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State lawmakers are putting the final touches on some controversial legislation.
They will all return to Nashville on Tuesday as the 108th General Assembly is called to order.
It's often said there's a calm before the storm.
At the State Capitol Monday night, the familiar phrase might also apply.
On Tuesday the new session begins and lawmakers have plenty to talk about.
Last month's shooting in Connecticut has made school safety a key topic.
"It's a pretty simple bill. I mean it's hard to explain to a parent why the neighbor's children have a guard and their children don't.," says Sen. Frank Niceley, (R) Strawberry Fields.
Senator Frank Niceley's bill would require an armed person in every school.
The person would go through a specialized training course and it's not just limited to law enforcement.
"Teacher, principal, maintenance man, vice principal," says Sen. Niceley.
Education is also a focus of Senator Brian Kelsey's plan to create a school voucher program.
"If they are not happy with their local school that they're districted to go to, they can go somewhere else," says Sen. Brian Kelsey, (R) Germantown.
Kelsey's bill would provide an "opportunity scholarship" to low income students who choose an alternative, such as a private or parochial school.
"It's time we start focusing much more on whether our children are being educated, rather than where they're being educated," says Sen. Kelsey.
Republicans hold a dominant two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate, which is a concern to state Democrats.
"You have the more radical tea party element that is up here now, that is trying to push the Republican party further to the right and Tennessee further to the right," says Rep. Mike Turner, (D) Old Hickory.
Democrat Mike Turner hopes cooler heads prevail, which is something he knows doesn't always happen on Capitol Hill.
Many of the lawmakers who will be in town Tuesday are being sworn in for the first time.
Almost one fourth of the State House will include freshman Representatives.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Tuesday, January 22 2013, 05:58 PM CST
Haslam's chief deputy Claude Ramsey to retire
June 19, 2013 16:41 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says chief deputy Claude Ramsey is retiring at the end of August to spend more time with his family in Chattanooga.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Wednesday that the 70-year-old Ramsey has been integral to his administration on key initiatives that include civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey was elected to the General Assembly in 1972 where he served four years in the House. He was Hamilton County's mayor for 16 years.
His last day on the job is August 31.
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