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. 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.25. 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.26. Legislators Not Moved by Hymns, Reason - Thursday, April 09, 2015
The words of “We Shall Overcome” and “Wade in the Water” resonate through the halls as Insure Tennessee supporters descend on the Legislative Plaza for a key vote on the plan to provide coverage to 280,000 working Tennesseans.27. What Better Place for an NRA Convention? - Saturday, April 04, 2015
When the National Rifle Association announced that it would hold its 2015 convention in Nashville, the timing was propitious.
In 2010, gun sales and handgun permits were booming, and Tennessee had just enacted a controversial and contested new “guns in bars” law that allowed people with handgun permits to carry concealed firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.28. GOP Leader: 1-Time School Use Enough to Ban Guns in Parks - Friday, April 03, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A top Republican supporter of a bill to strip local governments of the power to bar handgun carry permit holders from being armed in parks, playgrounds and ball fields said Thursday that even if a school uses a park, playground or ball field for just one event per year, that would enable the school to ban guns there.29. Anti-Abortion Legislation Finds Little Resistance - Thursday, April 02, 2015
Buoyed by passage of Amendment 1 last fall, legislation restricting abortions is starting to roll – with relative ease – through the General Assembly.
Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, and Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, began the push recently with measures backed by Gov. Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and the Republican ranks. Their bills couldn’t even draw enough resistance to require a roll-call vote.30. Harwell to Again Co-Chair National Leadership Initiative - Monday, March 30, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell will once again co-chair the Republican State Leadership Committee's Right Women, Right Now initiative.31. Haslam Encouraged By Insure Tenn. Revival; Ramsey Skeptical - Wednesday, March 25, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that he's pleased to see his Insure Tennessee proposal revived in the Legislature, but the top Republican in the Senate called it unlikely that the measure will reach an up-or-down vote by the full chamber.32. 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.33. House Speaker Calls for 'Pre-Meeting' Transparency - Thursday, March 19, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell is calling for an end to secrecy in legislative "pre-meetings."34. 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.35. Battle of the Band(width) - Saturday, March 14, 2015
Joyce Coltrin’s business is wandering in Bradley County’s technological wilderness. And it’s likely to remain there – because of legal threats – until the General Assembly changes state law.36. Tennessee Public Television Stations Airing Legislative Show - Tuesday, March 03, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee public television stations are airing a new show about the happenings in the state Legislature.
The first of four 30-minute episodes of the "Tennessee Capitol Report" began airing Sunday morning, March 1, on public TV stations in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Lexington-Jackson and Cookeville. The next episodes are scheduled to air on March 29, April 26 and May 31.37. Insure Tennessee Fails to Win Sound Bite Test - Friday, February 13, 2015
Fresh off a resounding November re-election victory, Gov. Bill Haslam ran smack dab into the reality of Tennessee politics: The Republican Party abhors anything connected to President Barack Obama.38. Fresh Off Medicaid Loss, Haslam Pivots to Common Core Fight - Tuesday, February 10, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Fresh off his failed effort to persuade fellow Republicans in the Legislature that he wasn't peddling "Obamacare," Gov. Bill Haslam is pivoting to another tough fight over what he describes as the ruined brand of Common Core education standards.39. House Speaker: Gas Tax Increase Unlikely This Year - Saturday, February 07, 2015
House Speaker Beth Harwell says that Tennessee lawmakers are unlikely to take up a gas tax increase during this year's legislative session.40. 6 of 7 Who Killed Insure Tennessee are on State Health Plan - Friday, February 06, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Six of the seven Republican senators who voted to kill Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans are enrolled in the state government health plan.41. Insure Tennessee: Failure by Politics and Procedure - Friday, February 06, 2015
The momentum that killed the Insure Tennessee proposal and ended the special session of the Tennessee legislature Wednesday, Feb. 4, was fueled by ideological opposition to the Affordable Care Act and President Barack Obama.42. Haslam's Insure Tennessee Health Plan Fails in Legislature - Thursday, February 05, 2015
Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans has failed during a special legislative session.
The Senate Health Committee defeated the Republican governor's Insure Tennessee plan Wednesday on a 7-4 vote.43. House Speaker: Tennessee Gas Tax Increase Unlikely This Year - Thursday, February 05, 2015
House Speaker Beth Harwell says that Tennessee lawmakers are unlikely to take up a gas tax increase during this year’s legislative session.44. Harwell Offers Chairmen to Prepare Alternate Medicaid Plan - Wednesday, February 04, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell says she has offered to have her committee chairmen draw up an alternate proposal for Gov. Bill Haslam if his Insure Tennessee plan appears to be headed for defeat in the ongoing special legislative session.45. Harwell Shuffles House Committee Assignments - Saturday, January 24, 2015
Two chairmen and an internal challenger have been moved out of leadership positions by Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell.46. Harwell Shuffles House Committee Assignments - Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Two chairmen and an internal challenger have been moved out of leadership positions by Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell.47. Fellow Republicans Reluctant About Haslam's Health Proposal - Thursday, January 15, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to offer health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans is getting a tepid response from fellow Republicans in the Legislature – so much so, that he has yet to find a Senate sponsor for his proposal.48. Tenn. Lawmakers Convene 109th General Assembly - Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Tennessee lawmakers have convened the 109th General Assembly amid abortion rights protests inside the state Capitol.
Republican Rep. Beth Harwell of Nashville and Sen. Ron Ramsey of Blountville were re-elected as speakers of the House and Senate, while about 60 protesters outside shouted into a bullhorn, banged drums and chanted.49. Gas Tax Increase Gaining Momentum in Tennessee - Saturday, December 27, 2014
Momentum is mounting for a possible proposal to raise the state's gas tax for the first time in 25 years.
Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean he thinks a legislative proposal on the issue is close and could be introduced in the next General Assembly, which convenes in January.50. Gas Tax Increase Gaining Momentum in Tennessee - Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Momentum is mounting for a possible proposal to raise the state’s gas tax for the first time in 25 years.
Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean he thinks a legislative proposal on the issue is close and could be introduced in the next General Assembly, which convenes in January.51. Harwell Defeats Tea-Party Challenge for Speaker - Thursday, December 11, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell decisively defeated a tea-party challenge from Rep. Rick Womick on Wednesday to win the Republican nomination for another term in charge of the lower chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly.52. State Attorney General: Local Caucuses Subject to Open Meetings - Saturday, November 08, 2014
Attorney General Herbert Slatery says local legislative bodies like county commissions can establish partisan caucuses but that they would likely be subject to Tennessee's open meetings law.
Slatery said in a legal opinion released this week that nothing in state law prevents county commissioners from forming partisan caucuses even if they gain office through nonpartisan elections.53. AG: Local Caucuses Subject to Open Meetings - Friday, November 07, 2014
Attorney General Herbert Slatery says local legislative bodies like county commissions can establish partisan caucuses but that they would likely be subject to Tennessee's open meetings law.
Slatery said in a legal opinion released this week that nothing in state law prevents county commissioners from forming partisan caucuses even if they gain office through nonpartisan elections.54. House Speaker Harwell Open to Governor's Bid - Tuesday, October 28, 2014
PARIS, Tenn. (AP) – Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell is open to a possible run for statewide office in Tennessee.55. Online App for Tennessee Lawmakers Wins Award - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An online application for Tennessee lawmakers has won an award from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The group awarded the state Legislature the Legislative Staff Achievement Award for the new "Dashboard" for state senators and representatives.56. No On One - Friday, October 10, 2014
NO. IT’S HER DECISION, NOT YOURS. The Tennessee General Assembly is 83 percent male – and those big, strong men in the majority are convinced they know what’s best for the little ladies in the minority, in fact, what’s best for all the women of Tennessee.57. Haslam, Legislative Speakers Call Education Summit - Saturday, September 06, 2014
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey are convening a summit in Nashville to discuss education changes in Tennessee.58. Haslam, Legislative Speakers Call Education Summit - Thursday, September 04, 2014
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey are convening a summit in Nashville to discuss education changes in Tennessee.59. Tennessee Lawmaker Calls Haslam ‘Traitor’ to GOP - Wednesday, August 27, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – A Republican state lawmaker on Tuesday called Gov. Bill Haslam a "traitor to the party" over what he called efforts by a political action committee run by supporters to defeat opponents of Common Core education standards.60. Haslam Free Tuition Plan Garners Praise, Concern - Monday, April 07, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal this year, a program that would cover a full ride at two-year colleges for any high school graduate, appears on track to pass as lawmakers enter the waning days of the legislative session. The details, however – including how to pay for this perk in the years to come – remain scattered.61. For-Profit Charter Schools Bill Fails in House - Friday, April 04, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – A proposal to allow charter schools in Tennessee to be operated by for-profit groups failed in its final committee vote Thursday before reaching the House floor for debate.62. Haslam Signs Supermarket Wine Bill Into Law - Friday, March 21, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – After years of legislative debate, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday signed a law to allow supermarket wine sales in Tennessee.
Haslam was joined by the measure's sponsors, as well as the Senate and House speakers, who helped the passage of the legislation by bringing different parties to the table to discuss it.63. Jeb Bush: Follow Through on Common Core Standards - Friday, March 21, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday urged state officials to follow through on Common Core education standards despite what he called an "avalanche" of criticism from those who oppose them.64. Haslam Agenda Hits Hard Times in Tennessee Legislature - Tuesday, March 18, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's agenda is falling on hard times with fellow Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly.
A House vote last week to delay school curriculum and assessment standards was the latest defiance of the governor's wishes. The GOP supermajority in the Legislature this session has also:65. Bill to Block Nashville Amp Project Worries Haslam - Wednesday, March 12, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday raised concerns about efforts by fellow Republicans in the state Legislature to block a dedicated bus lane project through Nashville.
The governor told reporters after a speech to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce that although he has not formed an opinion about whether the project – called the Amp – is a good idea, he's worried about the possible precedent of legislative committees deciding over individual transportation projects in the state.66. Haslam Stands by Own Anti-Meth Proposal in House - Thursday, March 06, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday he is standing by his anti-meth proposal despite the bill being sidetracked in a House subcommittee earlier this week.
The Republican governor told The Associated Press that his proposal to limit sales of cold and allergy medicines used to make the illegal drug will do more to combat meth production in Tennessee than a rival measure with lesser restrictions.67. School Voucher Bill Advances in Tennessee House - Thursday, March 06, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – A proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is advancing in the House despite concerns from some lawmakers that the legislation would be detrimental to public schools.68. Tennessee House Passes Supermarket Wine Sales Bill - Friday, February 21, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – A years-long effort to allow wine to be sold outside of Tennessee liquor stores easily cleared what was expected to be its toughest hurdle on Thursday when the state House overwhelmingly approved the measure.69. Coley Works Tirelessly To End Human Trafficking - Tuesday, February 18, 2014
You may not know it, but human trafficking is a problem in Tennessee. It’s such a problem that Rep. Jim Coley, R-Bartlett, chairman of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee, has dedicated his career in office to fight against the crime in his home state.70. Tenn. Lawmakers: Volkswagen Incentives Threatened by UAW - Tuesday, February 11, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican lawmakers in Tennessee on Monday threatened that the state could turn off the spigot of incentives for Volkswagen if workers at the German automaker's plant decide this week to approve union representation.71. Tennessee Senate Passes Supermarket Wine Bill 23-8 - Thursday, January 30, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – Local governments could hold votes on whether to allow wine sales in supermarkets and convenience stores, under a bill the state Senate passed on Thursday.
The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro was approved on a 23-8 vote after the companion bill was revived in the House this week. Five Republicans voted against the measure, along with three Democrats.72. Wine-in-Supermarkets Bill Advances in House - Tuesday, January 28, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – The House committee that killed last year's version of a bill to allow wine sales in Tennessee grocery stores on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of giving cities the ability to hold referendums on the proposal.
73. Supermarket Wine Bill Up for Key Votes This Week - Monday, January 27, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – The full Senate is scheduled to vote this week on a proposal to allow wine to be sold in Tennessee supermarkets, while a House committee that derailed last year's version is set to consider reviving the measure.74. Supermarket Wine Bill Up for Key Votes Next Week - Friday, January 24, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – The full Senate is scheduled to vote next week on a proposal to allow wine to be sold in Tennessee supermarkets, while a House committee that derailed last year's version is set to consider reviving the measure.75. Grocery Wine Bill Negotiations Near Breakthrough - Wednesday, January 22, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – After years of bitter legislative fights over efforts to allow Tennessee grocery stores to sell wine, groups representing liquor stores and supermarkets are nearing an agreement that would give the measure its best ever chances of becoming law.76. Lawmakers Reconvene For 108th General Assembly - Wednesday, January 15, 2014
State lawmakers on Tuesday reconvened the 108th Tennessee General Assembly in a legislative session that is expected to feature debates over creating a school voucher program and whether to allow supermarkets to sell wine.77. Haslam to Decide on School Vouchers This Week - Monday, January 13, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam won't announce his decision about whether to support school voucher legislation until state lawmakers return into session this week.
The Republican governor last year supported a voucher program limited to students from low-income families attending failing schools. Haslam had that measure withdrawn when Senate Republicans sought to expand to a larger number of children.78. Republican Group Seeks to Put More Women in Office - Wednesday, September 11, 2013
NASHVILLE (AP) – The nation's largest caucus of Republican state leaders plans to spend $6 million to recruit 300 women to run for office in the next election cycle, women GOP leaders said Tuesday.79. Former Speaker Williams to Retire From Tennessee House - Friday, August 30, 2013
NASHVILLE (AP) – State Rep. Kent Williams, whose 2009 election as House speaker shocked and infuriated fellow Republicans, announced Thursday he won't seek a fifth term to instead run for Carter County mayor next year.80. Coley Named to Human Trafficking Task Force - Saturday, July 06, 2013
State Representative Jim Coley of Bartlett has been appointed to the state’s human trafficking task force.81. Coley Named to Human Trafficking Task Force - Wednesday, July 03, 2013
State Representative Jim Coley of Bartlett has been appointed to the state’s human trafficking task force.82. Tennessee GOP: Infighting Typical of Supermajority - Monday, April 29, 2013
Republicans, positioned to make major changes to state law with the governorship and a supermajority in the General Assembly, ended the session with some high-profile measures derailed by infighting.83. Casada Abandons Revival of Campaign Finance Bill - Monday, April 22, 2013
NASHVILLE (AP) – The sponsor of a bill seeking to boost the amount of money political groups can give to candidates and to do away with reporting requirements for donations by corporations on Thursday dropped an effort to revive the failed measure.84. Casada Faces High Hurdle on Campaign Finance Bill - Saturday, April 20, 2013
An effort to revive a failed bill to boost the amount of money political groups can give to candidates and to do away with reporting requirements for donations by corporations faces a high hurdle in the House.85. Casada Faces High Hurdle on Campaign Finance Bill - Friday, April 19, 2013
An effort to revive a failed bill to boost the amount of money political groups can give to candidates and to do away with reporting requirements for donations by corporations faces a high hurdle in the House.86. House Panel Advances Welfare Penalty for Parents - Thursday, April 11, 2013
NASHVILLE (AP) – A Tennessee House committee on Tuesday recommended passing a bill that would dock the welfare payments of parents of children who fail at a school despite Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's opposition to the measure.87. Most Top Issues Decided as Session Hits Final Lap - Tuesday, April 09, 2013
NASHVILLE (AP) – The path may have been rocky at times for the new Republican supermajority in the General Assembly, but leaders are pleased that many of the most contentious issues have been decided as lawmakers enter the final few weeks of the session.88. House GOP Leader Against Resurrecting Wine Bill - Monday, April 01, 2013
House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick says he favors a bill to allow wine to be sold in Tennessee supermarkets and convenience stores, but would oppose efforts to hold a re-vote in a committee where it narrowly failed.89. Harwell Travels to Pennsylvania for Mother's Funeral - Friday, March 15, 2013
NASHVILLE (AP) – Rep. Curtis Johnson is presiding over the Tennesee House while Speaker Beth Harwell is away to attend to her mother's funeral.90. Supermarket Wine Bill Fails by 1 Vote in House - Wednesday, March 13, 2013
NASHVILLE (AP) – A proposal to loosen wine sale laws in Tennessee has failed by a single vote in a House committee after members of the panel refused to grant the sponsor a week's delay to negotiate a final version.91. Judicial Redistricting Plan Leaves Shelby Same - Wednesday, March 13, 2013
About a year after the Tennessee legislature set new district lines for itself and the state’s nine members of Congress, it is about to set the district lines for civil and criminal trial court judges at the state level.92. Renewed Bid Would Dilute Tennessee Open Meetings Law - Monday, March 11, 2013
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.93. Harwell Vote Rescues Grocery Store Wine Bill - Thursday, March 07, 2013
House Speaker Beth Harwell has rescued a bill to allow supermarket wine sales by casting the deciding vote in a subcommittee where the measure faced defeat.94. Tennessee GOP Lawmakers Seek to Back Away From 'Fringe' - Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Before a House vote to give final approval to a contentious firearms bill last week, Speaker Beth Harwell implored her Republican colleagues to ignore demands from what she deemed “fringe” groups to make major changes to the measure.95. Tennessee House Sends Parking Lot Guns Bill to Governor - Saturday, March 02, 2013
The Tennessee House has voted to send to the governor’s desk a bill to allow the state’s nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.96. House Sends Parking Lot Guns Bill to Governor - Friday, March 01, 2013
The House has voted to send to the governor’s desk a bill to allow the state’s nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.97. Supermarket Wine Bill Advances by 1 Vote in Senate - Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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.98. Nashville School Board Chair Calls Bill ‘Horrid’ - Wednesday, February 20, 2013
NASHVILLE (AP) – A plan that would let state officials overrule local school board decisions about charter schools in the state's two largest cities is being sharply criticized.
The Tennessean reported members of the Metro Nashville Council, the board of the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and opposing state legislators gathered Monday at Legislative Plaza in Nashville, where school board chairwoman Cheryl Mayes derided the bill as "horrid."99. Despite Wide Legislative Power, Harwell Has Plenty of Work Ahead - Thursday, January 31, 2013
Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell today sits at the pinnacle of legislative power, overseeing a House Republican majority of better than 2-1.100. White to Chair House Education Subcommittee - Saturday, January 19, 2013
Republican state Rep. Mark White of Memphis has been named chairman of the House Education Subcommittee by House Speaker Beth Harwell.