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Editorial Results (free)

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Traffic Camera Confidentiality Bill Withdrawn in House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill that had sought to make the names of people who refused to pay traffic camera fines confidential has been withdrawn for the year.

WTVF-TV reported (http://bit.ly/2p7XWaW) that the bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden, had received 13 traffic camera tickets.

4. Lawmaker Takes Heat Over Bill That Would Hide His Tickets -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee lawmaker is taking heat after being accused of sponsoring a bill that would hide his own unpaid speeding tickets from the public.

WTVF reports (http://bit.ly/2nJ9jbL) that Rep. Andy Holt is trying to phase out traffic camera speeding tickets and is pushing legislation that would keep the names of people with unpaid traffic tickets confidential.

5. View From the Hill: Haslam Facing Tough Sell on Tax Hikes, Cuts -

An interesting thing happened just a couple of hours before Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled his fuel-tax increase plan amid great fanfare at the State Capitol. 

As the governor started explaining the proposed IMPROVE Act to reporters during a short media briefing, he apparently realized more people were poring over a handout than paying attention. They were trying to get a jump on writing stories while digesting the numbers combined with an array of tax breaks designed to make tax increases more palatable.

6. House Leader Says Haslam’s IMPROVE Act Will Need More Votes for Passage -

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam made his pitch on a multi-faceted fuel-tax increase, softened by an array of tax breaks this week. Now, he has to seal the deal.

With some of Tennessee’s liberal lawmakers noting the IMPROVE Act comes with a “lot of moving parts,” Haslam will have to put a full-court press on the state’s most conservative legislators in order to pass the bill.

7. House Leader Says Haslam’s IMPROVE Act Will Need More Votes to Pass -

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam made his pitch on a multi-faceted fuel-tax increase, softened by an array of tax breaks this week. Now, he has to seal the deal.

With some of Tennessee’s liberal lawmakers noting the IMPROVE Act comes with a “lot of moving parts,” Haslam will have to put a full-court press on the state’s most conservative legislators in order to pass the bill.

8. 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.

9. Reactionaries, Evidence Vie on Medicinal Pot -

Three-year-old Josie Mae Mathis of Greene County used to suffer hundreds of seizures daily from epilepsy and infantile spasms. Aden Vogus, a pre-teen from Brentwood, has seen his seizures all but disappear.

10. Brewer Named President Of Versant Supply Chain -

Buck Brewer has been promoted to president of Memphis-based Versant Supply Chain Inc. A 20-year veteran of the supply chain industry, Brewer joined Versant six years ago and had served as its chief operating officer since January 2014.
Brewer, 40, assumes the president’s position from Richard J. Peters, who will continue to serve as Versant’s chairman.
Over the past several years, Versant has expanded from a small freight brokerage into a provider of specialized labor, freight and flexible space solutions supporting large global supply chain organizations.
The company currently has 130 full-time employees and employs 3,000 full-time-equivalent associates through its partnerships with customers.
Brewer says that while most people would say his job is to oversee the day-to-day operation and overall growth strategy of the company, he believes his job is “to support the incredibly talented individuals that truly drive the company and make it what it is today.”

11. At Least 7 Lawmakers Had Financial Ties to GOP Donor Miller -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – At least seven current and former Republican lawmakers in Tennessee had financial ties to a prominent GOP donor who recently settled a federal fraud case involving the military health care program.

12. Same Name, No Relation -

THE NAME OF WHAT WE ONCE HOPED TO BE AND WHAT WE’VE ACTUALLY BECOME.

Andy Holt.

The late Andy Holt from Milan, a schoolteacher, a coach, and once the principal of what is now Campus School in Memphis, the national president of the National Education Association and president of the University of Tennessee. His Columbia doctoral dissertation was about the struggle for public support of education in Tennessee.

13. Traffic Ticket? State Lawmaker Says No Problem, Just Burn It -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Republican Tennessee lawmaker says getting a traffic camera ticket isn't a problem – he just burns them.

State Rep. Andy Holt set such ticket ablaze last week and posted the video to Facebook. A news release issued in conjunction with the Facebook video urges others who are issued traffic camera tickets in Tennessee to ignore them.

14. Tennessee Campus Carry Becomes Law Without Haslam Signature -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill allowing staff and faculty at Tennessee's public colleges and universities to be armed on campus became law Monday without the Republican governor's signature.

15. Lawmakers Fail To Conclude Tennessee Legislative Session -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A lengthy debate over a proposed veto override, partisan squabbling and a disagreement over a tax cut have delayed the planned conclusion of the legislative session.

16. Bill to Cap Liquor Store Ownership Headed to Haslam's Desk -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The House passed a bill Monday to impose a cap on liquor store ownership in Tennessee, sending the measure that some Republicans derided as contrary to free market principles to Gov. Bill Haslam's desk.

17. Bill to Allow Clergy to Refuse Gay Marriage Fails in House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill seeking to underscore the right of Tennessee clergy to refuse to perform marriages based on religious convictions has failed in the House.

The House Civil Justice subcommittee on Wednesday defeated Rep. Andy Holt's bill on a voice vote. The Dresden Republican said he wanted to pass the legislation he had dubbed the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" in light of the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling of last year.

18. Bill Would Open Door for Utilities to Expand Broadband -

Legislation to expand broadband access across Tennessee is evolving – by necessity.

State Rep. Kevin Brooks’ bill HB1303 to allow public utilities to provide Internet service outside their footprint is alive, he says, but it is being “argued vehemently.”

19. Stanford Financial Doc Accepted to UK Festival -

A documentary about the rise and fall of a financier who had prominent ties to Memphis has been accepted to the UK Screen One Film Festival.

The film’s title is, “Where’s the Money? The Rise and Fall of Stanford Financial.” The downfall of Stanford was the second biggest financial scam in U.S. history after that of Bernie Madoff’s.

20. Stanford Financial Doc Accepted to UK Festival -

A documentary about the rise and fall of a financier who had prominent ties to Memphis has been accepted to the UK Screen One Film Festival.

The film’s title is, “Where’s the Money? The Rise and Fall of Stanford Financial.” The downfall of Stanford was the second biggest financial scam in U.S. history after that of Bernie Madoff’s.

21. Last Word: Groundhog Day's Long Shadow, Minority Percentage & The Value of Sports -

After the January into February weekend we had with its outbreak of spring fever, you might wonder if groundhogs are allowed to change their minds or if shadows that are the result of television lights count as a prediction on the winter’s length.
Or maybe it would be appropriate to have a weather map that includes the Groundhog Day immunity zones – areas where the long shadow of the groundhog does not venture.
Note to television meteorologists: This would in no way interfere with your right to declare large parts of your viewing areas as places of "potentially severe weather" far into the future. But you will need a different color for the Groundhog Immunity Zones.

22. Posturing Against Supreme Court Is a Waste of Money -

Legislation rejecting the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling faces major constitutional questions and, if passed, could put a financial burden on Tennessee taxpayers.

When the high court declared gay and lesbian couples have the right to be married across the United States, overturning state laws to the contrary, Tennessee’s Republican legislators started brainstorming for methods to work around the decision or to defy it. The Republican Caucus still hasn’t announced the outcome.

23. EPA Seeking Up to $177K In Fines Against Tenn. Lawmaker -

A state lawmaker is facing up to $177,500 in fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for discharging waste from his northwestern Tennessee hog farm without a permit.

WTVF-TV in Nashville first reported that the EPA has filed the complaint against state Rep. Andy Holt, a Dresden Republican and vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. According to the filing, Holt’s farm discharged a total of more than 860,000 gallons from lagoons on the farm raising nearly 1,500 swine without proper authorization.

24. 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."

25. Tenn. House Member Seeks Protection Against Haslam Vetoes -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A state House member is seeking to delay votes on Gov. Bill Haslam's legislative proposals to insure against vetoes of embattled measures such as allowing people with handgun carry permits to be armed in city parks.

26. Tennessee House Votes to Name Bible as Official Book -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee state House ignored serious constitutional concerns – and the wishes of Republican leaders in Statehouse – in voting to make the holy Bible the official state book.

27. Battle of the Band(width) -

Joyce Coltrin’s business is wandering in Bradley County’s technological wilderness. And it’s likely to remain there – because of legal threats – until the General Assembly changes state law.

28. Haslam Says He Didn't Discourage Enforcement at Hog Farm -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he would "never, ever" discourage regulators from enforcing environmental rules at a fellow Republican state lawmaker's hog farm.

29. Tennessee Lawmaker Operated Hog Farm Without Proper Permits -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Republican lawmaker from northwestern Tennessee operated his hog farm without proper state permits, and an inspector said he was discouraged by upper management from enforcing violations.

30. Traffic Camera Revenue Could Fund Scholarships -

Democratic state Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis has filed legislation that would use revenue from municipal red light cameras to send students to college.

31. Bill Would Use Traffic Camera Revenue to Fund Scholarships -

Democratic state Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis has filed legislation that would use revenue from municipal red light cameras to send students to college.

32. Tennessee Bill Seeks to Ban Red-Light Cameras -

A state Republican lawmaker says he plans to file legislation that seeks to ban speeding and red-light cameras in Tennessee.

Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden says he's received hundreds of messages from Democrats and Republicans supporting his call to outlaw the controversial cameras.

33. Minyard Joins Barge Waggoner -

Tom Minyard, a 31-year veteran of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has joined Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc. as the civil works program manager. In his new role, Minyard’s responsibilities include the advancement of the firm’s strategic direction as it relates to its civil works program for local, state and federal governments. His areas of technical interest include flood risk reduction, navigation, ecosystem restoration and emergency response.

34. Haslam Vetoes Reduction of Penalties for Pollution -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday vetoed a bill over what he called an unintended consequence of reducing the criminal penalties for pollution in Tennessee.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville and fellow Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden was aimed at penalizing retail vandalism by "flash mobs." It had passed the Senate 29-0 and the House 63-31.

35. House Passes Haslam Free Tuition Plan -

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

36. Haslam Agenda Hits Hard Times in Tennessee Legislature -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam's agenda is falling on hard times with fellow Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly.

A House vote last week to delay school curriculum and assessment standards was the latest defiance of the governor's wishes. The GOP supermajority in the Legislature this session has also:

37. Bill Shields School Religious Displays -

Legislation that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations and religious displays has been approved in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden was overwhelmingly approved 83-4 on Thursday. The Senate version was unanimously approved 30-0 last month.

38. Bill Shields School Religious Displays -

Legislation that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations and religious displays has been approved in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden was overwhelmingly approved 83-4 on Thursday. The Senate version was unanimously approved 30-0 last month.

39. Tennessee Lawmakers Drafting Hemp Bill -

KNOXVILLE (AP) – Two state lawmakers in Tennessee are pointing to Kentucky's recent approval of hemp farming as they push for a similar measure.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Republican Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains is drafting a bill with Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden, and they plan to introduce the measure in next year's legislative session.

40. House Barely Approves Animal Abuse Reporting Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A bill seeking to require anyone recording or taking photos of livestock abuse to turn images over to law enforcement within 48 hours was approved in the House on Wednesday with the bare vote minimum needed.

41. Animal Abuse Reporting Bill Hits Senate Snag -

An effort to require whistleblowers to quickly submit damning evidence of animal abuse to law enforcement has hit a snag in the state Senate over questions about the true intentions of the bill.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville and fellow Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden would require anyone recording images of animal abuse submit unedited footage or photos to law enforcement within 48 hours.

42. FTN Financial Expands Sales Team -

FTN Financial, a subsidiary of First Tennessee Bank, has expanded its sales team.

Sylvia Holt Williams has joined FTN from Stifel Nicolaus, where she served as managing director of MBS trading. Williams will work out of the Kansas City, Mo., FTN office.

43. Making a Personal Hook -

CAUGHT FOR LIFE. At five o’clock on a Sunday morning in 1969 the phone in the frat house rang. When a phone rings at that time on that day in a frat house, it’s a wrong number, bad news or somebody calling for bail money. This call was for me.

44. Guns on Campus Bill Sparks Republican Infighting -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The demise of a bill seeking to allow faculty and staff to carry guns on the campuses of public colleges has led to a flare-up between Republican lawmakers in the Tennessee House.

45. Special Coverage: Mid-South Flooding -

Coverage of the rising waters in the Memphis area

River Forecast to Crest at 48 Feet

County Emergency Preparedness officials said Monday afternoon they still expect the Mississippi River to crest on May 11.

46. Haslam, Ramsey Line Up Against Guns on Campus -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey are working against a bill to allow faculty and staff to carry guns on the campuses of Tennessee's public universities.

47. Archived Article: Gov Focus - City Leaders Collaborate on South Forum Redevelopment

City Leaders Collaborate on South Forum Redevelopment

ANDY MEEK

The Daily News

At a recent series of meetings held by the Center City Commission on redevelopment of the area south of ...

48. Archived Article: Gov Focus - By Andy Meek

Plans Move Forward on Dexter Development

ANDY MEEK

The Daily News

Kemmons Wilson Inc. is making plans to bring a 108-unit townhouse development to Germantown.

The Oaks at Dexter Planned Development, to be built on about 2...