NASHVILLE – State Senator Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) took the oath of office on Tuesday in Nashville as the 113th General Assembly was gaveled in on the first day of the legislature’s organizational session. Southerland was also reappointed chairman of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources committee. The appointment was made by Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) on Thursday as lawmakers concluded their first week of organizational session.
Lt. Governor Randy McNally praised Southerland for his leadership on the Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
“Steve Southerland has been an exemplary chairman,” said McNally. “He understands the subject matter and provides excellent leadership for the committee and staff. I look forward to his continued good work.”
The committee’s scope includes review of legislation related to Tennessee’s hunting and fishing laws, state parks, energy conservation, agriculture, forestry, preservation of natural resources and fostering the state’s tourism industry.
“I appreciate the continued confidence placed in me to lead this committee,” said Sen. Southerland. “Agriculture is the largest economic sector in the state and the industry is still emerging. I look forward to advancing policies which help our rural communities and this sector to thrive and prosper.”
Southerland was also appointed to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, the Senate Ethics Committee and the Joint Fiscal Review Committee.
Organizational session proceedings also included the oath of office for recently elected legislators. As a member of this group, Southerland was sworn in to another four-year-term in the Tennessee Senate where he represents Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Sevier and Unicoi counties in District 9.
“It’s an honor to represent the citizens in District 9,” said Southerland. “I will uphold my oath and the constitution. I also look forward to working with the citizens I represent, Governor Lee and my colleagues in the legislature to improve opportunities for all Tennesseans.”