TN state lawmakers named as worst state legislature in US - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

TN state lawmakers named as worst state legislature in US

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(WMC-TV) - This week the left leaning website Mother Jones has put Tennessee's state lawmakers as the worst state legislature in the United States.

Republicans have a supermajority in the both the state house and legislature in Tennessee.

Before you dismiss the ranking as typical partisan bickering, the website put together a 'list' to back up its claim.

Before Mitt Romney's 47 percent comment made headlines last fall Mother Jones was best known by its niche readers, but those secret tapes helped catapult the liberal website into the national spotlight overnight.

This week they released to their readers the worst state legislatures in the country.

Tennessee which has supermajority republicans in both houses is leading the way.

"It's not that all republicans are reckless or the democrats, can't be just as reckless there were some bad goofy democratic bills in the last couple of sessions too," said Memphis Flyer political reporter Jackson Baker. 

Jackson Baker has been following politics for decades with our partners at the Memphis Flyer.

He says both parties are guilty of submitting crazy legislation. 

"There's something I don't know maybe in the water supply in parts of our state that just encourages it this kind of nuttiness," said Baker. 

Mother Jones listed why Tennessee tops its list, "the gateway sex bill" by State Senator Stacey Campfield of Knoxville introduced the so called "don't say gay bill" so teachers could not talk about homosexuality in grade school.

That bill failed but it inspired an abstinence only sex education program.

Another bill by Senator Bo Watson from Chattenooga was aimed at transgender people who doesn't use a restroom or dressing room that matches their sex identification on his or her birth certificate if fined $50.

That bill also failed.

A third reason was from Rep. Matthew Hill near Johnson City, would name all abortion doctors along with demographic information about patients - that could lead to identifying patients. 

Hill's bill also failed.

"Governor Bill Haslam who is a bona fide republican himself was frustrated last year about what he called 'crazy bills,'" said Baker. 

Expect to see more craziness next month when the new legislative session begins in Nashville.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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