State Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) has joined the list of legislators who want to succeed Beth Harwell as the next Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives.
Hawk told The Tennessee Star he will do things differently than his predecessors.
Hawk’s first priority — creating a committee system that he said reflects Tennessee’s values.
“The first responsibility the speaker will have is to place legislators into positions on committees creating leadership on those committees and committee members,” Hawk said.
“The approach I will bring to filling those committees is recognizing the strengths and skillsets of my fellow legislators and then placing them on the committees where they will be most successful. That will help them be successful in formulating good policy.”
The second priority, Hawk went on to say, is not showing favoritism.
“I will not create a committee system based on rewards,” Hawk said.
“I don’t plan to place someone on a particular committee just because they voted for me. Likewise, I will not penalize someone if they don’t vote for me (as speaker). I want each legislator to be able to succeed in their role in the general assembly.”
The Star asked Hawk if he thinks his predecessors didn’t abide by that standard.
“I will reserve comment on that,” he said.
Hawk’s third priority pertains to the state budget, he said.
“I plan to be much more involved in the budget process as well as with the tougher policy issues that will come before the legislature,” Hawk said.
“But not having a crystal ball, I don’t know what those issues will be.”
The fourth priority — increasing awareness of what he said is “the state’s need for mental health and drug abuse treatment.”
“These are not only social and health issues. They are also economic development issues,” Hawk said.
“As employers are coming to the state of Tennessee looking for a qualified work force some of our employers are having a hard time finding people who can pass a drug screening.”
Breaking the cycle of drug addiction involves mental health treatment, Hawk said.
According to LocalMemphis.com, Hawk sponsored a successful bill placing limits on opioid prescriptions.
Montgomery County Rep. Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) has announced his intentions to run for speaker. House Leader Glen Casada (R-Franklin) will likely run as well, the website reported.
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