Republicans take a super-majority in control in Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Republican state legislators say they see Tuesday's vote as a full steam ahead sign for them as they take care of the people's business in Nashville.

On Election Day, the state voted to give Republicans a super-majority for control of the state legislature. Now in the Senate, there are 24 Republicans to 9 Democrats, while in the house there are 67 Republicans to 24 Democrats.

Republicans in control say they believe that means the people want them to continue what they've done for the past 2 years. Rep. Ryan Haynes, of Knoxville, says that means they will continue to focus on less government and fewer taxes.

"There's obviously more numbers. But I really don't think we'll see a whole lot of change in pushing our agenda forward in the fact that we already had a pretty significant majority as it was," said Haynes. "Unlike Washington we actually balance our budget here while cutting taxes, and so I think you're going to see that agenda continue. That's what Tennesseans want. They spoke very loudly on election night and we look forward to continuing that for them."

Haynes and other republicans say they don't want to just run over the Democrats, but work with them on ideas that are good for the state.

"Our goal is not to run over anybody. We're going to do just as we did the last 2 years, that will continue but what we also expect is cooperation from them and helping to achieve what Tennesseans want and that's fewer taxes and less government," said Haynes.

What the super-majority means is Republicans will have an easy time getting their agenda passed. They have a 2/3 majority in both houses, exactly the number that's needed of legislators to open for business.

Republicans say this is a good thing, that means there will be fewer people to argue for more government and more taxes.

"With the decline in money that's going to be come from Washington," said John Gabriel with the West Knox Republican Club. "We're going to have to work a little more efficiently just as this majority, if you want to look at it that way is going to help us accomplish that."

The legislature will open in January.

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