TPA recognizes House speaker for open government efforts

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) – State House Speaker Beth Harwell and two other state lawmakers have been honored for their support of open government in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Press Association, which represents the state’s daily and weekly newspapers, awarded Harwell, R-Nashville, and Reps. Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville, and Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton, the association’s 2016 Open Government Award on Friday.

TPA President Jack McElroy, editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel, praised Harwell’s “leadership by example.” He cited her unprecedented policy of requiring committee chairs to give notice of unscheduled meetings. Harwell also insisted the Attorney General’s report the sexual harassment investigation of Rep. Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin, be made public.

Ramsey and Sanderson were lauded for their commitment as committee chairs to ensure bills affecting open government receive thorough reviews and are not too broad.