Randy McNally is starting his third year as speaker of the Tennessee Senate.
He’s already weighed in on issues such as abortion, Nashville's Community Oversight Board and closing primaries in Tennessee. He says he wants to make sure that the bills that are passed are constitutional and good for the state.
The following are excerpts from that interview:
On the Nashville Community Oversight Board:
“I don’t think subpoena powers should be given to a non-elected person. Especially a non-elected board. And that’s just my feelings on it. I think police do a marvelous job in the state. They put their lives at risk to protect us, and I think there’s — in any profession there might be a few bad apples — but I think there’s the proper way to address that and that’s by the mayor, by the district’s attorney and, of course, the TBI investigates most of the police shootings now.”
On the "Heartbeat Bill":
“I think we’ll move fairly slowly on it and make sure that we craft the legislation so that’s either constitutional or not proceed with it ... I think if the AG says it’s constitutionally suspect then we’ll probably would have to go to another source to represent us because he’d have a hard time defending it, given his opinion."
On closing the primaries in Tennessee:
“I think there has been problems in certain races where there’s been a concerted effort by the Democratic Party to cross over to the Republican Party to elect either a weaker candidate or a candidate who in the primaries in not electable.
“I think there’s ways that we can tighten that up, but I’d hate to have a party registration and us denying access to allowing people to vote. That’s how we built the Republican Party: by allowing people to vote.”
Our ongoing conversations about Tennessee politics are available in The Tri-Star State podcast. You can listen by visiting wpln.org/tristar or subscribe using your favorite podcasting app.