State Sen. Mae Beavers (R - Mt. Juliet) has congratulated her friend and colleague, Sen. Brian Kelsey (R - Germantown), on his recent appointment to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Beavers also expressed gratitude for the honor of serving as chair of the distinguished committee for the past six years.
"I am very proud of the hard work that was exhibited by the committee members and the committee staff over the past six years," said Sen. Beavers. "I took great pride in efficiently completing our committee work in a timely fashion, and was excited to lead the committee towards becoming the most technologically advanced committee in the legislature. Also, Im appreciative of my colleagues who consistently praised the great work that the committee produced, and I'm proud to have been one of the few women in leadership in the state legislature."
Sen. Beavers was elected to the state house in 1994, and to the state senate in 2002. She was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2007 until last year, being one of the only females and non-attorneys in recent times to do so. Sen. Beavers was consistently recognized by Republicans and Democrats alike for effectively and fairly running the Senate Judiciary Committee - one of the largest committees in the legislature in terms of legislation volume, and one that covers all legislation dealing with civil and criminal laws. Under her leadership, the committee became the only committee in the legislature to operate in a completely "paperless" fashion. Sen. Beavers is particularly grateful for the hard work of her three past research analysts and her executive assistant, some who have served the committee for over six years.
In addition, Sen. Beavers served as the contact person for hundreds of Tennesseans who expressed their frustration with the lack of accountability and transparency amongst Tennessee's judiciary. She conducted numerous hearings on judicial oversight, and was considered by many to be one of the driving forces behind increased transparency and accountability to the board that oversees complaints against judges, the formation of more stringent judicial recusal rules, as well as the online publication of trial judgment statistics brought about after her 'Report Card for Judges' legislation.
"In addition to laws regarding greater judicial accountability, I am proud of all the legislation that we shepherded through the committee, including tort reform, tougher DUI and meth laws, laws increasing our 2nd Amendment rights, important constitutional amendments protecting the rights of the unborn and prohibiting a state income tax, and numerous other laws to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our civil and criminal justice system," said Sen. Beavers. "I am also thankful for all of the senators - Democrats and Republicans - who served on the committee (often late into the evening) and all that they have contributed to the state of Tennessee."
Finally, Sen. Beavers is appreciative of the opportunity to serve as 1st Vice Chair for both the Senate Transportation & Safety Committee and the Energy, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, and welcomes the possibility of bringing better roads and bridges to District 17. In addition, she looks forward to the additional time she will get to spend interacting with the citizens of Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties, serving as their senator for the remainder of her term and for what she hopes will be additional terms after that.
"I was honored to have served on the Judiciary Committee and am proud of all that we accomplished," said Sen. Beavers. "However, I know that it is time for me to move on and provide my expertise in other areas of the legislature, and I look forward to spending more time in my district serving the citizens of the six great counties that I represent for what I hope will be many more years."