Outgoing Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh rose to say he didn't know what Hill was talking about, and to remind the body that Democrats had pushed for cuts in the tax previously. Indeed, Democratic Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh introduced a bill last year that would have cut the tax from 5.5 to 4.5 percent.
Not one to be silent during such an exchange, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner made things more personal, after voicing his support for the "bipartisan" idea.
"But they're also - the majority party is going to shut down the [Tennessee Regulatory Authority]. And this member is going to vote with them from now on. So tell the governor up there, I'm with him on this TRA bill from now on," Turner said, before dropping the microphone and pointing at Hill before he sat down.
Hill's father, of course, is Dr. Kenneth Hill, chairman of the TRA, who could be facing a pay cut, among other things, if the aforementioned legislation passes.
Fitzhugh, the calmer half of the Democrats' two-headed House leadership, rose to smooth things over, and after Turner left the chamber briefly, he and Hill could be seen talking it out.
Just before the dust-up, the House passed a bill to phase out the inheritance tax by 2016, which will lighten the burden for less than 1,000 Tennessee estates. Soon after, they passed the grocery sales tax cut, which will save just 25 cents out of every $100 spent on food, hardly lightening the burden for around 6 million Tennesseans who eat.