Harwell opposes changes to Tennessee open meetings law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- House Speaker Beth Harwell is voicing opposition to efforts to water down Tennessee's open meetings laws and has called on a Republican colleague to drop a bill seeking to make changes to the current rules.

Spokeswoman Kara Owen said in an email Tuesday that Harwell does not support efforts to allow members of local governments to meet behind closed doors as long as a quorum isn't present.

Owen said Harwell had spoken to Rep. Glen Casada of Franklin and that he agreed not to pursue the bill this year.

Harwell joins Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in opposing the measure. Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville has said he's against weakening open government laws but agrees with proponents that some of the current open meetings rules are too onerous.

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