Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Guvnah

The Shelby County Schools crisis shows how constitutionally weak any Tennessee Governor actually is:

The real likely reason Bill Haslam is playing political dodge 'em on the Shelby County Schools consolidation matter: He is completely powerless to do much of anything, and the State reaction to the whole affair would be a public display of just how little power a Governor of Tennessee actually has constitutionally-something few Tennesseans are aware of. If Haslam is opposed to the Norris Bill, which would allow for separate votes on consolidation in the City of Memphis and in Shelby County, his opposition is completely meaningless if Norris musters the clear support of majorities in both Houses of the General Assembly. A simple majority in both Houses is all that is needed to override a Governor's veto under the Tennessee Constitution. If Haslam supports the measure privately, but his view ultimately does not effect whether the measure becomes law or not, why would Haslam risk political capital in Memphis or Shelby County by wading into the schools consolidation matter?

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