As a committee chair, Watson is also a member of the Calendar and Rules Committee.
Bills referred to the Judicial Committee affect civil law, including civil procedure, private and governmental civil liability, technical revisions in Tennessee Code; criminal law which includes criminal procedure, criminal offenses and penalties and sentencing; property rights, estate law, wills, executors; law enforcement officers; juvenile, municipal, state, personal courts; compensation, expenses and retirement of judges; judicial proceedings; and reapportionment legislation.
Also, many bills dealing with corrections and correctional facilities are referred to this committee.
“This is a natural fit,” Watson said. “There could not be a better assignment for me. One of the first things we’ll be dealing with is tort reform.”
He said tort reform will help Tennessee become more business friendly. Also, the Senate Judicial Committee will oversee redistricting. It has not been decided which committee in the House will have oversight, but Watson expects it will remain in the House Judicial Committee.
Watson is a captain in the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department. He said the appointment of a law enforcement officer is a major departure from tradition since it is normally held by someone in the legal profession.
“This appointment is a real plus for the people of this district,” Watson said. “Being a committee chairman gives much more clout to the district and being able to get things accomplished for my constituents.”
Speaker of the House Beth Harwell said, “Eric previously served as a Judiciary subcommittee chairman and his background in law enforcement will serve the committee well.”
Watson was also appointed to serve on the State and Local, and Calendar and Rules committees. The Calendar and Rules Committee schedules when bills are sent to the full House.
“My goal is simply to serve the people of this state by seeing they are protected and their rights are protected from those who prey on innocent Tennesseans,” Watson said.