Temporary transfer of governor's power passes Tennessee Senate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal to change the state's constitution to allow for the temporary transfer of gubernatorial power has cleared its first major legislative hurdle.

The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved the resolution sponsored by Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle, of Memphis. The Tennessee Constitution currently lays out succession following governors' deaths, but does not offer any guidance for if they are temporarily incapacitated.

Tennessee's problematic succession process was highlighted in 2006 when Gov. Phil Bredesen was hospitalized for several days with an illness that may have been caused by a tick bite.

If the measure is approved by the House this year -- and again by two-thirds of the members of both chambers of the next General Assembly -- it would go before the voters in 2010.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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