Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has established a page online for Tennesseans to give him feedback on bills approved by the General Assembly and presented to him to sign.
“As part of my commitment to an open and transparent government, we have created this bill review page to invite public comments on bills passed by the General Assembly and presented to me for consideration. By bringing more Tennesseans into the process more directly, I believe we will increase accountability in how our laws are made.
I invite you to come back to this page often, as we will be updating it regularly as bills pass the Legislature and come to my desk. To view and track legislation as it makes its way through the General Assembly, please visit capitol.tn.gov/legislation.
I look forward to hearing from you.”
So far, there is only one bill on the page as the General Assembly has only recently started. But as bills pass the House and Senate, more will be listed and the website gives ordinary Tennesseans a chance to communicate directly with the governor (or his staff) about what they think.
Hanging out the “welcome” sign
While anyone has always been able to write a letter to the governor, the establishment of a page where people can comment directly to the governor hangs out the welcome sign in a new way.
It also seems much more efficient and smart in terms of gathering public feedback. The online form has fields for the bill number, whether you support or oppose, and area to describe your thoughts. So anyone going through the data on the back end can sort things pretty quickly.
This is good leadership from our governor. He’s setting the tone and the culture for his administration.
The governor’s role in legislation
When a bill passes the House and Senate, it goes to the governor, who can sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature. If the governor vetoes a bill, it can be overcome by a majority vote in both the House and Senate.
For more information: How a Bill Becomes a Law in Tennessee.