vacating the seat if less than a year remains in the seat's term; if more than a year remains in the term, a special election is held for the balance of the term.[2][3]

Districts

Members are elected from single-member districts. The districts are traditionally numbered consecutively from east to west and north to south across the state; however, in recent redistricting this convention has not always been strictly adhered to, despite a constitutional provision requiring districts to be numbered consecutively.

Districts are required to be reapportioned every ten years following the federal census in order to be of substantially equal population. However, from 1902 until 1962, the General Assembly ignored this provision. It was estimated that by that point that some districts in the Memphis area had approximately ten times the population of some in rural areas. In 1962 this issue was taken to court. Despite U.S. courts having traditionally declined to rule on such issues, the U.S. Supreme Court opted to hear this case and ruled that the legislature had to comply with the state constitution, as its failure to do so was in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (see Baker v. Carr). Subsequent litigation has further refined the rules regarding this; in the late 1990s a majority-black district in rural West Tennessee was required to be created.

The 1960s redistricting was credited by some observers with creating the first Republican majority in the Tennessee House since Reconstruction in 1968; this situation lasted only until the next election in 1970. 1970 also marked the first election of a Republican governor in a half century and saw both houses of the legislature begin to assert themselves as a counterbalance to executive authority; prior to this time legislators had not had their own staffs or even their own offices and were largely at the mercy of what the governor's staff chose to tell them and in many ways were often something of a "rubber stamp."

Speaker of the House

See also: List of Speakers of the Tennessee House of Representatives

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the House. The Speaker is elected to a two-year term at the beginning of the 1st half of each session of the Tennessee General Assembly. Additionally, the Speaker is second in line for succession to the governorship, after the Speaker of the Senate, in the event of such need. The Speaker appoints members to all committees as well. Even though the Speaker does not have to make committee assignments proportional to the party composition, usually that discretion is used when determining such. Usually, consideration of the abilities, preferences, party representation, and seniority of the members are taken into account. The chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary of each committee also are chosen by the Speaker and must be given the same considerations in their selection. The Speaker is a voting member of all standing committees of the House, as is the Speaker pro Tempore. The Speaker also serves as co-chairperson of the Joint Legislative Services Committee and must approve, in concurrence with the Speaker of the Senate, the directors of the offices of Legislative Information Services, Legal Services, Legislative Administration, and Legislative Budget Analysis. Additionally, the Speaker is in charge of all facilities, professional and clerical staff, and custodians and security personnel of the House.[4] The current speaker is Cameron Sexton, who represents Tennessee's 25th district.[5]

Composition of the 113th General Assembly (2022–present)

Composition of the Tennessee House of Representatives as of 20 April 2023
  Democratic Party
  Republican Party
  Vacant
Affiliation Party
(shading indicates
majority caucus)
Total
Republican Democratic Vacant
Beginning of 113th General Assembly 75 24 99 0
April 6, 2023[6] 75 22 97 2
April 10, 2023[7] 75 23 98 1
April 12, 2023[8] 75 24 99 0
April 20, 2023[9] 74 24 98 1
June 4, 2023[10] 74 23 97 2
Latest voting share 76.29% 23.71%

Officers

Majority party (R) Leadership position Minority party (D)
William Lamberth Leader Karen Camper
Mark Cochran Assistant Leader Harold M. Love Jr.
Jeremy Faison Caucus Chairperson Vincent Dixie
Brandon Ogles Caucus Vice Chairperson Bob Freeman
Johnny Garrett Whip Jason Powell
Paul Sherrell Floor Leader Bill Beck
Michele Carringer Caucus Secretary London Lamar
Rebecca Alexander Caucus Treasurer Jesse Chism

Members as of 2023

District Name Party First elected Residence Counties represented
1 John Crawford Republican 2016 Kingsport Part of Sullivan
2 Bud Hulsey Republican 2014 Kingsport Part of Sullivan
3 Timothy Hill Republican 2023 Blountville Johnson and parts of Carter, Hawkins, and Sullivan
4 John Holsclaw Jr. Republican 2014 Johnson City Unicoi and part of Carter
5 David B. Hawk Republican 2002 Greeneville Greene
6 Tim Hicks Republican 2020 Jonesborough Part of Washington
7 Rebecca Alexander Republican 2020 Jonesborough Part of Washington
8 Jerome Moon Republican 2017 Maryville Part of Blount
9 Gary Hicks Republican 2016 Rogersville Hancock and parts of Claiborne and Hawkins
10 Rick Eldridge Republican 2018 Morristown Grainger and part Hamblen
11 Jeremy Faison Republican 2010 Cosby Cocke, and parts of Jefferson and Hamblen
12 Dale Carr Republican 2012 Sevierville Part of Sevier
13 Robert Stevens Republican 2022 Smyrna Part of Rutherford
14 Jason Zachary Republican 2015 Knoxville Part of Knox
15 Sam McKenzie Democratic 2020 Knoxville Part of Knox
16 Michele Carringer Republican 2020 Knoxville Part of Knox
17 Andrew Farmer Republican 2012 Sevierville Parts of Jefferson and Sevier
18 Elaine Davis Republican 2022 Knoxville Part of Knox
19 Dave Wright Republican 2018 Corryton Part of Knox
20 Bryan Richey Republican 2022 Maryville Part of Blount
21 Lowell Russell Republican 2018 Vonore Parts of Loudon and Monroe
22 Dan Howell Republican 2014 Cleveland Meigs, Polk and part of Bradley
23 Mark Cochran Republican 2018 Englewood McMinn and part of Monroe
24 Kevin Raper Republican 2022 Cleveland Part of Bradley
25 Cameron Sexton Republican 2010 Crossville Cumberland and part of Putnam
26 Greg Martin Republican 2022 Hixson Part of Hamilton
27 Patsy Hazlewood Republican 2014 Signal Mountain Part of Hamilton
28 Yusuf Hakeem Democratic 2018 Chattanooga Part of Hamilton
29 Greg Vital Republican 2021 Harrison Part of Hamilton
30 Esther Helton Republican 2018 East Ridge Part of Hamilton
31 Ron Travis Republican 2012 Dayton Bledsoe, Sequatchie, Rhea and Van Buren
32 Monty Fritts Republican 2012 Kingston Parts of Roane and part of Loudon
33 John Ragan Republican 2010 Oak Ridge Part of Anderson
34 Tim Rudd Republican 2016 Murfreesboro Part of Rutherford
35 William Slater Republican 2022 Gallatin Trousdale and part of Sumner
36 Dennis Powers Republican 2010 Jacksboro Campbell, Union and part of Claiborne
37 Charlie Baum Republican 2018 Murfreesboro Part of Rutherford
38 Kelly Keisling Republican 2010 Byrdstown Macon, Clay, Pickett, Scott, and part of Fentress
39 Iris Rudder Republican 2018 Winchester Franklin and Marion
40 Michael Hale Republican 2022 Smithville Cannon, DeKalb, Jackson, Smith, and part of Wilson
41 Ed Butler Republican 2022 Cookeville Overton, Morgan and parts of Anderson, Fentress, and Roane
42 Ryan Williams Republican 2010 Cookeville Part of Putnam
43 Paul Sherrell Republican 2016 Sparta Warren and White
44 William Lamberth Republican 2012 Portland Part of Sumner
45 Johnny Garrett Republican 2018 Goodlettsville Part of Sumner
46 Clark Boyd Republican 2018 Lebanon Part of Wilson
47 Rush Bricken Republican 2018 Tullahoma Coffee and Grundy
48 Bryan Terry Republican 2018 Murfreesboro Part of Rutherford
49 Mike Sparks Republican 2010 Smyrna Part of Rutherford
50 Bo Mitchell Democratic 2012 Nashville Part of Davidson
51 Anthony Davis Democratic 2023* Nashville Part of Davidson
52 Justin Jones Democratic 2023 Nashville Part of Davidson
53 Jason Powell Democratic 2012 Nashville Part of Davidson
54 Vincent Dixie Democratic 2018 Nashville Part of Davidson
55 John Ray Clemmons Democratic 2014 Nashville Part of Davidson
56 Bob Freeman Democratic 2018 Nashville Part of Davidson
57 Susan Lynn Republican 2013 Mt. Juliet Part of Wilson
58 Harold M. Love Jr. Democratic 2012 Nashville Part of Davidson
59 Caleb Hemmer Democratic 2022 Nashville Part of Davidson
60 Darren Jernigan Democratic 2012 Old Hickory Part of Davidson
61 Gino Bulso Republican 2022 Brentwood Part of Williamson
62 Pat Marsh Republican 2009 Shelbyville Bedford, Moore, and part of Lincoln
63 Jake McCalmon Republican 2022 Franklin Part of Williamson
64 Scott Cepicky Republican 2018 Culleoka Part of Maury
65 Sam Whitson Republican 2016 Franklin Part of Williamson
66 Sabi "Doc" Kumar Republican 2014 Springfield Robertson
67 Ronnie Glynn Democratic 2022 Clarksville Part of Montgomery
68 Curtis Johnson Republican 2004 Clarksville Part of Montgomery
69 Jody Barrett Republican 2022 Dickson Hickman, Lewis and part of Dickson
70 Clay Doggett Republican 2018 Pulaski Giles and parts of Lawrence and Lincoln
71 Kip Capley Republican 2022 Summertown Wayne and parts of Hardin, Lawrence, and Maury
72 Kirk Haston Republican 2018 Lobelville Henderson, Chester, Decatur, Perry, and part of Hardin
73 Chris Todd Republican 2018 Humboldt Part of Madison
74 Jay Reedy Republican 2014 Erin Benton, Houston, Humphreys, Stewart, and part of Henry
75 Jeff Burkart Republican 2022 Clarksville Part of Montgomery
76 Tandy Darby Republican 2020 Greenfield Weakley and parts of Henry and Carroll
77 Rusty Grills Republican 2020 Newbern Dyer, Lake and part of Obion
78 Mary Littleton Republican 2012 Dickson Cheatham and part of Dickson
79 Brock Martin Republican 2022 Huntingdon Parts of Carroll, Gibson and Henderson
80 Johnny Shaw Democratic 2000 Bolivar Parts of Hardeman, Haywood and Madison
81 Debra Moody Republican 2012 Covington Tipton and part of Haywood
82 Chris Hurt Republican 2018 Halls Crockett, Lauderdale and parts of Gibson and Obion
83 Mark White Republican 2010 Memphis Part of Shelby
84 Joe Towns Democratic 1994 Memphis Part of Shelby
85 Jesse Chism Democratic 2018 Memphis Part of Shelby
86 Justin J. Pearson Democratic 2023 Memphis Part of Shelby
87 Karen Camper Democratic 2008 Memphis Part of Shelby
88 Larry Miller Democratic 1992 Memphis Part of Shelby
89 Justin Lafferty Republican 2018 Knoxville Part of Knox
90 Gloria Johnson Democratic 2012 Knoxville Part of Knox
91 Torrey Harris Democratic 2020 Memphis Part of Shelby
92 Todd Warner Republican 2020 Lewisburg Marshall and part of Williamson
93 G. A. Hardaway Democratic 2006 Memphis Part of Shelby
94 Ron Gant Republican 2016 Rossville Fayette, McNairy and part of Hardeman
95 Kevin Vaughan Republican 2017 Collierville Part of Shelby
96 Dwayne Thompson Democratic 2016 Cordova Part of Shelby
97 John Gillespie Republican 2020 Memphis Part of Shelby
98 Antonio Parkinson Democratic 2011 Memphis Part of Shelby
99 Tom Leatherwood Republican 2018 Arlington Part of Shelby

*Appointed to the House on an interim basis until a special election is held

House committees

Committees, subcommittees, and their leadership for the 112th General Assembly are as follows:[12]

Standing committees
Committees Chair Vice Chair Subcommittees
Agriculture and Natural Resources Rep. Curtis Halford (R) Rep. Rusty Grills (R) Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chair: Rep. Chris Todd (R)
Calendar and Rules Rep. Jason Zachary (R) Rep. Lowell Russell (R)
Civil Justice Rep. Andrew Farmer (R) Rep. Darren Jernigan (D) Civil Justice, Chair: Rep. Andrew Farmer (R)

Children and Family Affairs, Chair: Rep. Mary Littleton (R)

Commerce Rep. Kevin Vaughn (R) Rep. Rush Bricken (R) Banking and Consumer Affairs, Chair: Rep. Dennis Powers (R)

Business and Utilities, Chair: Rep. Clark Boyd (R)

Criminal Justice Vacant Rep. Jerry Sexton (R) Criminal Justice, Chair: Rep. Clay Doggett (R)
Education Administration Rep. Mark White (R) Rep. Chris Hurt (R) K-12, Chair: Rep. Kirk Haston (R)

Higher Education, Chair: Rep. Justin Lafferty (R)

Education Instruction Rep. Debra Moody (R) Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R) Education Instruction, Chair: Rep. Scott Cepicky (R)
Finance, Ways, and Means Rep. Patsy Hazelwood (R) Rep. Charlie Baum (R) Finance, Ways, and Means, Chair: Rep. Gary. Hicks (R)

Appropriations , Chair: Rep. Ryan Williams (R)

Government Operations Rep. John Ragan (R) Rep. Jay Reedy (R)
Health Rep. Bryan Terry (R) Rep. Tom Leatherwood (R) Health, Chair: Rep. Bob Ramsey (R)
Insurance Rep. Sabi Kumar (R) Rep. Iris Rudder (R) Insurance, Chair: Rep. David Hawk (R)
Local Rep. John Crawford (R) Rep. Dave Wright (R) Cities, Chair: Rep. Jerome Moon (R)

Elections and Campaign Finance, Chair: Rep. Tim Rudd (R)

Property and Planning, Chair: Rep. Dale Carr (R)

Naming and Designating Rep. John Mark Windle (D) Rep. David Byrd (R)
State Rep. Kelly Keisling (R) Rep. Rick Eldridge (R) Corrections, Chair: Rep. Bud Hulsey (R)

Departments and Agencies, Chair: Rep. John Holsclaw (R)

Public Service, Chair: Rep. Esther Helton (R)

Transportation Rep. Dan Howell (R) Rep. Mark Hall (R) Transportation, Chair: Rep. Sam Whitson (R)
Select committees
Committees Chair Subcommittees
Rules Rep. Pat Marsh (R)
Ethics Rep. Curtis Johnson (R) Ethics, Chair: Rep. Pat Marsh (R)

Expulsion of members

The Tennessee House of Representatives requires a two-thirds majority of the total membership to expel another representative.[13] Since the Civil War, ten representatives have been expelled.[14] Six representatives were expelled in 1866 for trying to prevent passage of the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship to former slaves.[15] In 1980, Republican representative Robert Fisher was expelled for bribery.[16] Republican representative Jeremy Durham was expelled in 2016 for sexual misconduct.[17] Representatives Justin Jones and Justin J. Pearson were expelled in 2023 for violating decorum rules by leading a gun control protest on the House floor during a legislative session.[18] Both Jones and Pearson were later reinstated.[19] Representative Gloria Johnson also participated in the demonstration, but avoided expulsion by one vote.[20]

Education level among members

Among Republicans, around 30% of all members hold no degree beyond high school completion, less than 20% hold a Master's or other post baccalaureate degree, and less than 10% have a law degree. Among Democrats, of whom there are a substantially lower number, 15% hold no degree beyond high school, around 30% hold a Master's or other post baccalaureate degree, and 25% have a law degree.[21]

Diversity among Representatives

November 2020 saw the election of first openly LGBT people ever to hold seats in Tennessee's state house of representatives,[22] Democrat Torrey Harris and Republican Eddie Mannis.[23] Before November 3, 2020, Tennessee was one of just five states in the nation (others being Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana and Mississippi) to have never elected an out LGBT person to its state legislature.[24]

Of its 99 members,[25] twenty-one were women[26] in 2020. Representatives Harold Love[27] and Raumesh Akbari hold leadership roles in the National Black Caucus of State Legislators,[28] in which eight Tennessee state lawmakers are members. Akbari is also a State Director with Women in Government, as is Brenda Gilmore.[29]

Past composition of the House of Representatives

Main article: Political party strength in Tennessee

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ "2022 Legislator Compensation". www.ncsl.org.
  2. ^ Article II, Section 15 of the Constitution of Tennessee (1870)
  3. ^ McCullough, Erin (April 10, 2023). "Can Nashville and Memphis legally reappoint Justin Jones and Justin Pearson?". WREG-TV. Memphis, TN. Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  4. ^ "Speaker of the House of Representatives – Tennessee General Assembly". www.capitol.tn.gov. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  5. ^ Allison, Natalie; Ebert, Joel. "House Speaker Cameron Sexton officially sworn in, succeeding ousted Speaker Glen Casada". The Tennessean. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  6. ^ Chappell, Bill; Romo, Vanessa. "Tennessee House votes to expel the first of 3 Democratic members over gun protest". NPR. NPR. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  7. ^ Cochrane, Emily (April 10, 2023). "Expelled Democratic Lawmaker Is Sworn Back in to Tennessee House". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Shelby County reappoints Justin J. Pearson to House seat
  9. ^ "Rep. Scotty Campbell Resigns". News Channel 5 Nashville (WTVF). April 20, 2023.
  10. ^ "Democratic Nashville lawmaker Bill Beck dies from heart attack at 61". AP News. AP News. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  11. ^ "House Leadership – TN General Assembly". www.capitol.tn.gov. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  12. ^ "Legislative House Committees – TN General Assembly". www.capitol.tn.gov. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  13. ^ "Article 2, Section 12" (PDF). Constitution of Tennessee. 1870.
  14. ^ Gang, Duane W. (April 4, 2023). "Tennessee legislative expulsions: From sexual misconduct to opposing rights of former slaves". The Tennessean. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  15. ^ "TENNESSEE: Six Members of the Legislature Expelled--The Revenue Officer Robbed". The New York Times. July 25, 1866. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  16. ^ Daughtrey, Larry (January 15, 1980). "House Votes To Expel Fisher". The Tennessean. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  17. ^ "Tennessee House expels GOP lawmaker accused in sexual harassment cases". CBS News. Associated Press. September 13, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  18. ^ Mattsie, Jonathan; Kruesl, Kimberlee (April 7, 2023). "Tennessee's House expels 2 of 3 Democrats over guns protest". Associated Press. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  19. ^ Mattsie, Jonathan (June 16, 2023). "After expulsion and reinstatement, Tennessee Reps. Pearson, Jones advance past Democratic primaries". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  20. ^ Dennis, Angela; Whetstone, Tyler (April 6, 2023). "Rep. Gloria Johnson survives Tennessee House expulsion vote after peaceful gun control demonstration". Knoxville News Sentinel. Gannett. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  21. ^ "House Members – TN General Assembly". www.capitol.tn.gov. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  22. ^ Stockard, Sam (November 4, 2020). "Legislature sees little change but first LGBT members". Tennessee Lookout. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  23. ^ "For The First Time, Tennessee Voters Elect Two LGBT State Lawmakers". WPLN News – Nashville Public Radio. November 4, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  24. ^ "Tennessee – yes, Tennessee – just elected out LGBT+ lawmakers for the first time". PinkNews – Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service. November 4, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  25. ^ "Tennessee State Legislature – System". system.uslegal.com. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  26. ^ "Women in State Legislatures for 2020". www.ncsl.org. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  27. ^ "Harold Love". Ballotpedia. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  28. ^ "NBCSL | State Leadership". nbcsl.org. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  29. ^ "Gilmore & Akbari elected to leadership role with Women In Government". Nashville PRIDE, Inc. January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2021.

36°09′56″N 86°47′03″W / 36.1656°N 86.7841°W / 36.1656; -86.7841