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Editorial Results (free)

1. Cohen Prevails, Incumbents Dominate -

Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen held off Thursday, Aug. 7, the most serious electoral challenge he’s faced since winning the Congressional seat in 2006, in the form of attorney Ricky E. Wilkins.

2. Volkswagen to Build New SUV in Tennessee, Add 2,000 Jobs -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Volkswagen plans to build a new seven-passenger SUV at its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, adding about 2,000 factory jobs as it tries to reverse U.S. sales that have fallen for the past two years.

3. House Passes Haslam Free Tuition Plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is headed to his desk after passing the House on Tuesday.

4. Tennessee Legislative Session Nearing End -

Legislative leaders are hoping to adopt Tennessee's annual spending plan as early as this week, clearing the way to the conclusion of the legislative session.

But that assumes that the Republican-controlled House and Senate can find quick agreement over budget cuts proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam to close a funding gap created by flagging tax revenues.

5. Harris Files Ford Challenge at Deadline -

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris is challenging Democratic state Sen. Ophelia Ford in the August primary for District 29, the Senate seat held by a member of the Ford family since 1975.

6. Watered-Down Meth Bill Advancing in Tenn. House -

A watered-down version of Gov. Bill Haslam's anti-meth legislation is advancing in the House, though significant differences remain with the Senate bill.

The House Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday advanced the measure that would set an annual cap of 150 days' worth of allergy and cold medicines like Sudafed that could be bought without prescription. That's double the amount envisioned under Haslam's previous proposal.

7. Haslam Stands by Own Anti-Meth Proposal in House -

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.

8. House GOP Leader Against Resurrecting Wine Bill -

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.

9. Senators Press to Allow Student IDs for Voting -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Senate sponsor of a bill to allow people to display student IDs to vote said Monday he plans to press ahead with the matter even through the version approved by the House would not allow the practice.

10. Critics of Vanderbilt Policy Seek to Strip Police Power -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Opponents of a Vanderbilt University policy banning discrimination in student groups want to enact a law to strip the private school of its police powers if it doesn't change its ways.

11. ‘Bad Cop’ McCormick Tries to Rein in Fellow Republicans -

State Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said he sometimes has “to play the bad cop.”

12. Bill to Overhaul TRA Passes Tenn. House 60-28 -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to overhaul the Tennessee Regulatory Authority passed the House on Tuesday despite criticism that it's unnecessary.

The measure carried by Republican Rep. Pat Marsh of Shelbyville was approved 60-28 on Tuesday. Voting for the bill were 58 Republicans, one Democrat and one independent. Twenty-five Democrats and three Republicans voted against the proposal, including Rep. Matthew Hill, son of TRA Chairman Kenneth Hill.

13. Muni School District Bill Goes To Conference -

An amended bill that would permit suburban citizens to vote this year on forming municipal school districts is on its way to a Tennessee Legislature conference committee in the closing week of the legislative session.

14. Tradition of Secret Budget Meetings Alive in Tenn. -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee lawmakers' long tradition of meeting secretly to hash out budget plans is alive and well.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick confirmed to The Associated Press that key legislators met for several hours at a Nashville restaurant on Sunday to work through budget amendments.

15. Reactions to Schools Legislation Changing in Nashville -

Tennessee legislators from outside Shelby County got a look at where the Shelby County schools reformation discussion was in January this week on Capitol Hill in Nashville.

And they didn’t like the idea that their counties could be living with Shelby County rules.

16. Municipal Schools Referendums Remain Off 2012 Calendar -

Referendums in the Shelby County suburbs on the creation of municipal school districts remain off the table after the Tennessee House removed an amendment from a bill that would have set the stage for holding the referendums this year.

17. VW Conducting National Search to Fill Tenn. Jobs -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Volkswagen is conducting a national search to fill the most specialized of 1,000 new jobs at its Chattanooga plant.

The German automaker said Monday that it is using a national print and online advertising campaign to fill specialty positions, including maintenance technicians, manufacturing engineers and logistics supervisors.

18. Bill Lifting Muni School Ban Advances -

A bill in the Tennessee Legislature to lift the statewide ban on creating municipal school districts is moving as the legislative session nears an end.

The House Education subcommittee approved the bill Wednesday, March 28, on a voice vote with the House Education Committee to consider the bill next week.

19. Municipal School District Bill Moves In Nashville -

A bill in the Tennessee legislature to lift the statewide ban on creating municipal school districts is moving as the legislative session nears an end.

The House education subcommittee approved the bill Wednesday, March 28, on a voice vote with the House education committee to consider the bill next week.

20. Tenn. House OKs Expansion of Business Cash Grants -

NASHVILLE (AP) – House Republicans insist their vote Wednesday for a plan to expand the scope of a state economic development inventive program does not conflict with their mantra that government can't create jobs.

21. School Board Rejects Building Transfer Rules -

Countywide school board members rejected Thursday, March 22, an agreement with county government on the possible transfer of school buildings to municipal school districts that would check possible legislation in Nashville on the same general subject.

22. Muni School District Votes on Hold -

At week’s end, the move to municipal school districts had slowed for a possible pit stop in Shelby County Chancery Court.

And efforts in the Tennessee Legislature to check a possible legal challenge of the state law that allows the suburban school districts specifically in Shelby County encountered some vocal non-Memphis resistance in the House Education Subcommittee.

23. AG's Opinion Familiar Front In Schools Discussion -

The schools consolidation saga is moving into déjà vu territory with a new legal opinion from the Tennessee attorney general on a schools ballot question and legislation affecting the process moving in Nashville.

24. NRA Aims to Shoot Down Parking Lot Gun Exceptions -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The National Rifle Association is pressuring Republican lawmakers to abandon proposed limitations to a measure that would let workers store firearms in vehicles parked on their employers' lots.

25. Home Alone -

For many senior citizens, access to homemaker services – such as housekeeping and grocery shopping – enables them to continue living in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible.

26. GOP Discuss Need for 'Don't Say Gay' Ban -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Legislation that would ban the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students may be stalled, as Republican lawmakers discuss whether they should proceed with the bill.

27. Haslam Plan on Judges Survives Early Challenge -

MOUNT PLEASANT, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's plan for writing the state's judicial selection system into the Tennessee Constitution survived a challenge Tuesday from a fellow Republican in the state House.

28. State GOP Cries Foul Over Dems' Proposals -

If Democrats have their way, the Tennessee General Assembly would meet only every second year, lawmakers’ daily expenses would be capped and bill sponsors would have to divulge if their legislation originated with national groups.

29. Haslam, Speakers Want to Keep Judge Appointments -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The state's top Republicans want to place a ballot measure before Tennessee voters to eliminate any constitutional questions about the current system for appointing judges.

30. Tenn. GOP Leaders Press for Hall, Estate Tax Cuts -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican leaders in the General Assembly plan to forge ahead with efforts to reduce the state's inheritance and Hall income taxes despite Gov. Bill Haslam's concerns that Tennessee's economic situation isn't healthy enough to make up for the lost revenues.

31. Todd Resigns as Chairman of House Firearms Panel -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Rep. Curry Todd has resigned as chairman of a Republican firearms task force in the state House following his arrest on drunken driving and gun charges.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said Thursday that he accepted the resignation because Todd "has other things to concentrate on."

32. House Firearms Panel Postponed After Todd Arrest -

NASHVILLE (AP) – House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said Thursday that he will postpone and possibly disband a special firearms task force following the arrest of its chairman, Rep. Curry Todd, on drunken driving and gun charges.

33. Governor Ponders Future of Regulatory Agency -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says the functions of the Tennessee Regulatory Agency might better be performed by the state's executive branch.

In an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Haslam raised the possibility of doing away with the agency, which determines rates for most for-profit utilities and sets service standards.

34. Tenn. Passes Web Entertainment Theft Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – State lawmakers in country music's capital have passed a groundbreaking measure that would make it a crime to use a friend's login – even with permission – to listen to songs or watch movies from services such as Netflix or Rhapsody.

35. Gov: Budget to Fund More Key Services in Tenn. -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Increased state revenues will provide millions in extra funding for flood and storm relief, mental health care, and other key projects and services in Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday.

36. GOP, Dems Clash Over 3rd Parties on Tenn. Ballot -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republicans are balking at a Democratic senator's proposal to make it easier for minor parties to be listed on the Tennessee ballot.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis wants to set a threshold of 10,000 signatures from eligible voters for a third party to be recognized in the state, down from a GOP proposal of about 40,000 signatures from registered voters.

37. 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.

38. GOP Leaders Plan Changes to Education This Year -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee Republican leaders say they plan to reform the state's education system, including possibly lifting the cap on charter schools and re-evaluating when high school teachers should get tenure.

39. House Votes to Honor Wamp on Leaving Congress -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee House has passed a resolution to honor the congressional service of U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp.

The Chattanooga Republican is running for governor this year instead of pursuing another term in Congress.

40. Bredesen: Teacher Testing Deal Needed by Weds. Evening -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Phil Bredesen said a final agreement on how to use student test scores in teacher evaluations was needed by late Wednesday to keep the state's application for nearly half a billion dollars in federal "Race to the Top" money on track.

41. Klan Founder's Bust Moved from Tenn. House Chamber -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A bust of Civil War general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest has been moved from outside the doors of the Tennessee House chamber but still remains in a place of prominence on the main floor of the state Capitol.

42. Effort to Drop Contribution Limits Raises Concerns -

A proposal described by the House sponsor as a "radical departure" from Tennessee's current campaign finance laws is raising concerns from members of both parties in the Tennessee General Assembly.

43. Tenn. GOP Lawmaker Abandons Resurrecting Voting Bills -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker said Tuesday that he decided not to resurrect three voting bills in the House because he didn't want to "open up a Pandora's box" that might encourage other lawmakers to revive proposals.

44. Speaker Wary of GOP Bid to Resurrect Voting Bills -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker's attempt to resurrect three voting bills is raising concerns about delaying the conclusion of the legislative session.

The bills Rep. Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga wants to bring up would require a photo ID to vote and proof of citizenship to register, and would allow deployed troops to fax or e-mail their absentee ballots.

45. Bill Would Deregulate Basic Landline Service -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposal to deregulate the price of basic landline phone service in Tennessee is headed to the governor.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga passed the House 90-1 on Thursday. Rep. G. A. Hardaway, a Democrat from Memphis, was the only representative to vote against the bill.

46. Bill to Allow Corporate Contributions Fails -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to allow corporations to give campaign contributions in Tennessee has failed this session.

The measure sponsored by Gerald McCormick, a Chattanooga Republican, failed in the House Elections Subcommittee on Wednesday.

47. House Panel Advances Phone Service Deregulation -

Tennessee lawmakers are considering a bill to remove state control over the costs of phone services such as directory assistance, caller ID and regional calls between cities.

The bill advocated by AT&T Inc. and sponsored by state Rep. Gerald McCormick, a Chattanooga Republican, cleared the House Banking and Utilities Subcommittee on Tuesday.

48. Panel Advances Limits To Tenn. Lawmaker Travel -

Tennessee lawmakers could only be reimbursed for one out-of-state trip each year under legislation advancing in the state House.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Stacey Campfield, a Knoxville Republican, was unanimously advanced to the full House State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday.