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Editorial Results (free)

1. Medicaid Cuts Could Hit Rural Children Hardest -

As Congress fiddles with an Obamacare replacement, one likely to cut billions in Medicaid spending, health care experts warn a decrease in funding could be hard on Tennessee.

During a recent forum in Jackson, Andy Schneider of the Georgetown Center on Children and Families reported that 50 percent of Tennessee’s children in small towns and rural areas are covered by Medicaid, a higher percentage than the rest of the nation, and more than in Tennessee’s urban areas where 39 percent have Medicaid.

2. Green Drops Gubernatorial Bid After Failed Trump Nomination -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Mark Green announced Friday that he will not resume his bid for Tennessee governor after withdrawing from consideration as President Donald Trump's pick for Army secretary.

3. Green Puts Off Public Announcement of Gubernatorial Plans -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Mark Green has made up his mind about whether to rejoin the governor's race in Tennessee, but he doesn't want to make his decision public until later this week.

4. Tennessee House Democrat Announces He Will Retire in 2018 -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee House Democratic lawmaker has announced he will retire next year at the end of this Republican-led General Assembly.

In a letter to supporters Friday, Rep. Joe Pitts of Clarksville said he's retiring to allow another citizen legislator experience the excitement of helping constituents.

5. Haslam Credits Republican Leadership for Budget, Economic Accomplishments -

With the legislative session finished, Gov. Bill Haslam is touting budget accomplishments and a strong economy as the result of Republican leadership.

In a Capitol Hill press conference shortly after the General Assembly adjourned for the year, the governor called passage of a $37 billion budget, the second consecutive one with no new debt, as the Legislature’s most important act.

6. Last Word: Deeper on Beale, End of Session and Johnny Mathis -

Beale Street keeps its cover charge on Saturday nights during its Memphis In May peak. But the district has some complex questions to resolve about its future and who controls that future. If that wasn’t evident before, it became apparent at City Hall Tuesday. It wasn’t the council action on the Beale Street Bucks program that was significant as much as it was the council’s discussion.

7. View From the Hill: Gas Tax Rancor Lingers as Session Coasts to Close -

Remnants of rancor over Republican leadership roiled the House, a reminder of outrage over roguish behavior as representatives reached the finish line.

Alliteration is probably better suited for poetry. But in a case of what could be considered poetic justice, at least for some, this literary device – goofiness maybe – is suitable for legislative action requiring a score card to keep up with the characters and a bit of history to put it all together.

8. House Approves Education Fund Concept, But Senate Action Put on Hold -

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh pushed his K-12 education fund to passage Tuesday, May 9, but the possibility of funding and Senate approval will have to wait until 2018.

Dubbed the “K-12 Block Grant Act,” the measure calls for setting aside $250 million in excess state revenue for interest-generating investment to provide grant money for school systems statewide. Each system could use the funds for state-approved programs such as reading coaches or dual enrollment, items not funded through Tennessee’s Basic Education Program.

9. Tennessee House Abandons Amendments Before Approving State Budget -

Putting a day of acrimony behind it, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $37 billion budget plan on Friday, May 5, stripping away nearly $320 million in amendments placed on it the previous day.

10. Republican In-fighting in Tenn. House Stirs Up Budget Mess -

The House of Representatives adjourned in apparent disarray Thursday, May 4, after arguing over amendments to a $37 billion budget plan, some saying discord stemmed from votes on the governor’s IMPROVE Act.

11. $250M K-12 Education Fund Hits Legislative Hurdle -

NASHVILLE – Legislation by Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh seeking to create a $250 million education fund may have to fit through the eye of a needle to get into Gov. Bill Haslam’s $37 billion budget plan.

12. Last Word: Election Day, Game 6 and School Vouchers Get Rolled -

Intermission in the NBA playoffs as tipoff of Game 6 approaches Thursday evening at the Forum. Look at all of the clouds as the lights dimming and letting you know it’s time to take your seats for the show that is reigniting the local passion for basketball.

13. Proposed $250M K-12 Education Fund Hits Legislative Hurdle -

Legislation by Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh seeking to create a $250 million education fund may have to fit through the eye of a needle to get into Gov. Bill Haslam’s $37 billion budget plan.

14. View From the Hill: IMPROVE Act an Insight Into Testy Election Ahead -

In case anyone’s keeping stats, Senate leadership soundly defeated House leadership this session in the gas tax/tax cut battle.

Whether this is a forerunner to a Republican gubernatorial primary remains to be seen as Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and House Speaker Beth Harwell weigh decisions. It’s not as if they’d be facing off against each other, though, since businessman Bill Lee and former Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd are definitely in the race and not hurting for money.

15. Bill Approved to Open Officer-Involved Shooting Death Cases to the Public -

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation Monday, April 24, requiring records about officer-involved shooting deaths be open to the public.

Sponsored by Rep. G.A. Hardaway and Sen. Lee Harris, both Memphis Democrats, the move opens the curtain on Tennessee Bureau of Investigation records, which are exempt from the Tennessee Open Records Act and confidential. Generally they are disclosed to the public only through a court order.

16. University of Memphis, UTHSC May Soon Face Outsourcing Decisions -

Forty-one state lawmakers signed a letter requesting the state put a hold on its outsourcing plans until the General Assembly can scrutinize its effect on state workers and services.

The state is set to sign a contract April 28 with Chicago-based JLL for facilities management work that could be used by universities and departments statewide. Even local government jobs could be doled out to the contractor.

17. Memphis, Nashville Mayors Praise Passage of Haslam’s Road Funding Bill -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland lauded the Tennessee Legislature for passing the IMPROVE Act, including a combination of fuel tax and fee increases designed to improve transportation funding.

18. Fuel-Tax Bill Short of Votes in the House -

NASHVILLE – Votes aren’t adding up in the House of Representatives for passage of the governor’s gas tax/tax cut legislation.

With floor debate scheduled Wednesday morning, not only is a Republican head count showing lack of support, Democrats aren’t exactly lining up behind the measure. The minority party says it wants concessions on other items from the governor before it can vote for the IMPROVE Act, and some Democrats say they won’t go for a combination of tax cuts for wealthy investors tied to a higher gas tax.

19. Gas Tax, Health Care Complicate Tennessee Governor's Race -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The repeal of former President Barack Obama's health care law was supposed to provide a springboard for U.S. Rep. Diane Black's entry into the Tennessee governor's race.

20. IMPROVE Act Could be Renamed; Alternative Plan in the Works -

Legislation containing a gas-tax increase moved out of a key committee Wednesday, April 5, with proponents saying it could be called the IMPROVE Act or the 2017 Tax Cut Act because of several tax reductions designed to make it easier for Tennesseans to swallow.

21. Bill to Expand Medicaid Shelved for the Year -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A plan by Democrats to expand the Medicaid program in Tennessee has died after the sponsor of the measure pulled the bill for the year.

Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, a Democrat from Ripley, told the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee on Wednesday that he was withdrawing his bill.

22. GOP Happy to ‘Wait and See’ on Medicaid -

Republicans say ho, Democrats say go. In the wake of Trumpcare’s congressional crash, states such as Kansas and North Carolina are joining the majority of the nation in expanding Medicaid rolls.

23. Democrats Put Squeeze on Republicans To Defeat Outsourcing of State Assets -

Legislative Democrats are calling on Republicans to join them in passing a slate of bills to combat Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plans for everything from state parks to facilities management at universities.

24. Democrats Put Squeeze on Republicans to Defeat Outsourcing -

Legislative Democrats are calling on Republicans to join them in passing a slate of bills to combat Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plans for everything from state parks to facilities management at universities.

25. Bill to Ban Outsourcing Sails Through Committee -

A Senate panel approved legislation Monday prohibiting the outsourcing of jobs at state parks less than a week after the State Building Commission renewed plans for rebuilding and privatizing the inn at Fall Creek Falls.

26. State House Votes to Block Memphis, Nashville Pot Ordinances -

Setting up a Senate debate on state pre-emption of Nashville and Memphis marijuana laws, the state House has approved legislation striking down local ordinances giving police discretion to hand out citations for small amounts of pot.

27. Shelby County Schools Voucher Bill Advances in House -

NASHVILLE – Despite a packed room of Memphis-area people opposed to vouchers for public school students, a House Education Committee advanced a pilot program targeting low-income children in Shelby County Schools system’s low-performing schools.

28. Shelby County Schools Voucher Bill Advances in House -

NASHVILLE – Despite a packed room of Memphis-area people opposed to vouchers for public school students, a House Education Committee advanced a pilot program targeting low-income children in Shelby County Schools system’s low-performing schools.

29. Tennessee Lawmakers Weigh In on Trump Visit -

NASHVILLE – While state lawmakers recognized the historical significance of President Donald Trump visiting the home of President Andrew Jackson in Hermitage Wednesday, March 15, the review is mixed on comparisons between the two as well as the Jackson legacy.

30. Boyd Opens Memphis Campaign for Governor -

Former Tennessee Economic and Community Development commissioner Randy Boyd brought his newly launched campaign for governor to Memphis Wednesday, March 15, with a pledge to continue the economic development policies of Gov. Bill Haslam – policies, particularly in workforce training, that Boyd played a key role in shaping.

31. View From the Hill: Outsourcing Win More About Turf Than Trends -

As Fall Creek Falls folks celebrate a state decision to postpone park privatization, the question is whether public opposition or failure to follow long-standing state protocol led to the plug-pulling.

32. Tennessee Leaders Weigh In on Death of Longtime Lawmaker -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former Sen. Douglas Henry, a lawmaker with the longest tenure in the history of the Tennessee General Assembly, died at 90 years old on Sunday.

33. Boyd Officially in Race For Governor in 2018 -

Former Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd officially launched his candidacy for Tennessee Governor Monday, March 6, with an announcement of his campaign team.

34. Last Word: Arnold's in the Alley, Haslam's Gas Tax Bill Wins A Round and Hershey -

A busy day in the City Hall list saga. The list is a lot shorter, but there is a second lawsuit over this in Memphis Federal Court. And the list itself seems to be giving way to a controversy that is all about whether police were unlawfully following and tracking protesters who broke no laws.

35. Fitzhugh Talks About Race for Governor Without Formally Committing -

NASHVILLE – House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh hasn’t officially entered the 2018 race for governor, but he has a “gut feeling” it’s a step he should take.

36. Last Word: Building a Bigger Police Force, Old Desk Calendars and Summer School -

Since the Memphis Mayor’s race of 2015 became about how best to build a larger Memphis Police Department, the discussion has always had an element of controversy to it on a larger scale than a head count of who has a badge.

37. State Democrats Introduce Bill of Rights, Looking For Every Win They Can Get -

NASHVILLE – House Democrats introduced a People’s Bill of Rights in the State Capitol Monday, Feb. 27, a comprehensive legislative package to ensure rights of Tennesseans affecting everything from jobs to criminal justice to education.

38. Tennessee GOP Leaders Expecting Crowded Field in 2018 Governor’s Race -

Former Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd got two mentions last Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s breakfast forum – one from guest speaker U.S. Rep. David Kustoff and another from chamber president Phil Trenary.

39. Ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to Run for Tennessee Governor -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former Nashville mayor Karl Dean said he's decided to run for governor of Tennessee in 2018.

40. Local Democratic and Republican Partisans Already Looking To 2018 -

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff says former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey was right in describing his 8th Congressional District as the most Republican of the state’s nine congressional districts.

41. Democratic and Republican Partisans Prepare for Next Election -

At least five potential Republican candidates for Governor in 2018 were among the crowd of 400 people at the Saturday, Feb. 25, Lincoln Day Gala of the Shelby County Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry told a group of 150 Democrats at an “Obama Day” event Saturday that they and other Democrats across the state can elect one of their own as governor in 2018.

42. Local Democrats and Republicans Prepare for 2018 Governor's Race -

At least five potential Republican candidates for Tennessee governor in 2018 were among the crowd of 400 people at the Saturday, Feb. 25, Lincoln Day Gala of the Shelby County Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry told a group of 150 Democrats at an “Obama Day” event Saturday that they and other Democrats across the state can elect one of their own as governor in 2018.

43. House Subcommittee Adjourns to Assess Road Bills -

NASHVILLE – An effort to take money from the sales tax to fund transportation projects statewide – in contrast to the governor’s plan – ran off the rails Wednesday, Feb. 22.

44. Norris Filing Catch-All Bill for Variations of Proposed IMPROVE Act -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris is filing legislation for the Haslam administration to catch all transportation tax and revenue-related bills in an effort to “start anew” and minimize confusion.

45. Tennessee Democrats Push to Phase Out Grocery Tax -

Calling the governor’s fuel-tax plan a “slap in the face” of working Tennesseans, legislative Democrats are making a move to offset increased costs at the pump by phasing out the grocery tax.

46. State Democrats Propose Eliminating the Grocery Tax -

NASHVILLE – Calling the governor’s fuel-tax plan a “slap in the face” of working Tennesseans, legislative Democrats are making a move to offset increased costs at the pump by phasing out the grocery tax.

47. Boyd Leaving Haslam Administration As He Ponders Gov's Bid -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Randy Boyd is stepping down as commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development as he ponders a bid to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

48. Last Word: The Elvis Tradition, Cordova Brewery and Parkside Path -

For about three decades now, there has been a cultural and political tradition around the birthday of Elvis Presley. It used to be a proclamation by the Shelby County Mayor and the Memphis Mayor on the steps of Graceland with a birthday cake.

49. Fitzhugh Touts Rural Credentials As He Mulls Governor's Bid -

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) – State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh is seriously considering joining the race to succeed term-limited Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

50. Green 1st With Formal Step Toward Tennessee Governor's Race -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Mark Green is the first potential gubernatorial candidate to take a formal step toward entering the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018.

51. New Year, New Resolutions for Legislators -

Some Tennesseans recall the days when the state Legislature met every other year and wonder if it should revert to that schedule. Considering the General Assembly pushes most of its work into 3 1/2 months, it might be worth a try.

52. Memphis Democrats Claim Five Leadership Posts -

Memphis Democrats claimed five of the nine leadership positions in the state House Democratic Caucus over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The caucus for the upcoming 2017-2018 legislative session selected Representative Joe Towns as assistant minority leader to returning minority leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley.

53. Memphis Democrats Claim Five Leadership Posts -

Memphis Democrats claimed five of the nine leadership positions in the state House Democratic Caucus over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The caucus for the upcoming 2017-2018 legislative session selected Representative Joe Towns as assistant minority leader to returning minority leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley.

54. Election Fallout: What a Trump Or Clinton Presidency Means for State -

Donald Trump is going to win easily in Tennessee.

Everyone, most of all the campaigns for both Trump and Hillary Clinton, accept this fact, as evidenced by the lack of campaign time spent in the state – and most of the South, for that matter – during this contentious campaign cycle.

55. BCBS Bombshell Leaves Insurance Seekers in Bind -

Nashville resident Jennifer Murray is caught in the snare of uncertainty looming over Tennessee health insurance coverage.

Self-employed as a health care consultant, the single 48-year-old bought individual coverage through BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee’s marketplace plans each year since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2014. The company offered the widest range of physicians, and its insurance was accepted in most places.

56. No Quick Fix in State Health Insurance Issue -

State Rep. Ron Travis is perplexed.

On one hand, the Republican from Dayton is concerned with escalating premiums for Tennesseans participating in the insurance marketplace, worried costs are increasing to the point people simply can’t afford health insurance.

57. Matlock the ‘Truth,’ ‘Justice’ Candidate For Tennessee House Speaker -

Republican state Rep. Jimmy Matlock insists his quest for the House Speaker’s post is not a challenge of Beth Harwell’s leadership.

But it’s clear he sees a need for change.

58. Task Force’s New Health Plan Promising -

A 3-Star Healthy Task Force appointed to propose a method for catching Tennesseans in a health care coverage gap is taking a politically safe road to reach the same goal as Insure Tennessee.

Yet the route, a TennCare expansion with “triggers” and “circuit breakers,” holds so much uncertainty it’s hard to figure out if the panel will find its destination.

59. Methodist Exec: 'Can’t Afford to Not Discuss Expanding Medicaid' -

A task force of state lawmakers appointed by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell has rolled out its plan for an expansion of Medicaid in Tennessee that’s more limited than the one envisioned by Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan.

60. Haves, Have-Nots Get Varied Tax Relief -

Amid the rancor of bathroom and counseling bills, two major pieces of legislation slipped through the General Assembly this session with hardly a peep – elimination of the Hall tax and a partial revitalization of property tax relief for seniors and disabled veterans.

61. Legislative Losers: All Who Disagree With Legislators -

The 109th General Assembly is done – almost – for the year. Here’s a look at the winners and losers.

Winner: State budget

Buoyed by $400 million in surplus revenue from fiscal 2015 and $450 million in projected surpluses for the coming fiscal year, Gov. Bill Haslam spread the wealth in a $34.9 billion budget. 

62. Did ‘People Back Home’ Really Sway No Votes on Bible? -

I thought about skipping church Sunday and playing golf. After listening to the House of Representatives’ debate on the Bible bill, I could probably skip church for a month and still be in good standing.

63. Insure Tennessee: In Like A Lion, Out With A Committee -

What started with a roar is ending with a whimper.

On the first day of the 2016 legislative session, dozens of Insure Tennessee supporters rallied, shouted and sang songs outside the House chamber.

64. Tennessee AG: Fantasy Sports Contests Are Illegal Gambling -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee's attorney general has called fantasy sports contests illegal gambling.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery wrote a formal opinion that said fantasy sports betting violates state laws against gambling because participants pay an entry fee to win a prize and a portion of that fee goes to a pot where wins are paid out.

65. Bill Calling for Referendum on Insure Tennessee Defeated -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to place Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal before the voters in November has been defeated in a House subcommittee.

The House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee voted Wednesday to study the bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley after the General Assembly adjourns.

66. Tennessee Lawmakers Approve 'Atomic Bomb of Politics' -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers on Thursday joined four other states in calling for a national convention on amending the U.S. Constitution to bring about limits to federal power — what one supporter touted as the "atomic bomb of politics."

67. School Voucher Proposal Clears Key House Panel -

A proposal to provide state vouchers for parents to send their children to private schools in Tennessee has cleared a House committee where the measure has failed in recent years.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville cleared the House Finance Subcommittee on a voice vote on Wednesday.

68. School Voucher Proposal Clears Key Tennessee House Panel -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to provide state vouchers for parents to send their children to private schools in Tennessee has cleared a House committee where the measure has failed in recent years.

69. Chancellor Steps Aside, Avoids Fight -

Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to restructure higher education didn’t take long to shake up the hierarchy.

It led to the early retirement of Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan, who blasted the proposal in a letter to the governor, before legislation even hit the printing press. The longtime state official said he would rather step down than support a plan he feels will be detrimental to colleges and universities.

70. School Choice Bills to Highlight Next Legislative Session -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Supporters of school choice say they plan to push for proposals that they argue allow parents to play a stronger role in how their children are educated in the legislative session that begins in January.

71. Competition for Jones Lang Lasalle in Tennessee -

Amid debate about privatization within state government, legislators are glad to see Tennessee seeking competition in its building leasing program.

“To me, when you’ve got competition, you’ve got people who may do something for next to nothing just to get their foot in the door,” says state Rep. Mike Sparks, who raised questions about the state’s leasing program and contract with Jones Lang Lasalle, which started charging commissions when it got involved in 2012.

72. Tennessee’s Landlords Find Hidden Costs of Privatization -

Murfreesboro businessman Tom Hyde felt the sting of Tennessee’s privatization practices two years ago when a representative of Jones Lang Lasalle notified him he would have to pay the company a commission as part of his next lease agreement.

73. Study Examines Effectiveness of Tennessee's Pre-K Program -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that he's still supportive of Tennessee's pre-kindergarten program despite a study that shows academic gains made by some of the children enrolled fade in early elementary grades.

74. Hooker Fights for Right to Die on His Terms -

John Jay Hooker, a household name in Middle Tennessee if nowhere else, is suffering from stage 4 metastatic cancer with weeks, not months to live.

75. Ramsey Clear in Push to Politicize Supreme Court -

Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has a penchant for igniting flames of partisanship, and the retirement of Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade is no exception.

76. Special Action on Same-Sex Nuptials a Waste of Time -

With Republican lawmakers scrambling for a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay-marriage ruling, Tennesseans on both sides of the issue say they are seeking "equality."

Immediately after the court’s decision on Obergefell v. Hodges, Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville said, "Love and equality won. I’m glad the Supreme Court ruled on the right side of history."

77. Southern Heritage Defined Differently Across Tennessee -

Tennessee’s loyalty was divided in the Civil War, and 150 years later, little is changed as the debate over Confederate symbols arises in the wake of the racist-fueled South Carolina church massacre.

78. Capitol Commission to Review Which Historical Figures Should Be Honored -

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell are encouraging the Tennessee Capitol Commission to evaluate the characteristics of Tennesseans honored in the Capitol Complex.

79. Feds Charge Joe Armstrong With Fraud, Tax Evasion -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Democratic state Rep. Joe Armstrong of Knoxville has been indicted on federal fraud and tax evasion charges connected to an increase in the state's cigarette tax in 2007.

80. State Employment Policies Not Great for Recruiting -

If job security is your goal, working for the state might not be such a good idea.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration offered a voluntary buyout recently to more than 2,000 state employees, a proposal workers had known about since February.

81. Ramsey Uses ‘System’ to Reshape State’s Political Landscape -

Senate Speaker and Lieutenant Gov. Ron Ramsey laughs at the notion he’s changed since being elected to the Legislature 23 years ago, that he’s lost touch with the common man or become “arrogant” as lieutenant governor of Tennessee.

82. Haslam to Decide This Week on Tennessee Guns-in-Parks Bill -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday that he will decide this week whether to sign a bill to allow people with handgun carry permits to be armed in city parks near schools.

83. Tennessee School Voucher Bill Approaching Key Committee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A state school voucher proposal that failed in the last two Tennessee General Assembly sessions is gaining support as it approaches a key committee in the final days of this year's legislative session.

84. GOP Leader: 1-Time School Use Enough to Ban Guns in Parks -

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.

85. Is ‘Getting Rid of Public Schools’ Legislature’s Goal? -

Are Tennessee’s public schools headed for extinction? Not if it’s up to Memphis teachers.

A group from Shelby County recently packed a House committee meeting room at the Legislative Plaza in an effort to turn back bills they consider damaging to their profession and the future of public education.

86. Tennessee School Voucher Bill Headed for Full Senate Vote -

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.

87. Eliminating Hall Income Tax Raises New Problems -

Republican lawmakers are lining up legislation to reduce or phase out Tennessee’s Hall income tax on investments, even though Gov. Bill Haslam is concerned about losing revenue amid the state’s economic ups and downs.

88. Kelsey’s New Private School Voucher Plan Looks More Like Haslam’s -

Momentum is building this session for voucher legislation that would allow state dollars to follow students from struggling public schools to private and religious institutions.

But it is hardly etched in stone.

89. Haslam Wary of Gas Tax Hike -

Despite low gas prices, a backlog on road projects and prevailing winds for fuel-tax reform, Gov. Bill Haslam is pulling back from a gas-tax increase this session.

After floating the possibility of raising the tax in December, the Republican governor appears to be changing course, in part because of his loss in a Senate committee on Insure Tennessee, the Medicaid expansion alternative that failed to make debate in the full House or Senate.

90. Common Core is Working – So Kill It -

Common Core determines what Tennessee’s K-12 students should know and when they should learn it, yet like many other issues it has become a political pariah, especially for the state’s Republican leaders.

91. Insure Tennessee: Failure by Politics and Procedure -

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.

92. Both Sides Dig In for Insure Tennessee Special Session -

Battle lines have been drawn for a Feb. 2 special session of the state Legislature to determine the fate of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal, which would use federal funds to catch some 280,000 working people falling through a health insurance coverage gap.

93. Both Sides Dig In For Insure Tennessee Special Session -

Battle lines have been drawn for a Feb. 2 special session of the state Legislature to determine the fate of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal, which would use federal funds to catch some 200,000 working people falling through a health insurance coverage gap.

94. Drowning in Student Loan Debt -

Three-and-a-half years after graduating from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Yasameen Hoffman is still trying to land the kind of full-time job that will help her start paying off her student loan.

95. House, Senate at Odds Over Who Goes First on Medicaid Plan -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican leaders in the state House and Senate are at odds about who should go first on taking up Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.

96. New Tennessee Laws Include Insulin Training for School Staff -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A new Tennessee law will allow trained school personnel to administer insulin. It's just one of many new laws taking effect on Thursday.

Tennessee is now one of more than 20 states and the District of Columbia that have passed laws adding insulin to medications that school staff may volunteer to be trained to administer, according to the American Diabetes Association.

97. Education Commissioner Leaving for Private Sector -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Education Department Commissioner Kevin Huffman said Thursday that the scrutiny he received during his nearly four turbulent years at the helm of the state's schools didn't influence his decision to leave for the private sector.

98. Haslam Questions High Jobless Rate in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is questioning why Tennessee's unemployment rate remains well above the national level when other statistics indicate the state's jobs picture should be improving.

99. New Chief Justice Echoes Haslam Mantra on Review -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – First, the state Supreme Court hired Gov. Bill Haslam's top legal adviser as Tennessee's next attorney general. Now the high court's new chief justice is also adopting the Republican governor's rhetoric.

100. Coverage Gap Leaves Rural Tennessee Hospitals on Life Support -

Four rural hospitals have closed and dozens are at risk of shuttering: That’s the fallout, some say, from Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision not to join the Affordable Care Act in 2013 and tap into millions in promised federal funds for Tennessee’s financially-strapped health care institutions.