Mar 10, 2023 - Politics

Gov. Lee quickly signs bill cutting Metro Council

Photo illustration of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mere minutes after the state Senate approved a bill to cut Nashville's Metro Council in half, Gov. Bill Lee signed the measure into law.

Why it matters: Republican lawmakers began pursuing the plan after Metro Council refused to approve an agreement to host the Republican National Convention in 2024. Republicans say the city council is dysfunctional and its operations will be improved by having no more than 20 members.

  • Metro leaders don't want to reduce the size of the council, and opponents are worried it could thrust the city government into chaos. Nashville voters rejected a proposal to reduce the council size in 2015.

What's next: Litigation. Metro is likely to sue in state court as soon as Friday, and a federal lawsuit is in the works as well.

What he's saying: "This attack on the constitutional rights of Metro and the people who live here is very dangerous. It serves the interests of no one," Metro law director Wally Dietz said in a press release.

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