NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee state House ignored serious constitutional concerns – and the wishes of Republican leaders in Statehouse – in voting to make the holy Bible the official state book.
24. Tennessee House OKs Bill Creating Lifetime Handgun Carry Permits - Wednesday, April 15, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee House has voted to create a $500 lifetime handgun carry permit.
The chamber voted 90-3 on Monday to approve the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. John Holsclaw Jr. of Elizabethton.25. Attorney General Election Proposal Passes Tennessee Senate - Wednesday, April 15, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposed constitutional amendment calling for the popular election of Tennessee's attorney general overwhelmingly passed the Senate on Tuesday despite arguments that the current system doesn't need to be changed.26. Protesters Call on House Speaker to Revive Insure Tennessee - Wednesday, April 15, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Supporters of Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans are calling on House Speaker Beth Harwell to bring the measure to a full vote on the House floor.27. Tennessee House Bogs Down Over Making Bible Official Book - Wednesday, April 15, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A small-town Republican's proposal to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee ran into opposition from top members of his own party as the House delayed a scheduled vote on the measure Tuesday.28. Arkansas Fundraiser Fined By Tennessee Secretary of State - Tuesday, April 14, 2015
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – An Arkansas-based marketing firm has been fined $57,500 by the Tennessee secretary of state's office for failing to register in the state.
A release from the secretary of state's office Monday said a year-long investigation into Gaylon Boshears found he illegally operated the Little Rock-based company Southern Sports & Events Marketing in Tennessee.29. Tennessee Sets Record for Electronic Tax Returns - Monday, April 13, 2015
Tennesseans have electronically filed 2.1 million federal tax returns for the current tax season through Friday, April 10.
The number in advance of the April 15 tax filing deadline is the most by state in the nation, according to Internal Revenue Service spokesman Mark Green.30. Conservation Efforts at Work in Tennessee’s Waterways - Saturday, April 11, 2015
They haven’t spent 73 days in an underwater habitat, but researchers and volunteers with several organizations in Tennessee have spent hundreds of hours snorkeling their way through Tennessee waterways in order to help preserve aquatic biodiversity.31. - Saturday, April 11, 2015
TENNESSEE LEDGER...32. Bill to Do Away With Tennessee Helmet Requirement Revived - Friday, April 10, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal that seeks to do away with Tennessee's motorcycle helmet requirement was revived Wednesday and is advancing in the state Legislature despite concerns about how it would be enforced.33. House Passes Bill to Allow Tennessee Constables to be Armed - Friday, April 10, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state House has voted to allow constables in Tennessee to be armed if they are certified by the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission.
The chamber voted 92-1 on Thursday to approve the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Timothy Hill of Blountville. The companion bill is awaiting a full floor vote.34. Bill Would Make Bible Official State Book of Tennessee - Friday, April 10, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Despite concerns that giving the holy Bible the same status as a salamander is a little tawdry and could be unconstitutional, Tennessee lawmakers are forging ahead with plans to make it the official state book – something at least two other states have failed to do.35. Bill to Replace Tennessee Academic Standards Advances - Thursday, April 09, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Legislation that seeks to replace the state's current academic standards is advancing in the state Legislature.
The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Billy Spivey of Lewisburg was approved on a voice vote in the House Finance Subcommittee on Wednesday. The companion bill is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor.36. House Votes to Take Tennessee Capitol Complex Off Guns Bill - Wednesday, April 08, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The House voted Monday to remove the Tennessee Capitol from a bill to expand the areas where people with handgun carry permits can be armed, a move supported by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.37. Streaming Problems at Tennessee Legislature 'Unacceptable' - Wednesday, April 08, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Legislative staffers are calling video streaming problems on the Tennessee General Assembly's website unacceptable.
The online video has been available intermittently over the last two weeks.38. Jack Daniel's Turns Back Latest Tennessee Whiskey Challenge - Wednesday, April 08, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Jack Daniel's has turned back the latest challenge to a state law that determines which spirits can be marketed as "Tennessee Whiskey," but upstart distillers hoping their brands make the cut vow the fight isn't over for good.39. Tuition Equality Bill Headed to Full Tennessee Senate - Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Tennessee residents who are authorized to be in the United States would be eligible for in-state tuition under legislation headed for a vote in the Senate.
The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Todd Gardenhire, of Chattanooga, was approved 7-3 in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. It will now be scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor.40. Memphis Leads Tennessee Metro Areas in 2013 Patents - Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Officials say Greater Memphis led Tennessee’s metro areas in patents issued in 2013.
According to The Commercial Appeal, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reported that enterprises and individuals in the Memphis metropolitan area were awarded 311 patents in 2013.41. Haslam to Promote Free-Tuition Plan for Tennessee Adults - Tuesday, April 07, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam will travel across the state this week to highlight an initiative for adults to attend a Tennessee college of applied technology free of tuition and fees.42. Gloves Coming Off in Fight Over 'Tennessee Whiskey' Law - Tuesday, April 07, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The gloves are coming off in a legislative fight over efforts to repeal state guidelines about which spirits can be labeled as "Tennessee Whiskey."
Opponents of the 2013 law passed at the behest of Jack Daniel's want key committees to vote Tuesday to repeal the rules that they deem to be too restrictive. Key sticking points include rules requirements for sprits to be filtered through charcoal and aged in unused barrels to be called Tennessee whiskey.43. Tennessee Drunk Driving Bill Passes Committee - Monday, April 06, 2015
Those convicted of vehicular homicide while intoxicated would not be eligible for probation under legislation sponsored by Sen. Doug Overbey and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.44. - Saturday, April 04, 2015
TENNESSEE LEDGER...45. State Senate Votes to Allow Handguns at Tennessee Capitol - Thursday, April 02, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – People with handgun carry permits would be able to carry their weapons on the grounds of the state Capitol under a provision inserted into a guns-in-parks proposal that overwhelmingly passed the Senate on Wednesday.46. Tennessee GOP Senator Gives Protester Obscene Response - Thursday, April 02, 2015
A state senator who has drawn the ire of supporters of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal called a protester an obscene name.
According to a YouTube video of the exchange at the legislative office complex on Tuesday, the protester repeatedly demanded of Chattanooga Republican Todd Gardenhire whether he would give up his state health insurance after contributing to the defeat of the measure to extend health insurance to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans.47. Sponsor Withdraws Tennessee Abortion Ultrasound Bill - Wednesday, April 01, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill that originally sought to require ultrasound images be shown or described to women seeking abortions in Tennessee has been withdrawn for the year.
The House Health Subcommittee was poised Tuesday to send Rep. Rick Womick's bill to study committee after the Legislature adjourns for the year. But the Murfreesboro Republican instead persuaded the panel to reschedule the bill for the subcommittee's first meeting of 2016.48. Haslam's Insure Tennessee Plan Fails Again - Wednesday, April 01, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal has failed once again.
The proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans was defeated 6-2 in the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday. It failed in a special legislative session last month.49. Amended Bill Would Delay Tennessee School Voucher Plan - Wednesday, April 01, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal that seeks to create a school voucher program in Tennessee was amended Tuesday to delay the plan for a year, even though the measure's sponsor says it would hurt efforts to help children get a better education.50. State Rep. Mary Littleton to Run for Tennessee GOP Chairwoman - Tuesday, March 31, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – State Rep. Mary Littleton is joining the race to become the next chair of the Tennessee Republican Party.51. Tennessee Fruit and Vegetable Farmers May Qualify for Reimbursement - Tuesday, March 31, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is administering a reimbursement program for farmers who grow fruits or vegetables and have received Good Agriculture Practices certification.52. Editorial: Revived Insure Tennessee Deserves a Floor Vote - Saturday, March 28, 2015
Insure Tennessee deserves a vote on the floors of the Tennessee House and Senate.
The amendments offered in the second life of the Medicaid expansion proposal are reasonable additions that answer legitimate concerns of legislators whose feelings about the Affordable Care Act and its ramifications run the gamut from blind faith to blind hatred.53. - Saturday, March 28, 2015
TENNESSEE LEDGER...54. Tennessee Supreme Court Orders New Trial in Rape Case - Friday, March 27, 2015
The Tennessee Supreme Court ordered a new trial Thursday, March 26, for a Memphis man convicted in 2012 of raping a child and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
In the ruling overturning a Court of Criminal Appeals decision, the Supreme Court vacated the conviction of Frederick Herron by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury.55. Haslam Undaunted By Difficult Prospects for Insure Tennessee - Friday, March 27, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday that he is willing to risk a second defeat of his Insure Tennessee proposal to highlight the need for improving health standards in the state.56. Tennessee School Voucher Bill Scheduled for Senate Vote - Friday, March 27, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Legislation that would give parents the option to move a child from a failing public school to a private school is scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor on Monday.57. Bill Would Require Citizenship Test for Tennessee Students - Thursday, March 26, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee students would have to pass the U.S. citizenship and immigration services' civic test before getting a high school diploma under legislation advancing in the state House.58. House Panel OKs Bill to Let Tennessee End Pre-K Funding - Thursday, March 26, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A House subcommittee has advanced a bill to allow Tennessee to cancel federal pre-kindergarten funding if a court were to rule that the program must be offered to all of the state's 4-year-olds.59. Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Guns-In-Parking-Lots Update - Wednesday, March 25, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state Legislature on Monday passed a bill allowing workers to sue their employers if they are fired for storing guns in cars parked on company lots.
The Senate passed the measure on a 28-5 vote, and the House later followed suit on a 78-14 vote.60. AAA Fights to Keep Helmet Law in Tennessee - Wednesday, March 25, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – AAA motor club wants to put the brakes on proposed legislation that would allow many motorcyclists to ride without a helmet.
Currently, Tennessee law requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. But a bill that will be going to committee on Tuesday would allow anyone who is 21 or over who has health coverage, as long as it's not through TennCare, to be able to legally ride without a helmet.61. Tennessee Attorney General Wants Court to Set Aside Municipal Broadband Ruling - Wednesday, March 25, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee's attorney general wants a federal appeals court to set aside a recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission to allow cities like Chattanooga to offer municipal broadband beyond their normal service area.62. Tennessee School Voucher Bill Continuing to Advance in House - Wednesday, March 25, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is continuing to advance in the House.
The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville was approved 8-5 in a House education committee on Tuesday.63. 7 Tennessee School Systems Sue the State Over Funding - Wednesday, March 25, 2015
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Hamilton County and six Chattanooga-area school systems filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state saying local schools are not being funded as required by law.64. Bid to Revive Tennessee Medicaid Expansion Moving in Senate - Tuesday, March 24, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – An effort to revive Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal is advancing in the state Senate.
The Senate subcommittee on TennCare voted 3-2 on Monday to recommend a resolution sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jeff Yarbro of Nashville that would grant Haslam the power to strike a deal with the federal government on Medicaid expansion.65. - Saturday, March 21, 2015
TENNESSEE LEDGER...66. Tennessee Unemployment Falls to 6.6 Percent in February - Monday, March 23, 2015
Tennessee’s unemployment rate ticked down slightly in February, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The preliminary unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent in February, down from January’s revised rate of 6.7 percent.67. BankTennessee Makes New Hires, Promotions - Saturday, March 21, 2015
BankTennessee has announced several new hires and promotions.
Traci Stewart has been promoted to assistant branch manager for the bank’s East Memphis office, at 5540 Poplar Ave. She started as a teller in 2007 and was later promoted to customer service representative in 2013.68. Eurofix, Autofix Expand With Purchase of Middle Tennessee Midas Locations - Saturday, March 21, 2015
When you live in an “it” city, it’s important to have an “it” car, or at least that seems to be the thinking given the number of high-end imports seen around Middle Tennessee these days.69. Middle Tennessee Mayors Push for Gas Tax Increase - Saturday, March 21, 2015
A lot has changed in Middle Tennessee’s cities, towns and communities since 1990. Tennessee’s fuel tax has not.
The Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus met at the end of 2014 and took a hard look at how the state’s gas and fuel tax, which provides funding for transportation improvement, is stuck in 1990. Meanwhile, mayors are dealing with the realities of serving a fast-growing and booming region in 2015.70. Tennessee Attorney Sues Haslam Administration for Records - Friday, March 20, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A corporate tax attorney is suing Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's administration for refusing to produce documents under the Tennessee Open Records Act.
Brett Carter of the firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings filed the lawsuit alleging a "willful violation" of open records laws in chancery court in Nashville on Wednesday.71. Exemption in Tennessee Whiskey Law Raises Flags - Friday, March 20, 2015
An embattled state law establishing legal requirements to market spirits as “Tennessee Whiskey” could run afoul of both the U.S. and state constitutions for carving out a special exemption for a single distiller, according to a new legal opinion from state Attorney General Herbert Slatery.72. Legislation Keeps Tennessee Academic Standards - Friday, March 20, 2015
Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says an agreement has been reached on legislation that would keep the state’s current academic standards intact.73. Nissan to Build $160 Million Supplier Park at Tennessee Plant - Thursday, March 19, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Nissan Motor Co. announced plans Tuesday to build a new $160 million supplier park at its Tennessee assembly plant that the Japanese automaker projects to attract more than 1,000 jobs.74. Tennessee Supreme Court Announces Business Court Project - Thursday, March 19, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Supreme Court has announced the creation of a new business court pilot project that aims to make complex commercial litigation more efficient.
The new pilot court will be located in Nashville and be overseen by Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle. Lyle, who has been a chancellor since 1995, has presided over numerous complex business and commercial disputes.75. Secret 'Pre-Meetings' Become Commonplace in Tennessee House - Wednesday, March 18, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee House committees are increasingly gathering in cramped, tucked-away conference rooms in the legislative office complex to hold secret "pre-meetings" to discuss pending legislation. The public isn't informed or invited.76. Tennessee School Voucher Bill Headed for Full Senate Vote - Wednesday, March 18, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The House sponsor of a proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee says he's taking his time moving it through the legislative process after it failed in the last two legislative sessions.77. BankTennessee Makes New Hires, Announces Promotions - Wednesday, March 18, 2015
BankTennessee has announced several new hires and promotions.
Traci Stewart has been promoted to assistant branch manager for the bank’s East Memphis office, at 5540 Poplar Ave. She started as a teller in 2007 and was later promoted to customer service representative in 2013.78. Tennessee Education Chief Stresses Teachers are 'Valued' - Tuesday, March 17, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has a message for the state's teachers: You're valued.79. Tennessee Cemetery Owner Agrees to Probation in Plea Deal - Monday, March 16, 2015
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee cemetery owner accused of burying up to 200 bodies on land not owned by the business pleaded guilty Friday in exchange for 10 years' probation.
Jemar Lambert, the owner of Galilee Memorial Gardens in Bartlett, entered an Alford plea in Shelby County Criminal Court. Under an Alford plea, a defendant doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict.80. Tennessee Secretary of State Hires Reporter as Spokesman - Monday, March 16, 2015
Secretary of State Tre Hargett has named television reporter Adam Ghassemi as his new spokesman.
Ghassemi, who most recently worked for WTVF in Nashville, succeeds Blake Fontenay, who was originally hired to be a spokesman for Hargett, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard.81. Tennessee Unemployment Rate Up to 6.7 Percent in January - Saturday, March 14, 2015
Tennessee’s unemployment rate inched in the wrong direction in January while remaining above the national average.
The state preliminary unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in January, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, one-tenth of a percentage point higher than the 6.6 percent revised rate in December.82. Founding Fathers Brews Now Available in Tennessee - Saturday, March 14, 2015
Tennesseeans looking for a patriotic brew have a new option as Founding Fathers Brewing Co. lagers are now available throughout the state.83. - Saturday, March 14, 2015
TENNESSEE LEDGER...84. Bid to End Tennessee Carry Permit Requirement Fails in House - Friday, March 13, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to eliminate Tennessee's requirement to obtain a state-issued permit to openly carry handguns was defeated in a House subcommittee on Wednesday.
Republican Rep. Micah Van Huss Jonesborough said he introduced the measure because he believes that "current laws here in Tennessee infringe on the Second Amendment of our U.S. Constitution."85. Tennessee Launches Statewide Pothole Repair Plan - Friday, March 13, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Department of Transportation has launched a massive mission to patch the plethora of potholes across the state.
TDOT officials said in a statement that the agency plans to make use of the forecast for warmer temperatures over the next few days by using all available manpower to make repairs as quickly as possible. There will be multiple crews in all four regions of the station patching the damage left behind by snow and ice. Repairing all the damage will take weeks.86. Bill Requiring Racial Profiling Ban Passes Tennessee Senate - Thursday, March 12, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state Senate approved legislation on Monday that would require all of Tennessee's law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies to ban racial profiling.87. Tennessee Mulls Removing Control Over Guns in Parks - Thursday, March 12, 2015
Community parks, playgrounds and sports fields are among the few areas in Tennessee where local governments can ban people with handgun carry permits from being armed. Now gun-friendly state lawmakers are looking to change that.88. Founding Fathers Brews Now Available in Tennessee - Thursday, March 12, 2015
Tennesseeans looking for a patriotic brew have a new option as Founding Fathers Brewing Co. lagers are now available throughout the state.89. Tennessee Supreme Court Overturns Forfeiture of Home - Wednesday, March 11, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the government must show that it complied with state forfeiture laws – both procedurally and substantively – if it is going to seize someone's property.90. Tennessee House Advances Guns-in-Parks Bill Opposed By Haslam - Wednesday, March 11, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill seeking to strip city and county governments of the power to ban guns at local parks, playgrounds and athletic fields is advancing in the Tennessee House.91. Pera Elected Vice President of Tennessee Bar - Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Lucian T. Pera, partner in the Memphis office of Adams and Reese LLP, has been elected vice president of the Tennessee Bar Association and will automatically become president of the organization in 2017-2018. Pera, who joined Adams and Reese in 2006, concentrates his practice in commercial litigation, media law, and legal ethics and professional responsibility.92. Open Meetings Laws Don't Apply to Tennessee Transparency Panel - Tuesday, March 10, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A panel of experts assembled to offer advice on transparency issues is not subject to the state's open meetings law. At least that's the opinion of Ann Butterworth, who heads the Comptroller's Office of Open Records Counsel.93. Ceramic Tile Company to Open First US Facility in Tennessee - Monday, March 09, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Officials say a ceramics company will be opening its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Tennessee, creating 180 new jobs and investing $80 million to construct a new facility in Maury County.94. The Ransom Note on Tennessee Public Records - Saturday, March 07, 2015
The fastest way to shut down access to government records is to charge fees people can’t afford to pay.
Another way is to simply ignore or delay responding to citizens or media who make requests under the Tennessee Public Records Act.95. Tennessee Unemployment Rate Rises to 6.7 Percent - Friday, March 06, 2015
Tennessee’s unemployment rate inched in the wrong direction in January while remaining above the national average.
The state preliminary unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in January, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, one-tenth of a percentage point higher than the 6.6 percent revised rate in December. 96. Eakin: Rising Rents Hitting All of Middle Tennessee - Saturday, March 07, 2015
Selling business people on the idea of relocating to Nashville is easy for commercial real estate broker Barry R. Smith because he, too, bought into the city’s charm when he first came to town in 1981.97. - Saturday, March 07, 2015
TENNESSEE LEDGER...98. Tennessee Conservatives Launch Death Penalty Opposition - Friday, March 06, 2015
A statewide coalition working to eliminate the use of capital punishment is helping establish a conservative group also against the death penalty.
Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is working with Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a national network of political and social conservatives questioning the alignment of capital punishment with conservative principles and values.99. Snow Day for Tennessee Legislature, Votes Moved - Friday, March 06, 2015
Enough members of the Tennessee House and Senate have braved the winter storm gripping the state to hold their scheduled floor sessions at the Capitol, but decided to move the balance of their bills to next week because of heavy absences.100. Tennessee School Voucher Bill Advancing in House - Thursday, March 05, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is advancing in the House.
The so-called "opportunity scholarship" legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville passed an education subcommittee 7-1 on Tuesday. The companion bill was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.