State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver added her name to a growing list of Republican lawmakers calling for the resignation of Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada during a visit to Hartsville on Friday morning.
The Speaker has been mired in controversy in recent days amid media reports of lewd text messages with his former chief of staff, eavesdropping on private meetings on Capitol Hill and a reported FBI investigation into the vote to pass a school vouchers bill.
Weaver was at the Early Bird Cafe for her monthly ‘Coffee & Conversations’ stop in Trousdale County.
“Yes, I do,” Weaver said when asked if she felt Casada should step down from his leadership role. “The choices made by these people – including the Speaker – should have consequences. That teaches a lesson to everyone.”
“If one’s going to step up to a place of authority – mayor, county commissioner – there is a level of representation you’ve got to bring to the table… Bad choices bring bad consequences and bad consequences have victims. Good choices make good things happen.”
The school voucher legislation passed the House by a 50-48 margin after the vote was held open for 40 minutes before one representative was persuaded to change his vote to yes.
NewsChannel5 reported Thursday afternoon that FBI agents have been interviewing lawmakers about whether any improper incentives were offered by leadership.
“No, I didn’t get anything,” Weaver said when asked if she had been approached about changing her vote. “When you’re down there trying to protect your district and bring things back home, a lot of that stuff happens. I’m not going to make deals… I’m going to do it the right way.”
Weaver voted against the bill on the House floor, saying she was supporting the wishes of her district. The Trousdale County School Board was among a number of boards that sent petitions to their representatives requesting votes against vouchers.
Weaver said she was pleased to see eliminations of the professional privilege tax on professions such as accountants and lawyers, as well as an elimination of a tax on ammunition during this session of the General Assembly.
“I’m glad they got rid of that egregious tax,” Weaver said of the professional privilege tax. “We also took taxes off bullets and passed the online sales tax, which is generating $44 million in our budget.”
Weaver also said she was pleased to see the so-called “Katie Beckett waiver” for Medicaid, which will offer coverage to disabled children with complex medical needs regardless of parental income. She also said she favored the passage of a block grant bill for Medicaid in Tennessee, saying it will help reduce medical costs in the state.
Weaver will not hold her monthly ‘Coffee & Conversations’ stop in Trousdale County again until September as the legislature has concluded its 2019 session.
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]