NASHVILLE—State Senator Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) has been reappointed to the committee which approves budgets for the largest and second largest economic sectors in the state, the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. The announcement was made by Lt. Governor Randy McNally as the 112th General Assembly met to organize the 2021-2022 legislative sessions.
“Steve Southerland has been an exemplary chairman,” said Lt. Gov. McNally in making the appointment. “He understands the subject matter and provides excellent leadership for the committee and staff. I look forward to his continued good work.”
The committee’s scope includes review of legislation related to Tennessee’s hunting and fishing laws, state parks, energy conservation, agriculture, forestry, preservation of natural resources and fostering the state’s tourism industry.
“I appreciate the continued confidence placed in me to lead this committee,” said Sen. Southerland. “We have many issues in front of us in 2021, including recovering from the effects of the pandemic. Tourism is our state’s second largest sector and has a tremendous impact on our legislative district. As we recover from the pandemic, we must do everything we can to ensure the viability of this industry which is so important to our local communities and our state as a whole.”
“Agriculture is the largest economic sector in the state and the industry is still emerging. I look forward to advancing policies which help our rural communities and this sector to thrive and prosper,” Southerland continued.
Southerland was also appointed to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee. The Commerce and Labor Committee hears legislation dealing with economic development, banking, business, insurance, communications, consumer affairs, occupational licensing and employment matters. The Ethics Committee hears any complaints waged against a sitting member.
In addition, Southerland will continue a four-year term of service on the prestigious Joint Fiscal Review Committee. That committee is the General Assembly’s watchdog on all state budgetary matters and approves all fiscal contracts for state government.
Senator Southerland represents Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, and Sevier Counties in District 1 of the Tennessee Senate.