Governor Lee Signs Bill to Cap Nashville Metro Council at 20 Elected Officials

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill Thursday that caps the number of elected officials to the governing body of a Metropolitan government or municipality within the state to 20.

SB87/HB48 “prohibits the governing body of a metropolitan government from being composed of more than 20 voting members,” according to its summary. The bill passed the Tennessee House of Representatives on Monday by a 72-25 vote and the Senate on Thursday morning by a 23-7 vote.

Under the new law, the governing body of a municipality or Metropolitan government must “dissolve, combine, or reapportion districts or wards, as necessary, so that the number of members elected to the governing body does not exceed 20 voting members.”

As there are only three metropolitan governments in Tennessee, the new law would only require the Metro Nashville-Davidson County City Council, which comprises 40 members, to make the necessary changes to cap the number of elected officials to 20 at this time.

The new law requires the Nashville Metro Council to elect its new representatives at the next general election. Alternatively, if that deadline isn’t met, a special general election can be set for the first Thursday in August 2024. Council members will serve three-year terms beginning September 1st, 2024.

During the chamber’s final vote on the bill Thursday, State Senator Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) – who is running for Nashville Mayor – unsuccessfully proposed an amendment to delay the bill’s implementation until after this year’s municipal election cycle.

In a statement, Metro Nashville Law Director Wally Dietz called the legislation “an attack on the Constitutional rights of Metro and the people who live here” that “violates the Tennessee Constitution in multiple ways.”

“We hope cooler heads will prevail, but in the event they do not, we are prepared to vigorously defend the constitutional rights of our city and its residents,” Dietz added.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Background Photo “Metro Nashville Council” by 



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5 Thoughts to “Governor Lee Signs Bill to Cap Nashville Metro Council at 20 Elected Officials”

  1. Cannoneertwo

    Bill Lee and Butch Eley love infrastructure. Perhaps Nashville should consider all sorts of traffic jamming infrastructure improvements ringing Capitol Hill come January of next year…

  2. Joe Blow

    Surely you are not encouraging illegal acts.

  3. Tom

    Fantastic, I live here and couldn’t be happier reducing the number of fools mis-managing our tax money.

  4. william delzell

    Nashville and other Tennessee cities and towns should DEFY Governor Lee and the Legislature!

  5. Joe Blow

    Too bad that the whole council could not be put on the scrap heap. Most are just petty “activists” who do not care for those that they are elected to represent. Shameful.