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Editorial Results (free)

1. Senate Approves Haslam's School Voucher Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Senate has approved Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee.

The measure approved 20-10 on Thursday is different than the House version that has stalled in the House Finance Committee.

2. Senate Panel to Take Up School Voucher Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Lawmakers are hoping to get some kind of school voucher legislation moving again this week.

Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday. The companion bill was withdrawn from consideration in the House Finance Committee.

3. Senate School Voucher Bill Delayed -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Senate version of a bill to create a school voucher program in Tennessee has been delayed to allow sponsors of the measure and a competing version to try to work out differences.

4. Senate Education Panel Holds Hearings on Common Core -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Supporters and critics of a new set of benchmarks for math and reading are getting their voices heard this week, as a state Senate panel holds hearings on the common core standards that have been adopted to some degree by 47 states and the District of Columbia.

5. Senate, House Ensnared in Health Care Controversy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Implacable Republican opposition to Obamacare has Congress once more veering closer to gridlock.

In the House, more than 50 conservatives support tacking a one-year delay in implementing the health care law onto a bill needed to prevent a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1.

6. Bipartisan Senate Group Pushes Reporter Shield Law -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday pressed forward with a reporter shield bill that includes new Justice Department guidelines for investigations that involve the media.

7. Senate Approval Seen for Obama Health Care Nominee -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican lawmakers are heaping praise on a former nurse picked by President Barack Obama to run Medicare and Medicaid, and also oversee his health care law.

If the Senate confirms Marilyn Tavenner, as expected, it may be the closest thing to a truce in the nation's political wars over health care.

8. Senate Passes Cuts for All but Richest Americans -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has debated, sniped and voted on the politically fraught issue of tax cuts, and next week the House is likely to do it all over again. Still, Americans won't know until after the November elections how much more of their paychecks will go to the government next year.

9. Senate Votes to Move Ahead on Small Business Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Legislation making it easier for small businesses to raise money survived a test vote in the Senate on Wednesday, increasing the chances it could emerge as one of the few bipartisan bills to pass Congress during this election year.

10. State Senate to Vote on Closing Teacher Evaluation Data -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A bill to close public access to teacher evaluation data is headed for a full Senate vote.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee voted 7-0 on Tuesday to advance the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville.

11. Senate Votes to Extend Higher Loan Limits -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has voted to extend higher limits on federally backed mortgage loans for two more years.

The 60-38 vote late Thursday meant that through 2013, the government would continue to insure mortgages worth as much as $729,750 in high-priced housing markets. Those limits expired on Oct. 1, dropping that ceiling to $625,000.

12. Senate Plans Express Scripts-Medco Hearing -

NEW YORK (AP) – A Senate antitrust subcommittee plans to hold a hearing on the proposed combination of pharmacy benefits managers Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions Inc. It would be the second committee to look into the $29.1 billion deal.

13. Senate Republicans Offer Their Own Jobs Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republicans introduced legislation Thursday aimed at creating jobs by overhauling the nation's tax laws, cutting business rules and boosting offshore oil exploration.

14. Senate Republicans Block Hearing on Trade Bills -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republicans have blocked a hearing on three trade bills because they do not want to link the deals to an extension of a program that retrains workers hurt by foreign trade.

15. Senate Looks at Ways to Help Post Office -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It looks like rescuing the financially struggling Postal Service is going to require thinking outside the mailbox.

The post office was more than $2 billion in the red for the first three months of this year and is facing an $8 billion loss for the fiscal year, which could force it to default on some payments to federal accounts.

16. Tenn. Senate Requires Insurance Cover Hearing Aids -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would require Tennessee insurance companies to include hearing aids for individuals up to 18 years of age in their policies despite opponents who say the mandate could drive up health care costs.

17. Woodson to Leave Tenn. Senate to Head Up Education Group -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican Sen. Jamie Woodson of Knoxville will step down at the end of the legislative session after being named president and CEO of former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist's State Collaborative on Reforming Education.

18. Senate Sends Teacher Bargaining Bill to Committee -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The sponsor of a bill to strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights has moved the measure back to the Senate Education Committee.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Jack Johnson of Franklin cleared the same panel in February on a 6-3 party line vote, but had not received a full Senate vote as the House has advanced a version that would stop short of eliminating union negotiations altogether.

19. Senate Bill Aims to Combat Pharmaceutical Theft -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Law enforcement officials would have more leeway to pursue and punish criminals who steal prescription pharmaceuticals under a proposal introduced Tuesday by Senate lawmakers.

20. Tenn. Senate Passes 'Health Freedom Act' -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Republican-controlled Senate passed a measure Wednesday that would allow Tennesseans to opt out of the federal health care law despite opposition from some who say the proposal is unnecessary and pure politics.

21. Senate Panel to Hear Tenn. English License Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A measure that would require Tennessee's driver's license test to be given only in English is more likely to pass this session despite concerns from some opponents that it will hurt the state's economic development.

22. Republicans Press for Senate Vote on Health Care -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republicans want to box majority Democrats into allowing a health care repeal vote even if GOP lawmakers expect to be on the losing side.

"We need to have a vote on it because we promised the people we would," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on "Face the Nation" on CBS. "We have to have a vote on repeal so that everybody is on record whether they want to repeal."

23. Senate GOP Leader Takes Aim at Health Care Law -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate's Republican leader has a simple postelection message for President Barack Obama: Move toward the GOP or get no help from its lawmakers.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday offered an aggressive assessment of the election results, calling for votes to erode the reach of the health care law that was a signature of the Obama administration.

24. Senate Hearings to Probe Chancellor Hiring -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Senate Education Committee will meet later this month to discuss the composition of the Tennessee Board of Regents and its hiring of the new chancellor.

The Tennessean reports the committee will review Bredesen's appointments to the TBR and a state law that gives them the power to remove appointees.

25. Senate Approves Jobs Bill to Stop Teacher Layoffs -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Legislation long sought by Democrats to save the jobs of up to 300,000 teachers, police and other public workers passed the Senate on Thursday.

The 61-39 vote – to be followed by a rush vote next week in the House – should come in time for many school districts to revisit decisions to lay off teachers before the new school year.

26. Senate Approves Higher Government Mortgage Fees -

Higher monthly fees are coming for consumers who take out home loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, the primary source of mortgages for first-time homebuyers.

The Senate late Wednesday unanimously approved legislation giving the FHA the power to hike monthly premiums it charges to consumers.

27. Senate Democrats Abandon Comprehensive Energy Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats on Thursday abandoned plans to pass an energy bill that caps emissions of carbon dioxide, saying Republicans refuse to support the measure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said no Republican was willing to back a comprehensive energy bill, a development he called "terribly disappointing."

28. Obama Bypasses Senate for New Health Program Chief -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama bypassed the Senate on Wednesday by by appointing an educator to head the government's two main health programs while Congress was not in session.

The decision to use a so-called recess appointment to install Dr. Donald Berwick, a Harvard University professor and patient care specialist as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services drew immediate fire from Republicans. The appointment while the Senate was absent means Berwick can serve until the end of next year without facing questions from Senate Republicans in confirmation hearings.

29. Alexander Sets Date for Senate Hearing on Floods -

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said he does not want to judge the actions of federal agencies during last month’s flooding in Tennessee before listening to their representatives at a Senate hearing next month.

30. Senate Votes to Urge AG to Join Health Lawsuit -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Senate has voted 21-7 to pass a resolution urging the Tennessee attorney general to join states challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care overhaul.

31. Tenn. Senate Votes to Reject Health Care Mandate -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to require the state attorney general to mount a legal challenge to any federal law to require participation in a health care system.

32. Tennessee Senate Passes Higher Ed Proposal -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Senate on Thursday unanimously passed Gov. Phil Bredesen’s plan for overhauling the state’s higher education system to improve Tennessee’s poor graduation rate at community colleges and four-year schools.

33. Senate Confronts Abortion in Health Care Debate -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The divisive issue of abortion emerged Monday as an obstacle to Senate passage of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul as a moderate Democrat proposed tough restrictions that liberals said they could not possibly accept.

34. Senate Girds for Historic Debate on Health Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional budget crunchers said Thursday the Democrats' latest health care plan would hold down federal red ink for at least 20 years, an assessment that gave supporters hope as the Senate moved gingerly toward a historic debate.

35. Senate Committee Approves Health Care Plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) - With support from a lone Republican, a key Senate committee Tuesday approved a middle-of-the-road health care plan that moves President Barack Obama's goal of wider and affordable coverage a giant step closer to becoming law.

36. Senate Finance Starts Work on Sweeping Health Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Under pressure from fellow Democrats, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee decided to commit an additional $50 billion over a decade toward making insurance more affordable for working class families, officials said Tuesday as the panel opened debate on sweeping health care legislation.

37. Senate Bill Could Weaken the Fed -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Consensus is building in the Senate for legislation that would significantly weaken the Federal Reserve by stripping its power to oversee banks and hand that job to a single federal bank regulator.

38. Senate's 10-Year Health Fix Would Cost $856B -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Max Baucus on Wednesday brought out the much-awaited Finance Committee version of an American health-system remake – a landmark $856 billion, 10-year measure that starts a rough ride through Congress without visible Republican backing.

39. Obama Wants Senate Health Bill Quickly -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Democrats are moving ahead with sweeping health care legislation as President Barack Obama prods a Senate committee chairman to take faster action on a companion measure.

40. Senate Off to a Rocky Start on Health Care -

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate on Wednesday began writing legislation to revamp the nation's health care system, but its historic first step was overshadowed by partisan anger and cost problems that troubled lawmakers on both sides.

41. AP Sources: Senate Health Overhaul Costs Top $1.6T -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate sources say the latest cost estimates for health care legislation are around $1.6 trillion over 10 years.

Two Senate staffers, one Democratic and one Republican, said Congressional Budget Office estimates put the cost of the Finance Committee version of the bill at around $1.6 trillion.

42. US Senate Dems to Start Work Next Week on Health Care -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democrats announced plans Tuesday to begin committee work next week on health care legislation designed to assure coverage for millions of Americans who now lack it, a key objective of the Obama administration.

43. Senate to Hear Tenn. Abortion Amendment -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposal to change the Tennessee Constitution to allow the state to impose greater limits on abortions will be heard by the Senate.

The resolution sponsored by Republican Sen. Diane Black of Gallatin was scheduled for a full Senate vote Monday evening.

44. Senate Dems Squabble Over Which Homeowners to Help -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Disagreement among Senate Democrats over how many struggling homeowners should qualify for court-ordered mortgage relief has stalled a key part of President Barack Obama's foreclosure prevention plan on Capitol Hill.

45. Senate Passes Stimulus; Treasury Unveils Bank Help -

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate approved President Barack Obama's giant economic stimulus measure on Tuesday, part of a string of powerful government steps that could marshal close to $3 trillion in taxpayer and private money to revive the collapsing national economy.

46. Tenn. Senate Rejects Bill to Allow Minors to Work Where Smoking Allowed -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Senate on Monday rejected a proposal to allow people younger than 21 to work in restaurants that allow smoking.

The Senate voted 15-8 against the bill sponsored by Sen. Paul Stanley, a Memphis Republican. There were seven abstentions.

47. Tenn. Senate Passes Exemption for Churches for 'No Smoking' Signs -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Senate has unanimously passed a bill to exempt churches from a state law that requires "No Smoking" signs be posted at their entrances.

The state's indoor smoking ban went into effect in October. The ban applies to most indoor businesses and public places, and requires that the international "No Smoking" symbol be posted at all entrances.

48. Senate Speaker Seeks UpdateOn Ophelia Ford's Health -      State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is asking for an update on the health of state Sen. Ophelia Ford after being told earlier this month she would miss several weeks of the legislative session with an unspecified illness.49. Senate Approves Bill Allowing Guns Where Alcohol Served -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee is a step closer to joining more than 30 other states that allow individuals with handgun permits to carry the weapon in establishments that serve alcohol.

The measure sponsored by Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, passed the Senate 24-6 on Wednesday. The House bill remains in a subcommittee.

50. Senate Panel Approves Increase in Limit on the National Debt -

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate panel on Wednesday approved an increase in the limit on the national debt to $9.82 trillion, the fifth increase in the government's borrowing limit since President Bush took office.

51. Senate Democratic Leader Basks in Role of 'Head Cowboy' -

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis was in a celebratory mood as the legislative session drew to a close last week.

Democrats had lost control of the Senate earlier in the year with the election of Republican Speaker Ron Ramsey, but still managed to shepherd most of Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen's agenda toward passage.

52. Bowers Exits Senate Race, Cites Poor Health, Not Indictment -      When voters head to the polls in November to choose a candidate to represent them in state Senate District 33, Kathryn Bowers, D-Memphis, no longer will be one of the choices.
     Citing he