NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- What issues do you think the Tennessee General Assembly should address as it gets its 2018 legislative session under way next week?
WMOT News is asking that question of state lawmakers and decision leaders from around the state. We begin today with Rep. Glen Casada, House Majority Leader.
The Williamson County Republican says GOP leadership intends to make the state’s prescription pain killer addiction epidemic a top priority.
“That’s plaguing and hurting our communities and our families, and so that will be…that’ll be the heavy lift this year; how to bring that under control.”
Casada says lawmakers will need to strike a balance between easy access for those who legitimately need pain medications and restricting access to pain meds for practitioners and patients who abuse the drugs.
On a somewhat related medical issue, Rep. Casada says he expects the legislature to spend a lot of time this session debating approval of medical marijuana. Casada says getting clear facts will be critical to that debate.
“I’m going to be reserved in supporting it until I see the efficacy and safety studies -- double-blinded studies, going through the scientific process – that it’s a safe, efficacious drug.”
Casada says he personally wants to explore legislation that would bring transparency to the way legislative staffers calculate so-called fiscal notes…estimates of what proposed legislation would cost if enacted.
Some lawmakers have expressed frustration after having their bills stalled by what they considered unjustifiably large fiscal notes.
The 110th Tennessee General Assembly will be gaveled to order this coming Tuesday at noon.