The new bolder, brasher Bill Haslam is at it already, slamming the door shut on school vouchers in the upcoming legislative session. Last session, when according to Ron Ramsey the governor wasn't altogether secure in his knowledge of Civics 101, Haslam would have let the legislature go ahead and adopt vouchers. Then he would have shrugged and signed the bill into law. This afternoon, Haslam announced the appointment of a task force to study the issue and report back to him in the fall of 2012, effectively preempting any action until then.
It was the tactic of a seasoned political pro, and Haslam did it! Our world is turned upside down.
The task force includes GOP education heavyweights like Jamie Woodson and even the voucher's Senate champion, Brian Kelsey. For Republicans to act now without first hearing from this group is out of the question. The House sponsor, Bill Dunn, concedes his bill is toast for another year. It would have been a dog fight in the House anyway. House Education Committee chairman Richard Montgomery was against the bill.