Members of the Tennessee General Assembly will consider a resolution to express support for a bill in Congress that would require the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Board of Directors to hold open meetings.
This, according to the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.
“We all know, Mr. Chairman, that the TVA is the steward of billions of dollars of ratepayers money,” Yager reportedly told members of the Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee this week.
“But they also make rules that govern the lives and affect the lives of everybody else in Tennessee. Not the least of which is the property owners of this state. I just think in the spirit of transparency and open government, that all of their meetings should be open.
The Tennessee Valley Authority Transparency Act is sponsored by U.S. Rep Tim Burchett, R-Knoxville and co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, according to the TCOG.
“Burchett’s bill would require the board and subcommittees of the board to hold their meetings in public, provide public notice of its meetings no fewer than six days before the meeting, and make publicly available the minutes and summaries of its meetings,” The TCOG reported.
“Private meetings could be held with a national security exception, and emergency meetings could be held without the six-day notice.”
The TVA is currently required to have four meetings a year. It is not required to have those meetings public, according to the TCOG.
“Despite being a government body created by Congress, and its members confirmed by the U.S. Senate, there is no requirement that deliberations of its full board or subcommittees be open to the public,” according to the TCOG’s website.
According to the proposed resolution, the TVA is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies, serving 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Ken Yager” by Ken Yager. Background Photo “Tennessee Capitol Chambers” by Tennessee General Assembly.