NASHVILLE -- State Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, has been reappointed Deputy Speaker of the Tennessee Senate and Chairman of an expanded Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
The announcement was made by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey as the State Senate wrapped up a week of organizational duties for the 2013-2014 legislative sessions.
"I am very pleased to receive these appointments," Southerland said in a news release from his office.
"I look forward to working with our leadership team, our committee members, and with Gov. Haslam on the many issues we face in Tennessee this year.
"I also am delighted that our committee will now hear all agricultural issues. Farming is extremely important to our district, and I look forward to working with farmers as we hear legislation to boost Tennessee's agricultural exports," Southerland said in the release.
Formerly the Conservation and Environment Committee, the Energy Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will now hear all issues regarding farming, in addition to energy, forestry, natural resources, conservation, game, fish, mines and minerals.
The deputy speaker is part of the leadership team of the Senate, attending to special projects and duties as assigned by the lieutenant governor.
Southerland will also serve on the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and the Transportation Committee.
The Commerce Committee hears legislation dealing with economic development, business, insurance, and business regulations, as well as employment matters.
The Transportation Committee is responsible for highways, roads and bridges; railroads; air, bus and vehicular transportation; rules and regulations for highways, and facilities in connection with and navigation of waterways, lakes and streams; and the Department of Safety.
The General Assembly will take a brief recess to make office assignments and await budget details before convening the first full week of the regular 2013 legislative session on Jan. 28.