Campaign loans, TennCare work top legislative agenda this week

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Limits on personal loans for campaigns and work requirements for TennCare recipients are just two of the issues Tennessee lawmakers take up this week.

At least two of the candidates running for governor–Bill Lee and Randy Boyd–have loaned their campaigns more than $1 million from their personal accounts.

One bill slated for debate Tuesday morning would limit the amount in any local or state race to a $100,000 loan from a candidate.

If the bill were to pass, it would become law beginning in 2019 when the current races–including the one for governor–are finished.

Work requirements for TennCare recipients get their first committee look later in the week.

Sponsored by House Speaker Beth Harwell, the bill would require able-bodied adults without children under six to do some form of work in exchange for the state’s Medicaid benefit.

How many hours is still to be determined.

Then there is Governor Bill Haslam’s idea to reduce the number of members of the University of Tennessee Board of Trust.

Reducing the members from 27-to-11 is supported by the university president, but may be a fight with such sweeping changes.

Items waiting for another week include the governor’s opioid plan, which will likely get some healthy debate once it’s in committee.

“Let’s be frugal with the taxpayers money and then when we figure out what works and what does not work, then we can spend,” House Republican Leader Glen Casada told News 2 last week.

Democrats have been persistent that the $30 million plan falls far short.

“Everyone agrees the opioid epidemic is a priority, but the question is, ‘Are we going to treat it like one?” Senator Jeff Yarbro, who chairs Senate Democratic Caucus, has said.

Work is also progressing on the state budget with hearings in the House this week.

Legislative leaders predict it will pass.