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Editorial Results (free)

1. Despite Need, Expanding Health Care Not in Cards -

Springfield resident Felicity Palma struggled mightily when she moved to Tennessee from Florida two years ago after suffering health problems and losing her job.

The 47-year-old former social worker became homeless for a period when she came here, and now she finds herself in a health insurance coverage gap as she tries to get treatment for ulcers, sciatica, fibroids and thyroid disease. Debt is piling up on her, too, for the care she does receive.

2. Thompson Asks for Suspension of Legislative Session for MLK Anniversary -

Democratic state Rep. Dwayne Thompson of Cordova wants legislative leaders to suspend the current session of the legislature April 4 and 5 so lawmakers can attend events in Memphis marking the 50th anniversary of the sanitation workers strike and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

3. Tennessee House Speaker Proposes Medicaid Work Requirements -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has filed legislation to pursue TennCare work requirements for able-bodied adults without young children.

4. Shot Fired From Memphis Ignites Civil War Rematch -

Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest died in 1877, but 140 years later some people just can’t let their hero or the Old South go away.

In fact, the state Legislature is set to reignite the Civil War – to some degree – in 2018. We hope no gunshots are fired.

5. Tennessee Lawmakers Begin Session With Elections Looming -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee lawmakers have gaveled in for a legislative session colored by upcoming elections, House Speaker Beth Harwell's bid for governor and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's final lap before he hits term limits.

6. Tennessee Lawmakers Head Into Session With Elections Looming -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee lawmakers return Tuesday for a session colored by upcoming elections and Gov. Bill Haslam's final lap before he hits his term limits.

This year, the Republican-led General Assembly likely won't face a monthslong fight over one topic, like the roads-funding package with gas tax hikes and other tax breaks that Haslam ushered into law in 2017.

7. Last Word: Liberty Bowl Sell-Out Prep, Beale's Year and Tubby Talks -

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is a sell out as of Thursday. And while your thoughts may turn to the sight of a full stadium at the Fairgrounds, at least some of you who are going are thinking about what traffic will be like in the area. Here is the parking and shuttle game plan at the outset and a day in advance. The Liberty Bowl Parade on Beale is at 3 p.m. Friday followed by a pep rally in the entertainment district and all are welcome.

8. Top Adviser to Tennessee House Speaker to Leave Post -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A senior adviser to the Tennessee House speaker is leaving to take a job at a law firm.

In a news release Wednesday, House Speaker Beth Harwell says she has worked with Leslie Hafner in different capacities for more than two decades.

9. Black Steps Down as US House Budget Chair Amid Governor Bid -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Diane Black announced Wednesday that she is stepping down as House Budget Committee chairwoman, but will remain in Congress as she runs for governor of Tennessee.

10. Democrats Look to Cooperate on Key Issues -

With the state’s budget projected to be tight and lawmakers lining up to run for re-election in 2018, the coming legislative session isn’t expected to yield many surprises.

But the 110th General Assembly still has a long row to hoe as the session starts Jan. 9 with new legislative offices and committee rooms in the renovated Cordell Hull Building in downtown Nashville.

11. Rep. Black Describes Enduring Sexual Misconduct as Lawmaker -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Diane Black says she knows from personal experience, having endured sexual misconduct as a state lawmaker, why Congress needs to expose federal lawmakers who settled cases, force them to repay any tax dollars involved and ban such taxpayer-funded settlements going forward.

12. Poll: Tennessee Voters More Moderate Than Some Think -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennesseans are more moderate than their neighbors think they are, and their views of Congress and President Donald Trump have soured some in the past few months, according to a Vanderbilt University poll released Thursday.

13. Vice President Pence Gives $4K to Black's Gubernatorial Bid -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black can count Vice President Mike Pence among her supporters.

14. Officials Break Ground on New Tennessee State Library -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – State officials have broken ground on a new state Library and Archives building slated to be complete in fall 2019.

According to a news release from the Tennessee secretary of state, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Gov. Bill Haslam, Senate Speaker Randy McNally, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill were on hand for the groundbreaking Monday afternoon at the future site of the Nashville facility.

15. Last Word: Grizz Ownership Moves, Confederate Deadline and Medical Family Tree -

As many of us were focused on Tigers football and the journey to Orlando last week, there was word that either both or one of the two minority owners of the Grizz had exercised a buy-sell provision in the NBA team’s unique ownership agreement. And what could be a fight for control of the team’s ownership is underway. The sports website The Athletic broke the story last Thursday. Here it is. It also talks about the timing of this coming with the controversial sacking of David Fizdale, an interim coach at the helm of a changing team and lead owner Robert Pera’s lack of visibility in all things Grizz around the city.

16. Black: State, Congress Should Release Sex Harassment Claims -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Congresswoman Diane Black wants Tennessee's General Assembly and Congress to disclose sexual harassment claims and settlements involving lawmakers and staffers.

17. 4 Governor Candidates Won’t Release Tax Returns -

Four of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor are declining to release details of their federal income tax returns.

The Tennessean newspaper asked the five Republicans and two Democrats in the race for copies of their federal tax filings. U.S. Rep. Diane Black and fellow Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell provided financial summaries, and Democrat Craig Fitzhugh released his 2016 tax return.

18. Is There Room for Common-Sense Gun Legislation? -

The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action picks its battles judiciously. Once labeled as a bunch of anti-gun extremists, the group is anything but, spokeswoman Kat McRitchie says.

“We seek common ground. We work with legislators on both sides of the aisle. We’re nonpartisan,” McRitchie explains. “We’re simply looking for common-sense gun solutions, which the majority of Americans support.”

19. 4 Tennessee Governor Candidates Won't Release Tax Returns -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Four of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor are declining to release details of their federal income tax returns.

The Tennessean newspaper asked the five Republicans and two Democrats in the race for copies of their federal tax filings. U.S. Rep. Diane Black and fellow Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell provided financial summaries, and Democrat Craig Fitzhugh released his 2016 tax return.

20. Tennessee House Members, Staff to Receive YWCA Training -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee state representatives and their staffs are being required to attend sexual harassment training led by the YWCA.

The Tennessean reports House Speaker Beth Harwell, a Nashville Republican who is running for governor next year, has mandated the in-person sessions to replace a requirement to watch a 15-minute video.

21. Despite Massive Turnover, GOP Owns Legislature -

2018 will be a year of change for the Tennessee General Assembly, and 2019 will bring even more, especially in leadership – much depending on the popularity of President Donald Trump.

Not only is the Legislature moving to the Cordell Hull Building, vacating the Legislative Plaza after 45 years or so, a number of legislative faces are changing, too, even before next year’s election.

22. Grab a Gun, Go See Your State Representative -

When legislative leaders started to allow guns in the Legislative Plaza nearly two years ago, the Sierra Club’s Scott Banbury had his daughter take pictures of him wearing his holstered Ruger and lobbyist ID card to put on lawmakers’ desks with the question: “Is this what you want?”

23. Guns to be Allowed at New Tennessee Legislative Complex -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – People with state-issued handgun carry permits will be allowed to be armed within Tennessee's new legislative office complex.

Lawmakers and staff are beginning their move into the renovated Cordell Hull office building near the state Capitol this week. The facility is scheduled to open to the public this month.

24. Last Word: Black & Boyd, SCS Refuses State Order and Opening Tigers Basketball -

There were already some sparks between U.S. Rep. Diane Black and former Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd in the Republican primary for Governor. They were evident at the Oct. 20 forum among the six declared GOP candidates here when the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women met. Black went after Boyd Tuesday and the back and forth suggests at this very early stage this is turning into a race between these two.

25. Black Launches Latest Broadside in Tennessee Governor's Race -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Diane Black's gubernatorial campaign is taking aim at Republican rival Randy Boyd, launching a broadside Tuesday at the former member of Gov. Bill Haslam's Cabinet for everything from his running attire to what the congresswoman decries as his moderate record.

26. Early Differences Surface at Republican Governor’s Forum in Memphis Oct. 20 -

When the six declared contenders for the Republican nomination for governor met at this weekend’s Tennessee Federation of Republican Women convention in Memphis, there were some early differences certain to grow as the campaign intensifies.

27. Trump’s Bluster Cascades Through State Politics -

The chaos emanating from President Donald Trump’s administration is changing the landscape of Tennessee politics, setting the stage for upheaval within the dominant Republican Party.

“This is a really big moment for the Tennessee Republican Party,” with the Trump wing or far-right wing “firmly in control,” says Kent Syler, Middle Tennessee State University political science professor.

28. New Tennessee State Museum Campaign Yields $25M in Donations -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The new Tennessee State Museum project has yielded more than $25 million in donations by corporations, foundations and individuals.

In a news release Monday, museum officials said the money committed during the initial "silent phase" puts the campaign more than halfway toward its $40 million fundraising goal.

29. State Politicians in No Hurry to Fix Health Insurance -

We don’t need no stinkin’ special session on Medicaid expansion.

That’s pretty much the Republican response to House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh’s call for Gov. Bill Haslam to bring lawmakers back to Nashville after the Graham-Cassidy bill failed in Congress.

30. Longtime Tennessee State Rep. Steve McDaniel to Retire -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – State Rep. Steve McDaniel, who is tied with Speaker Beth Harwell as the longest-serving members in the Tennessee House, plans to retire next year.

31. GOP Candidates for Tennessee Governor Uneasy About Gas Tax -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The ink may be dry on a new state law that boosts funding for road projects through Tennessee's first gas tax hike in 28 years, but that doesn't mean all Republicans running for governor are happy with it.

32. Opioid Committee on Right Track, Obstacles Remain -

Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold can remember the first time his detectives brought a heroin case to him three or four years ago.

“Of course, my reaction immediately was, ‘I thought that went away in the late 70s.’ But we’re seeing it. In fact, we are averaging approximately five heroin overdoses a month just in the town of Smyrna,” adds Arnold, whose city about 10 miles southeast of Nashville has a population of nearly 48,600.

33. Required Pain Clinic Referral Among State Opioid Panel Ideas -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A panel of Tennessee lawmakers wants to address the opioid epidemic with referral requirements at pain clinics, more state investigators and a public awareness program.

34. Special Panel to Weigh Medical Marijuana in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Legislative leaders are setting up a special committee to examine whether medical marijuana should be legalized in Tennessee.

WKRN-TV reports that the panel appointed by House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville and Senate Speaker Randy McNally of Oak Ridge includes eight Republicans and two Democrats. The panel is co-chaired by Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby and Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville, two Republicans who this year sponsored unsuccessful medical marijuana legislation.

35. Stronger Penalties Alone Won’t Solve State’s Opioid Crisis -

Rep. Bryan Terry deals with patients from every demographic caught up in the web of opiates.

Patients have an array of tolerance to opioids, as well, from those currently addicted to those who are recovering addicts. As a result, each patient requires an “individualized” anesthetic based on their background and the procedure or surgery they’re to have, says Terry, a Murfreesboro anesthesiologist.

36. GOP's Bill Lee Calls for More School Choice in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is voicing support for more school choice in Tennessee, an issue that has divided lawmakers within his own party.

Debate over the introduction of vouchers to provide parents with public money to pay for private school tuition has roiled the Tennessee General Assembly in recent years. Even limited proposals have been defeated by a bipartisan coalition of urban and rural lawmakers who fear they would siphon money away from public schools.

37. A Million Reasons Not to Jump Into the Tennessee Governor’s Race -

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mae Beavers is banking on the idea wealthy candidates won’t be able to buy voters in 2018.

38. Democrat Craig Fitzhugh Joins Race for Tennessee Governor -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Democrat Craig Fitzhugh is joining the race for Tennessee governor.

39. Republican US Rep. Diane Black to Run for Tennessee Governor -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black is running for governor in Tennessee.

40. Boyd Says Luttrell Endorsement is ‘Partnership’ -

Republican contender for Tennessee governor Randy Boyd says his endorsement this week by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is more like a partnership.

41. Luttrell to Join Boyd At Campaign Appearance -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell makes a campaign appearance Wednesday, July 26, with Republican candidate for Tennessee governor Randy Boyd.

42. Dean Touts ‘Middle Of the Road’ Focus For Democrats -

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is making exactly the same observation in his bid for the Democratic nomination for Tennessee governor that Republicans are making on their side of the 2018 race.

43. Last Word: Rachel Heck, Beale Street's Cover and The Old Peabody -

The “fifth wave” of judicial appointments by President Donald Trump, as The White House termed them, are already causing some political ripples here primarily from state Senator Mark Norris’s appointment to the federal bench.

44. Democrat Karl Dean Raises $1.2M for Tennessee Gov's Campaign -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean raised $1.2 million through the first half of the year for his bid for Tennessee governor, the Democrat's campaign announced Thursday.

45. Micromanaging Nashville is Job 1 for Legislature -

Metro Nashville is used to getting hammered by the Legislature’s Republicans.

Nearly every time the Metro Council tries to come up with a solution to growing problems, conservatives in the General Assembly swoop in and save the rest of the state from Music City’s attempts to better handle its success.

46. Tennessee, Left Coast a World Apart on Immigration -

San Francisco resident Terry Karlsson relishes her hometown’s reputation for embracing “multi-cultural diversity.”

The wife of a Swedish immigrant, Karlsson says she believes San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city, one in which it refuses to participate in the enforcement of federal immigration law, reflects a nation born of people who moved here, a land of immigrants from many countries.

47. Mark Norris to Co-Chair Juvenile Justice Task Force -

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville will co-chair a state Juvenile Justice Task Force along with Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell.

48. Gov. Haslam Vows to Stay on Sidelines of Race to Succeed Him -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam won't endorse any of the Republicans seeking the nomination to succeed him, but said he has spoken to several potential candidates about the emotionally taxing nature of a running a statewide campaign in Tennessee.

49. 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.

50. Norris to Oversee Second Panel Reviewing Juvenile Justice -

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris is set to oversee a comprehensive review of Tennessee’s juvenile justice system in an effort to reshape the lives of offenders.

51. Norris to Co-Chair Juvenile Justice Task Force -

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville will co-chair a state Juvenile Justice Task Force along with Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell.

52. 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.

53. View From the Hill: GOP Points True North on State’s Moral Compass -

It was billed as the start of the 2018 governor’s race, but the GOP’s Reagan Day Dinner in Murfreesboro last week often sounded more like a tent revival.

Vote for one of these candidates and you’re guaranteed a place in heaven, ran the subtext of the evening, because, after all, everyone knows only Republicans know the road to salvation.

54. 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.

55. Legislature Passes Slate of Bills, Adjourns -

NASHVILLE – The Legislature wrapped up its business for the year, adjourning Wednesday after taking up a spate of last-minute bills, including postponing a bill increasing the amount of campaign contributions lawmakers could accept.

56. 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.

57. Tennessee Legislature Adjourns After Voting on Last-Minute Bills -

The Legislature wrapped up its business for the year, adjourning Wednesday after taking up a spate of last-minute bills, including postponing a bill increasing the amount of campaign contributions lawmakers could accept.

58. View From the Hill: Forrest Kerfuffle Might Be Sign of Bigger Problem -

Legislation that slipped through the House of Representatives honoring an unknown author who penned a Nathan Bedford Forrest apologist biography was enabled by the climate within the Republican-controlled body, a Memphis legislator says.

59. Tenn. Lawmakers Look to Void Resolution Honoring Forrest Biographer -

NASHVILLE – Memphis lawmakers blasted a Smyrna legislator Thursday morning, accusing him of violating their honor system by sliding a resolution through the House honoring an author they perceive as a Nathan Bedford Forrest apologist.

60. Last Word: End of The Season, Honoring Forrest and MATA's Coming Campaign -

It’s over. No Game 7 for the Grizz and the off-season begins. Spurs advance after beating the Grizz at the Forum Thursday 103 – 96. But in the process, the Grizz created a chapter in Memphis basketball lore where it is about more than winning on the court.

61. Tennessee Lawmakers Condemn Resolution Lauding Forrest Biographer -

Memphis lawmakers blasted a Smyrna legislator Thursday morning, accusing him of violating their honor system by sliding a resolution through the House honoring an author they perceive as a Nathan Bedford Forrest apologist.

62. 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.

63. Last Word: Data Night at the Forum, Passing Gas and Graceland's Las Vegas Exit -

It’s a $30,000 fine, about $5k more than expected by most. And Grizz players say they will chip in to pay the fine the NBA levied on coach David Fizdale for his epic rant on the officiating in Game 2 of the playoff series between the Grizz and the Spurs.

64. Last Word: 'Take That For Data', Gas Tax Wednesday and Corker in Memphis -

“Take That For Data” may be the rallying cry for the rest of the NBA playoffs around here. And look for an off-the-chart crowd reaction Thursday when Grizz coach David Fizdale takes his place courtside. The Grizz' loss to the Spurs in Game 2 Monday in San Antonio prompted a post-game statistics-laden tirade by Fizdale about officiating of the game that concluded with Fizdale saying “take that for data” –the closest thing to profanity in the entire rant.

65. Tennessee Speaker to GOP: Show Civility in Gas Tax Debate -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Speaker Beth Harwell is calling on her Republican colleagues to show civility as the Tennessee House prepares for a contentious vote Wednesday on Gov. Bill Haslam's transportation funding proposal.

66. 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.

67. 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.

68. Last Word: Season's End, 100 N. Main Delays and Voting With Popsicle Sticks -

The last Grizz game of the regular season is a loss to the Mavericks Wednesday evening at the Forum 100 – 93. Look for further word Thursday on Tony Allen's right leg injury. Here comes the “second season” starting with the Spurs. Inbetween is a trip down memory lane as the two-hour "30 for 30" documentary on John Calipari debuts Thursday on ESPN. There was a screening Monday in Kentucky that Calipari attended. The Lexington Herald-Leader has more.

69. Mistreated GOP Legislators Only Want to Be Heard -

Word has it extra tissue will be placed on the desks of some House members in the coming weeks so they can dry their tears of pain.

It seems a faction of the Republican supermajority just hasn’t gotten a fair hearing – from their own party – on opposition to Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, which contains a dreaded gas and diesel tax increase to rebuild the state’s roads and bridges. It’s the gas tax versus the surplus, which is pretty big at $1 billion in one-time money and another billion in extra recurring money.

70. Harwell Cites Need for Alternative Transportation Funding Plan -

House Speaker Beth Harwell says she believes it’s important to have a transportation funding plan counter to Gov. Bill Haslam’s gas tax/tax cut act after House Republican Caucus members voted to oppose the governor’s idea.

71. Norris, Proponents of Current IMPROVE Act Stand Firm as Alternative Bills Are Devised -

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris gets revved up when he talks about the IMPROVE Act as a tax-cutting and bridge-safety measure. It’s a message he’s been sending for weeks, yet other lawmakers aren’t catching on.

72. IMPROVE Act Proponents Stand Firm as Alternative Bills Are Devised -

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris gets revved up when he talks about the IMPROVE Act as a tax-cutting and bridge-safety measure. It’s a message he’s been sending for weeks, yet other lawmakers aren’t catching on.

73. 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.

74. Last Word: Lawsons Exit, LaRose Lessons and No Medicaid Expansion This Year -

The Lawson Brothers exit Tigers basketball seeking a release from the University of Memphis. The statement from Dedric and K.J. Lawson was all sweetness and light and apparently about as sincere as one of those interviews where players and coaches declare that if they will just play hard and put more points on the board than the other team then they should win.

75. 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.

76. Conservative State Republicans Want ‘Restart’ on Gas Tax -

Claiming they’re not getting fair treatment by House leadership, a group of irritated Republicans demanded the governor’s gas-tax increase package go back to the starting line.

Rep. Jerry Sexton, a Republican from Bean Station in East Tennessee, said in a press conference Monday, April 3, he had spoken with House Speaker Beth Harwell and was told “we would get a restart.” He said the details haven’t been worked out.

77. View From the Hill: A Disjointed Stash of Marijuana Bills -

This year’s marijuana bills are a mixed bag.

Rep. Jeremy Faison is sending his medical marijuana legislation to a task force, as opposed to “summer study,” typically considered the trash heap for unwanted bills.

78. House Passes Bill That Blocks Marijuana Decriminalization -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The House has voted on a bill that would block any efforts by Tennessee cities to decriminalize the use of marijuana. The bill would nullify laws that Memphis and Nashville have passed that have reduced the penalty for weed in some cases.

79. State Sen. Mae Beavers Exploring Bid for Tennessee Governor -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Sen. Mae Beavers, the sponsor of a bill seeking to require students to use restrooms and locker rooms of the sex on their birth certificates, says she is exploring a bid for Tennessee governor.

80. Tennessee Legislative Leaders Pursue Open Records Law Review -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee legislative leaders are moving forward with a review of exemptions to the state's open records laws.

The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/2n0EMFh) that Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell sent a letter Monday to the Office of Open Records Counsel. They requested a thorough and comprehensive review of exemptions to the Tennessee Public Records Act.

81. Governor Haslam’s Fuel-Tax Bill Still Alive After Parliamentary Wrangling -

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act and fuel-tax increase plan remains alive after parliamentary moves Wednesday, March 1, in the House Transportation Subcommittee and action that led to the death of a competing bill.

82. View From the Hill: House Leaders Still Figuring Out Sexual Harassment Policy -

In a case of déjà vu all over again, Democratic state Rep. Bo Mitchell isn’t willing to give Republican House leaders a break on their handling of former Rep. Mark Lovell’s resignation for alleged sexual misconduct.

83. 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.

84. Last Word: 'Sun Records,' Ole Miss's Lack of Control and Haslam in 2018 -

I am not going to be one of those people who at this late date in the history of television dramas based on real people points out every departure from reality. The first episode of the CMT television series “Sun Records” Thursday was a scene-setter and introduction of sorts to an ensemble cast with plenty of opportunities to name that place in Memphis. That usually means a pretty complex story line to come and there are more than enough memorable characters in the story of Sun.

85. Harwell: Lovell Investigation Handled Correctly -

NASHVILLE – An investigation into now-former Rep. Mark Lovell started a day after he allegedly had inappropriate contact with a woman and lasted two to three days, House Speaker Beth Harwell says.

86. Beavers Shuts Down Office As Protesters Gather Outside -

NASHVILLE – The sponsor of two bills aimed at the LGBT community left the Legislative Plaza in a huff Tuesday, Feb. 21, as protesters gathered around her office to object to her “retaliation” in the wake of a short-circuited press conference.

87. Harris: House Leaders Took Right Action With Lovell Probe -

NASHVILLE – A Memphis legislator critical of the initial reaction to former Rep. Mark Lovell’s resignation is “somewhat satisfied” with the conclusion of a House investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

88. Sexual Harassment Takes Stage in State Capitol Again -

NASHVILLE – Saying she was a victim of sexual harassment when she entered the Legislature, state Rep. Barbara Cooper is calling on tougher rules to stop inappropriate behavior toward women.

“When I first got here I was violated and disrespected by one or two of the legislators. And of course I did get an apology, but that’s all that was done. And I feel like if we have some strong measures in place, these kinds of things will not continue,” Cooper says.

89. Democrats Want Investigation of Lovell’s Resignation -

NASHVILLE – A day after former Rep. Mark Lovell resigned abruptly, House Majority Chairman Ryan Williams says he asked Lovell to step down, but only if accusations of sexual misconduct against him were true.

90. Last Word: Lovell's Fall, Critical Focus Debut and Super Lice -

That didn’t last long – the political career of state Representative Mark Lovell. About six weeks into a two-year term of office six months after he upset veteran Republican state Rep. Curry Todd, Lovell resigned Tuesday in Nashville. But the Legislature probably isn’t done with him yet. Even if it turns out the Legislature is done in terms of dealing with him directly, it will probably be talking about him for longer than the six weeks he was a legislator.

91. Lovell Resigns Tennessee House Seat, Democrats Seek Probe -

NASHVILLE – House Democrats are calling for a probe into the sudden resignation of first-term Rep. Mark Lovell, who denies being involved in sexual misconduct as he leaves the state Legislature after just one month.

92. 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.

93. DeBerry, Tate Defend School Voucher Pilot Program -

NASHVILLE – Two Memphis legislators co-sponsoring a Shelby County pilot voucher bill say the measure is one more attempt to give students more options for education.

Rep. John DeBerry and Sen. Reginald Tate, both Democrats, defended their support of the measure sponsored by Germantown Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey the same day the U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. DeVos has been under fire from Democrats for her support of charter schools and vouchers and a perceived lack of knowledge about public education.

94. Last Word: State of the State React, Reverse Logistics and Speed Limiters -

As the work week began, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis joining House Democrats in sponsoring a bill that would bar the use of any federal funds to carry out President Trump’s order barring refugees from seven majority Muslim countries.

95. State Leaders Invite Block Grant Funding -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says a federal block grant to state government for health care under the right terms could allow the state to expand TennCare coverage.

“I think if they would give us that flexibility, we could take care of more people at lower cost. I just fervently believe that we could do that with the state,” Haslam said last week during a visit to Memphis. “But they have to give us the tools to do that with and give us the flexibility. Right now the federal government holds all the keys. … They don’t give us a lot of flexibility on how that works.”

96. Haslam Adviser Hafner Leaving to Work for House Speaker -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Leslie Hafner is leaving her position as a top adviser to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam to take on a new role with House Speaker Beth Harwell.

97. Last Word: The Business of Local Sports, Garrison Leaves MATA and Broadband -

Marc Gasol makes the NBA’s Western Conference All Star team as a reserve, the first player in the history of the Grizz to make the All-Star Game three times.

Grizz business operations president Jason Wexler asked about Memphis hosting an NBA All-Star Game one of these days at The Daily News Sports Seminar Thursday at the Brooks. Wexler saying the city doesn’t have enough hotel rooms – the same barrier to drawing bigger conventions and meetings to the city.

98. View From the Hill: Cooperatives Ready to Fill Broadband Void -

Rural broadband backers such as Misty O’Beirne in Rutherford County can take heart. Legislation to spread high-speed internet into cyberspace deserts is making the right connections.

99. Haslam to Unveil Tennessee Transportation Plan Wednesday -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to unveil his top legislative priority on Wednesday as state lawmakers await details on his plan to boost transportation funding in Tennessee.

100. Memphian One of Two Females Appointed to Key Clerk Roles in Legislature -

They don’t get much press, but they are making history for women working with the General Assembly.

Murfreesboro resident Tammy Letzler is the first female to serve as chief clerk of either house of the General Assembly, following the trailblazing path of House Speaker Beth Harwell. And Memphis native Kim Cox is serving this session as assistant chief clerk, making her the first African-American female to take that role.