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Editorial Results (free)

1. Small Fitness Centers Fight Tax Exemption for Larger Competitors -

Jeff Rose and his wife Nancy sank their entire life savings, more than $500,000, into opening the Orangetheory Fitness center in Lakeland in 2015.

2. Last Word: Minority Business Mic Drop, Truckers & Taxes and Confederate Statues -

Quite the buzz around the minority business discussion on “Behind The Headlines” – notably the progress report from Greater Memphis Chamber board chair Carolyn Hardy about what’s working and, more to the point, what is not working. In Hardy’s view that would be general minority business goals that she said amount to black-owned businesses being left out some three years into the renewed push for minority business growth – in government contracts and private business-to-business contracts.

3. Past, Present Converge at Lynching Centennial -

The only thing that runs through the area where the Macon Road bridge stood 100 years ago are power lines on wooden poles that take them over the oxbow lake, thick kudzu and two bridge supports almost overtaken by undergrowth on the edge of a thickly-wooded area.

4. Present Day Issues Surface in Centennial of Persons Lynching -

The interfaith prayer ceremony Sunday, May 21, marking the centennial of the lynching of Ell Persons included several mentions of the removal of Confederate monuments in the last month in New Orleans.

5. National Foundation for Transplants Looks to Expand Beyond Memphis HQ -

The Memphis-based National Foundation for Transplants serves about 3,500 clients each year, and since its establishment in 1983 has distributed more than $80 million to pay for transplant-related expenses, in addition to promoting and advocating for organ and tissue donation.

6. Burr is Building a Prison-to-Opportunity Pipeline -

The first time Mahal Burr walked into the Shelby County Jail, she was planning to meet with prison officials. Instead, to her surprise, she was shown into a room with 18 incarcerated kids.

“The sheriff’s office rep said, ‘This is Mahal and Evan from BRIDGES, and they’re going to do an activity with you around youth leadership,’” recalls Burr.

7. Local Reaction To Mueller Appointment in Trump-Russia Probe -

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate ties between President Donald Trump 2016 campaign and Russia.

Rosenstein announced Wednesday, May 17, that he has named former FBI director Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor.

8. Local Reaction To Mueller Appointments in Trump-Russia Probe -

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate ties between President Donald Trump 2016 campaign and Russia.

Rosenstein announced Wednesday, May 17, that he has named former FBI director Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor.

9. Last Word: "A Downward Spiral", Outdoors Pop-Up and Haslam in Raleigh -

At the end of another day of alarming news and denials from the White House, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee used a new phrase that has significance in a cycle of action and reaction and more action in which many of us gauge reaction by whether the person speaking has an R or a D after their name. The lines are that clearly drawn.

10. Haslam: Achievement School District Still Needed, But Changes Near -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says there is a continuing need for the state-run Achievement School District. But the school district for the bottom 5 percent of schools in the state, in terms of academic achievement, is being “streamlined,” Haslam said last week during a visit to the Aspire Coleman Elementary School in Raleigh.

11. Kustoff Talks Comey Missteps, Health Care -

The FBI investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign will continue without fired FBI director James Comey, says U.S. Rep. David Kustoff.

12. Privatization Opposition Renewed as No Bids Come in for Falls Creek Falls Project -

The lack of bidders for a $20 million inn reconstruction project at Fall Creek Falls could spur legislative hearings this summer on parks funding and privatization amid growing lawmaker concern about the governor’s outsourcing plans.

13. Lamar Avenue, Austin Peay Highway Projects on Tap for Fiscal 2018 -

With a gas-tax increase approved as part of the governor’s IMPROVE Act, Shelby County will see several projects take off over the next three years, including the much-anticipated Lamar Avenue widening.

14. Airport Authority Names Government Affairs Chief -

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has announced Michael Fulton will assume the role of government affairs director, where he will be responsible for managing the governmental affairs functions for the airport, maintaining relationships with government officials or their key staff and providing oversight of local, state and federal initiatives.

15. Last Word: Weekend Sonic Boom, CLERB's Response and Irvin Salky -

Yes, those were the United States Navy Blue Angels buzzing Downtown Thursday afternoon in advance of their appearance at the Memphis Airshow Saturday and Sunday in Millington. That sound you heard after the flyover wasn’t a sonic boom. I don’t think they have those anymore. It was the sound of a really busy weekend following close behind.

16. May 12-18, 2017: This week in Memphis history -

2016: On the front page of The Daily News, a receiver is appointed by U.S. District Judge Jon P. McCalla for the Tulane and Warren apartments. The two apartment complexes owned by Global Ministries Foundation of Memphis are to be sold by the receiver, with proceeds going to bond holders represented by the Bank of New York, which has filed suit against GMF.
The bank’s lawsuit follows federal officials’ decision to cut off rent subsidies to the two complexes after they fail a second inspection of conditions ranging from bed bug infestations to broken plumbing

17. 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.

18. Events -

Mothers of the Nile will hold its ninth annual banquet Thursday, May 11, at 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church Broad, 2835 Broad Ave. Those sharing their perspectives include state Rep. Raumesh Akbari, Hope Academy principal Michael Smith and essay contest participants from Hope Academy, whose students are in detention at Juvenile Court. Visit mothersofthenileinc.org for details.

19. House Committee Postpones Action on Short-Term Rentals -

A day after the House targeted Nashville with a tough bill on short-term rentals, the Senate deferred action on legislation blocking the Metro Council from enacting any prohibitions.

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee postponed a bill by Sen. John Stevens until January 2018, ending the debate this year on a measure singling out Davidson County efforts to restrict short-term rentals such as Airbnb.

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. House Takes First Step on ‘Almighty God’ Amendment -

The House of Representatives took the first legislative step Monday toward rewriting the state Constitution with a measure recognizing liberties come from Almighty God rather than governments.

In a 69-17 vote, the House passed the resolution by Rep. Micah Van Huss, an East Tennessee Republican, to amend the Constitution, a move requiring votes by consecutive General Assemblies and passage by the state’s voters.

23. Physical Education Bill Gets Tripped Up in Legislature -

Legislation requiring one hour of physical education per week for elementary students stumbled and fell Monday, May 8, when it hit a procedural hurdle.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Roger Kane went down in the House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee after a recount of sorts, one in which a member didn’t vote and then was allowed to cast a “no” vote killing the bill.

24. Last Word: Railgarten Redux, Raleigh Springs Mall and Forrest Author Speaks -

Railgarten II, Son of Railgarten, Railgarten, Beyond the Board of Adjustment, Railgarten, Enter The City Council … Take your pick of sequel titles. Railgarten goes back to the City Council Tuesday for at least a committee discussion in which the council considers whether it should take back the special use permit it granted the bar-restaurant. This is a follow up to the Board of Adjustment decision last month to delay any action on approving the other annexes of the business for 30 days.

25. Memphis Airport Authority Names Government Affairs Director -

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has announced Michael Fulton will assume the role of government affairs director, where he will be responsible for managing the governmental affairs functions for the airport, maintaining relationships with government officials or their key staff and providing oversight of local, state and federal initiatives.

26. Alexander: Senate Will Write Own Version of Health Care Act -

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee says the Senate will write its own version of the American Health Care Act that includes keeping coverage for pre-existing conditions.

“The Senate will write its own bill,” the Republican chairman of the Senate Health Committee said in Memphis Friday, May 5. “We’ve already started that. The House has passed its bill. If we find good ideas, we will borrow them and put them in our bill. But we’ll write our own bill. That’s why we have two houses of Congress.”

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. Haslam Signs Bill to Increase Penalties for Targeting Police -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill into law that will force people to face stiffer penalties for committing a violent offense against a police officer.

30. Tennessee Lawmakers Approve Optional 'In God We Trust' Tags -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The House has given final approval to a bill that would allow Tennessee drivers to choose license plates with the phrase "In God We Trust" on them.

The chamber voted 85-0 to approve the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Sanderson of Kenton on Thursday. The Senate earlier this week approved the measure on a 29-1 vote.

31. Tennessee House Passes Gun-Lawsuit Bill -

Legislation making it easier for cities to be sued over gun restrictions eased through the state House Wednesday, May 3, even though it would allow those filing lawsuits to claim triple attorney fees.

32. 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.

33. Resolution Targets California’s Proposed Travel Ban, Discourages Similar ‘Blackmail’ -

Despite a Memphis lawmaker's concerns about a “knee-jerk” reaction, the House passed legislation Monday, May 1, aimed at a California travel ban against states passing anti-gay laws.

Rep. Raumesh Akbari raised questions about the resolution brought by Rep. Tilman Goins, asking him if it would make Tennessee look as “petty” as California if California enacts a prohibition on state-funded travel to Tennessee and several other states that passed laws in 2016 considered unfair to the LGBT community.

34. House Leader Casada Backs Towns’ Slavery Amendment to State Constitution -

NASHVILLE – Rep. Joe Towns’ legislation to remove slavery from the state Constitution is being postponed until 2018, but it picked up a key endorsement Monday from Republican House Majority Leader Glen Casada.

35. It’s Not Hogwash, State Approves Silencer Bill -

Tennesseans who want to shoot feral hogs won’t have to worry about scaring the critters now that they have permission to put a silencer on their rifle.

The House of Representatives passed legislation 74-18 Monday, May 1, ending the state’s prohibition on possessing, manufacturing, transporting, repairing or selling silencers. The Senate previously passed the measure 28-1.

36. Lawmakers Still Seek Answers as Outsourcing Contract Gets Underway -

A majority of Tennessee’s legislators, including several Shelby County lawmakers, are asking the state to hold up on a facilities management outsourcing contract with Jones Lang LaSalle.

Seventy-five of the General Assembly’s 132 members, 17 in the Senate and 58 in the House, have signed a letter to Terry Cowles, director of the Office of Customer Focused Government, asking the office to slow down on outsourcing so it can “study and understand the effect” on public services, the economy and state employees.

37. Towns’ Slavery Amendment Gets Backing From House Leader -

Rep. Joe Towns’ legislation to remove slavery from the state Constitution is being postponed until 2018, but it picked up a key endorsement Monday from Republican House Majority Leader Glen Casada.

38. 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.

39. 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.

40. 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.

41. $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.

42. Questions About Shelby County Schools Voucher Bill Postpone It for the Year -

NASHVILLE – Questions about student testing within a proposed pilot voucher bill affecting Shelby County Schools forced the bill’s sponsor to postpone it until next year.

Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville, sent the bill to the first calendar of the 2018 House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee Wednesday, April 26, telling lawmakers he needs more time to work out details in the legislation. One of those questions dealt with the effective date of the voucher program and the other with an amendment enabling private schools that would accept public students to opt out of state-required testing, the TNReady.

43. 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.

44. Shelby County Schools Voucher Bill Postponed for the Year -

Questions about student testing within a proposed pilot voucher bill affecting Shelby County Schools forced the bill’s sponsor to postpone it until next year.

Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville, sent the bill to the first calendar of the 2018 House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee Wednesday, April 26, telling lawmakers he needs more time to work out details in the legislation. One of those questions dealt with the effective date of the voucher program and the other with an amendment enabling private schools that would accept public students to opt out of state-required testing, the TNReady.

45. 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.

46. House Concurs on Gas Tax Senate Version, Sends to Haslam For Signature -

Wrapping up wide-ranging legislation that dominated the opening year of the 110th General Assembly, the House concurred Monday with the Senate’s IMPROVE Act, inserting a $7 million measure to increase property tax breaks for veterans.

47. Parkinson Calls for Elimination of Achievement School District -

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson is renewing his call for an end to the Achievement School District amid revelations a charter school operator hired a convicted felon to run Lester Prep.

48. Memphis Democrats Prepare To Reorganize -

Shelby County Democrats hope to have the local party up and running by the Fourth of July. The Shelby County Democratic Party was disbanded by the Tennessee Democratic Party in August after two disastrous county election cycles for the Democratic slate and increasing dysfunction by the local party’s executive committee.

49. Last Word: Two Science Marches, Bill Lee Kicks Off and Andrew Young on Ben Hooks -

Rainy Sunday in the city with ponchoed partisans of the Porter-Leath Ragin' Cajun gathering and Africa in April overlapping from the riverfront to Danny Thomas Boulevard. In Germantown, it was a soggy but colorful 5k for the Germantown Municipal School District with shades of blue, orange and of course pink, or was it red?, at different parts of the run.

50. NAREB Kicks Off Events to Build Black Homeownership -

With homeownership rates among African-Americans 20 percent below the national average, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers has launched a “Two Million Black Homeowners in Five Years” initiative with the hopes of closing the homeowner gap.

51. Young Says Hooks Led in ’60s Without Pursuing Politics -

Just before he came to Memphis in April 1968 with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young remembers a meeting in Atlanta with King and U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Harry Belafonte and Richard Hatcher, the newly elected African-American mayor of Gary, Indiana.

52. 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.

53. Often-Arrested Lee Sisters Get Civil Rights Due on Capitol Hill -

During the civil rights era, the Lee sisters wouldn’t have been welcomed at the State Capitol. Half a century later, legislators honored the Memphis family on the House floor, recognizing their efforts in the 1960s when they participated in protests across the city and Southeast as high school and college students.

54. 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.

55. House, Senate Approve IMPROVE Act -

The House and Senate are nearly ready to send the IMPROVE Act to Gov. Bill Haslam, passing it with relatively wide voting margins after months of debate.

Only one adjustment is needed in a measure providing property tax relief for veterans, the disabled and elderly before the measure can be sent to Haslam.

56. View From the Hill: Tearful End for Non-Citizen Tuition Relief Bill -

State Rep. Raumesh Akbari grew so emotional she couldn’t speak. On the verge of tears, the Memphis Democrat started to talk about a high school from her Shelby County district with a large number of undocumented immigrant students.

57. Memphis Gets Nod for New Hotel Tax, Nashville Having Pipeline Problems -

The state Senate approved legislation enabling the Memphis City Council to consider an ordinance to create a new hotel/motel tax of no more than an aggregate of 5 percent to go toward the city-owned Memphis Cook Convention Center.

58. 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.

59. Veterans Want Tax Relief Addressed Separately -

Members of the Legislature’s Veterans Caucus are renewing a call to increase property tax relief statewide for veterans and the elderly in a measure separate from the governor’s IMPROVE Act.

60. Memphis Gets Nod for New Hotel Tax, Nashville Having Pipeline Problems -

The state Senate has approved legislation enabling the Memphis City Council to consider an ordinance to create a new hotel/motel tax of no more than an aggregate of 5 percent to go toward the city-owned Memphis Cook Convention Center.

61. Coalition Urges City Funding For Memphis Schools -

A group of 13 organization and 17 citizens including Shelby County Schools board chairman Chris Caldwell and state Representatives Raumesh Akbari and G.A. Hardaway are calling on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland to include at least $10 million in funding for schools in the budget he takes to the Memphis City Council next week.

62. 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.

63. Voting Selfie Bill Sailed Through State Senate -

NASHVILLE – Legislation stemming from the infamous voting-booth selfie by pop star Justin Timberlake sailed through the Senate on Thursday, April 13.

Unknowingly, Timberlake might have violated state law when he took a selfie in a Germantown voting booth in 2016 where, as a periodic resident, he is registered to vote, according to reports.

64. Immigrant Student Tuition Bill Fails In House Education Committee -

Karla Meza dreams of enrolling in the University of Tennessee Law School after growing up in Knoxville and watching college students walk along Cumberland Avenue.

But that dream is on hold after a House Education committee refused Tuesday, April 11, to allow all students, including illegal immigrants, who graduate from Tennessee high schools to pay in-state tuition at state colleges.

65. House Committee Moves Voucher Bill Past Delay With ‘Neutral’ Recommendation -

Legislation setting up a pilot voucher program for low-income students in Shelby County emerged Wednesday, April 12, from the House Government Operations Committee after two weeks of delay.

But an amendment enabling private schools who accept public students to opt out of state-required testing could cause it to go back to the starting line.

66. House Committee Moves Voucher Bill With ‘Neutral’ Recommendation -

Legislation setting up a pilot voucher program for low-income students in Shelby County emerged Wednesday, April 12, from the House Government Operations Committee after two weeks of delay.

But an amendment enabling private schools who accept public students to opt out of state-required testing could cause it to go back to the starting line.

67. Shops of Wolflake Near Wolfchase Sells for $4.8M -

2965 N. Germantown Parkway
Bartlett, TN 38133 

Sale Amount: $5 million

Sale Date: March 31

Buyer: WFL Retail LLC

68. 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.

69. Immigrant Student Bill Fails in House Education Committee -

Karla Meza dreams of enrolling in the University of Tennessee Law School after growing up in Knoxville and watching college students walk along Cumberland Avenue.

But that dream is on hold after a House Education committee refused Tuesday, April 11, to allow all students, including illegal immigrants, who graduate from Tennessee high schools to pay in-state tuition at state colleges.

70. Harris: Syrian Air Strikes Should Change State’s Stance on Refugees -

State Sen. Lee Harris is calling on the Legislature to rethink its stance on refugees amid legal action taken against the federal government after President Donald Trump ordered an air strike against Syria.

71. Parkinson’s Pot Bill Falls Short by Handful of Votes -

Legislation by Rep. Antonio Parkinson designed to cut felony charges for possession of small amounts of marijuana didn’t exactly light up the House Monday evening. 

It fell 44-45-5 and was sent back to the Calendar and Rules Committee after some House members questioned the amount of marijuana the bill would allow people to carry – up to an ounce – without getting a harsher charge than a misdemeanor. The bill did not receive the 50 votes required for passage or the 50 in opposition to kill it and could be renewed with a two-thirds vote.

72. Harris: Syrian Air Strikes Should Change State’s Stance on Refugees -

State Sen. Lee Harris is calling on the Legislature to rethink its stance on refugees amid legal action taken against the federal government after President Donald Trump ordered an air strike against Syria.

73. Civil Rights Activist Owens Calls Out Memphis Lawmaker -

Memphis civil rights activist Bill Owens, who campaigned for Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, is criticizing a state legislator who refused to back his political efforts in a statement on the House floor.

74. 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.

75. 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.

76. U of M Students, Faculty Do Social Work on the Hill -

The University of Memphis Department of Social Work recently participated in the annual Social Work Day on the Hill.

More than 50 students and six faculty members in bachelor’s and master’s programs traveled to Nashville to gain practical experience in speaking to legislators, building interdisciplinary professional relationships, and advocating for policies primarily related to mental health and child welfare.

77. April 7-13, 2017: This week in Memphis history -

1993: U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Sr. is acquitted of all charges in his second bank fraud trial in Memphis Federal Court. Ford’s trial by a jury of citizens from outside the Memphis area ends dramatically with the jury foreman reading the verdict on each of the 18 counts against Ford – any one of which, Ford later said, would have ended his political career had he been found guilty.

78. House Committee Postpones School Voucher Bill Again -

A House committee amended legislation setting up a pilot voucher program for low-income students in Shelby County, enabling private schools who take students from struggling public schools to opt out of state-required tests.

79. 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.

80. Early Voting in District 95 Primaries Begins Friday -

Early voting opens Friday, April 7, in the special primary elections for state House District 95 as other elections – including some 2018 races – already show plenty of signs of political life.

81. Oral Chemo Bill Heading for House Vote as Big Pharma Watches -

Despite objections to a pharmaceutical reporting requirement, a House committee passed legislation Tuesday, April 4, designed to make oral chemotherapy medication more affordable.

By a 16-2 vote, the House Insurance and Banking Committee approved legislation sponsored by Rep. William Lamberth prohibiting an insurance provider from requiring a higher insurance co-payment for oral anti-cancer medication than for injected chemotherapy medication. The measure moves next to the Calendar & Rules Committee and then the House floor.

82. Immigrant Tuition Break Gaining Support in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A push to offer in-state college tuition rates to students whose parents brought them into the country illegally is picking up unlikely momentum from some Republicans in Tennessee, a deeply conservative state that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump and his tough stance on immigration.

83. 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.

84. 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.

85. 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.

86. Last Word: A New Chapter, The Kissell Dome and The New Bartlett High School -

Booksellers of Laurelwood is set to return in most of the same location with a smaller footprint and new owners. John Vergos of the Rendezvous and a former Memphis City Council member is among the investors bringing back the East Memphis institution that closed in February. No word on whether the new group will keep the name or go with a new name.

87. Anti-Gay Marriage Legislation Fades Along With Transgender Restrooms -

Anti-gay marriage legislation appears to be dead in the House of Representatives for the year. The House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted Wednesday, March 29, to put off an amended version of the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act until 2018. Under the measure, Tennessee’s policy would require it to defend “natural marriage” between one man and one woman regardless of any court decision to the contrary.

88. Memphis Rep. Towns Attacks Drug Lobby -

Legislation designed to make oral chemotherapy medication more affordable is hitting a snag in the form a financial reporting amendment.

The holdup is raising the ire of state Rep. Joe Towns Jr., who believes the Legislature is running scared of big drug companies.

89. Lawmakers Blast Haslam Administration for Process Toward JLL Contract -

The Tennessee Department of General Services is set to award a statewide contract for facility management services to Jones Lang LaSalle, a company that already handles 10 percent of state office space and estimates a 15.9 percent savings if all higher education institutes participate.

90. 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.

91. Gannett Cuts 30 Percent of Commercial Appeal Newsroom -

The Commercial Appeal newsroom got around 30 percent smaller Tuesday, March 28, as a result of cuts made by the newspaper’s still relatively new corporate parent, Gannett Co. Inc.

92. IMPROVE Act Moves Closer to Passage -

With hardly a peep of discontent from lawmakers, the governor’s IMPROVE Act containing fuel-tax increases and a host of tax cuts moved out of the House Local Government Committee today.

It heads next to a House Finance committee, where the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Barry Doss, predicts it won’t face a fight.

93. Senate Douses Memphis and Nashville Pot Ordinances -

State senators are intent on striking down Memphis and Nashville marijuana laws giving police discretion to hand out citations for possessing small amounts of pot.

Despite opposition from Shelby County and Davidson County legislators, the Senate voted 26-5 Monday to clarify that state law overrides local government regulations involving drugs and similar substances.

94. 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.

95. Inn Construction, Private Management Plan Draw Ire of State Sen. Lee Harris -

State Sen. Lee Harris is criticizing Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision to renew an outsourcing plan for development and operations at Fall Creek Falls State Park, calling it a move to bolster profits for a private company.

96. Sit-In Protests Get First Historical Marker -

Nobody kept count until Jet magazine came to Memphis in 1965 to feature a group of seven sisters the influential magazine billed as “the most arrested family” in the country.

With a picture of the seven Lee sisters, the magazine said Lee family members have “been arrested 17 times for civil rights activities.”

97. Bill That Helps Nonviolent Offenders Passes in Legislature -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill that helps nonviolent offenders find employment has passed in the Legislature with bipartisan support.

The primary sponsors of the bill were Shelby County-area lawmakers.

98. 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.

99. 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.

100. Veterans Balk at Proposed Tax Relief Method -

Veterans in the state Legislature are balking at inclusion of a veterans tax relief plan in Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, saying it should be removed to stand on its own.

“The idea that the amendment on the IMPROVE Act for the veterans property tax relief is being done on the backs of veterans is despicable,” said state Rep. Micah Van Huss, a Marine Corps veteran who is spearheading the effort.