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1. Senate Authorizes Electric Chair for Executions -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Tennessee Senate has voted to allow the state to electrocute death row inmates if lethal injection drugs cannot be obtained.

The measure sponsored by Sen. Ken Yager passed on a 23-3 vote on Wednesday. The Harriman Republican says current law allows the state to use its alternate execution method only when lethal injection drugs are not legally available. But Yager says there was no provision for what do if there was a shortage of those drugs.

2. Tennessee Can Lawfully Electrocute Inmates if No Drugs -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee can lawfully use the electric chair in executions if lethal injection is stopped by the courts or because the state can't get the drugs to carry out the sentence, the state attorney general said in a legal opinion this week.

3. TPA Awards 2 Lawmakers Open Government Award -

Two lawmakers from eastern Tennessee have received the 2014 Open Government Award from state newspapers for opposing efforts to weaken the state's open records and public meetings law.

The Tennessee Press Association presented the awards on Thursday to Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, and Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville, during the organization's annual winter meeting.

4. Governor Signs Public Notices Bill -

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill to require public notices to be published on newspaper websites.

The measure maintains a requirement for public notices to be published in the print editions of newspapers. It would also create a statewide online clearinghouse for all notices.

5. Governor Signs Public Notices Bill -

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill to require public notices to be published on newspaper websites.

The measure maintains a requirement for public notices to be published in the print editions of newspapers. It would also create a statewide online clearinghouse for all notices.

6. Renewed Bid Would Dilute Tennessee Open Meetings Law -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A renewed push is under way to get Tennessee lawmakers to allow local official to hold more closed-door meetings.

Williamson County Commissioner Bob Barnwell, who also spearheaded a similar attempt last year, has written to local government colleagues around the state urging them to encourage state lawmakers to pass a bill to allow private meetings among officials as long as a quorum isn't present.

7. Supermarket Wine Bill Advances by 1 Vote in Senate -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A proposal to allow wine to be sold in Tennessee supermarkets and convenience stores scored its first legislative victory on Tuesday after years of frustration.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee voted 5-4 to advance the bill that would allow cities and counties to hold referendums next year to decide whether to expand wine sales beyond the state's nearly 600 licensed liquor stores.

8. Let’s Make Public Notices Available to Everyone -

The issue of whether local governments should post public notices on their own internet website is a question that was discussed more than once in the Senate State and Local Government Committee during the 107th General Assembly.

9. Bid to Clamp Down on Lawmaker Allowances Delayed -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A proposal to eliminate hotel allowances for some Tennessee lawmakers was put on hold Tuesday after a state Senate committee member said the reimbursement rules should be tightened for the entire Legislature.

10. TennCare Pain Pill Prescrips Up 48 Pct. -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The number of narcotics prescriptions dispensed through the TennCare program has increased by 48 percent over the last four years despite efforts to end abuse.

Those efforts include a program called lock-ins, which forces a patient to fill prescriptions at a specific pharmacy.

11. Harwell Opposes Changes to Tenn. Open Meetings Law -

NASHVILLE (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell has voiced opposition to efforts to water down Tennessee's open meetings law and has called on a Republican colleague to drop a bill seeking to make changes to the current rules.

12. Bill Clarifies Gun Rights Of Inmate Coordinators -

Inmate relations coordinators in Tennessee would have the same gun-carrying privileges as correctional officers under a measure headed to the governor for his consideration.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Ken Yager of Harriman passed 28-1 Monday. The companion bill was approved by the House 94-0 last legislative session.

13. Senate Begins Action on Reshaping Tenn. Wine Laws -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state Senate has begun taking action on a series of proposals to reshape the way wine is sold in Tennessee.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee on Tuesday unanimously advanced a measure that would allow Tennesseans to buy up to five cases a day from out-of-state wineries, and to transport them back across state lines.

14. Lawmakers Raise Concerns Over TDOT Stimulus Money -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee wants to quickly contract out all of its $572 million in federal transportation stimulus money, but some state lawmakers are raising concerns that their districts aren't in line for enough road and bridge projects.

15. Reports Show Final PAC Contributions in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The final campaign finance reports before Tuesday's election show a last minute flurry of contributions from political action committees to legislative candidates and causes in Tennessee.

16. Early Voting Under Way in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Voters took to the polls Wednesday as Tennessee kicked off its two-week early voting period.

About 45 percent of the state's votes were cast early in the last presidential election in 2004, and State Election Coordinator Brook Thompson said this year's percentage could be higher because there are more sites and some counties have expanded hours.