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Judicial redistricting bill fails
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Party politics apparently rang the death knell for more than one bill in the state legislature last week.Speaker Ron Ramsey’s judicial redistricting plan was defeated in the House on Friday, and apparently set in motion the defeat of a charter school bill.After the redistricting bill was scrapped, Ramsey reportedly blocked House Speaker Beth Harwell’s legislation to give a state board more authority to open charter schools when a local school board says no by keeping it from coming to a vote after dozens of hours of committee hearings. The judicial redistricting plan was time sensitive because of upcoming elections, and Ramsey said he won’t bring it up again.The speaker conceded that the killing of the charter-school legislation is related to the demise of judicial redistricting.“It’s not fun to fight with friends,” Ramsey said. “But in the end we’re all in here to govern the state of Tennessee and we’ll all be friends…soon.”Charter-school advocates had been looking for a way to give the state authority to open charter schools, even if the local school board opposes them.Harwell was pushing the change, but when her chamber voted down Ramsey’s judicial redistricting plan the bill went south.“It wasn’t retaliation,” Ramsey said, defending his actions.