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Editorial Results (free)

1. University of Tennessee Chancellor Being Forced Out of Post -

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee chancellor Beverly Davenport is being forced out of her post after less than 15 months at the helm, a tenure that included a tumultuous search for a head football coach and other controversies.

2. Questions for Feds Delay TennCare Work Requirement Bill -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee lawmakers have temporarily hit pause on their push to make many able-bodied adults either work, volunteer, or take classes if they don't have children younger than 6, in order to keep their TennCare health coverage.

3. Consensus on Gun Legislation? Not on Your Life -

That burning smell emanating from the General Assembly isn’t coming from the flame of bipartisanship. More likely it’s the result of scorched-earth politics.

Even though a weapons measure called the “carry-like-a-cop” bill died recently in a House committee, the gap between Republicans and Democrats on gun legislation is, for the most part, about as wide as the range of a Barrett .50-caliber rifle, more than 2.5 miles.

4. UT Chancellor Questioned About LGBT Center Fundraiser -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The University of Tennessee at Knoxville's chancellor has drawn scrutiny during a Republican-led legislative meeting for attending a fundraiser that generated $300,000-plus for the school's LGBT center.

5. Tennessee Bill Would Limit Licensing Denials of Ex-Offenders -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bill in Tennessee would limit the ability of state licensing boards to deny occupational licenses based on the criminal history of applicants.

Republican Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris of Memphis and Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby announced the "fresh start" legislation Monday.

6. Tennessee Bill Would Exempt Gun Safes From State Sales Tax -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are pushing legislation to exempt gun safes from the state's sales tax.

At a news conference Monday, Republican Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield said the bill shows how the state Senate can find common ground and work in a bipartisan manner.

7. State Senate GOP Eyes 'Tennessee Agenda' Amid Trump Divide -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Election-minded Tennessee Senate Republicans say they want to tout their accomplishments more effectively amid their party's potential to divide over national politics.

8. Tennessee Prisons Chief Vows More Private Prison Accountability -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee's corrections chief says his department didn't fine the nation's largest private prison operator for staffing shortages later identified in an audit because the company seemed to be trying hard to fill vacancies.

9. Tennessee Bill Outlawing Sanctuary Cities Dead for Year -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee bill that would outlaw and block funding for immigrant-protecting sanctuary cities is dead for the year.

On Wednesday, Republican Rep. Tilman Goins of Morristown delayed consideration of the bill until 2018.

10. View From the Hill: Taxing Online Sales Not Such an Easy Fix -

Cumberland Transit owner Allen Doty isn’t sure if a rule requiring major out-of-state retailers to collect Tennessee sales taxes will create more equity for his shop.

But Doty, who has been selling everything from bicycles to kayaks and camping gear for 34 years in Nashville, is definitely tired of people shopping in his store for hours, snapping a picture of shoes they like, then going home and buying them online “just to avoid sales tax.”

11. Lawmakers Lure Us In With Momentary Sanity, And Then... -

Just when it appears the Tennessee Senate is made up of sensible people – as evidenced by the killing of de-annexation legislation – the body is changing course with a Bible-thumping measure.

12. Bill to End Tennessee Motorcycle Helmet Law Fails in Senate -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to allow motorcyclists to ride Tennessee roads without safety helmets has been defeated in a Senate committee.

The Finance Committee on Tuesday voted 6-5 against the bill sponsored by Sen. Kerry Roberts. The Springfield Republican argued that ending the helmet law for insured riders who are at least 21 years old would be a boon to tourism in the state.

13. Cutting taxes, school choice, tort reform drive Sen. Kelsey -

State Sen. Brian Kelsey calls himself “a proud conservative who likes to get results.”

14. Let’s Not Forget -

BELL. BOWLING. CROWE. GARDENHIRE. KELSEY. NICELY. ROBERTS. AND NORRIS. As the Tennessee General Assembly gets going in 2016, let’s remember how they started 2015 – with the abandonment of common sense and decency and hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans.
The story of what they did bears repeating as a cautionary tale. If we let them do it again, we all bear responsibility.

15. Refugees, Regents, Privatization On Tap for New Session -

State Sen. Ken Yager isn’t quite ready for the state of Tennessee to reclaim the Refugee Resettlement Program from Catholic Charities.

16. Corker Says Visa Waivers a Bigger Risk Than Refugees -

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he believes the nation needs to stop admitting Syrian refugees until security problems are solved, but the nation’s “bigger risk” in letting terrorists slip into the country lies with the nation’s Visa Waiver Program.

17. Bill to Do Away With Tennessee Helmet Requirement Revived -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal that seeks to do away with Tennessee's motorcycle helmet requirement was revived Wednesday and is advancing in the state Legislature despite concerns about how it would be enforced.

18. AAA Fights to Keep Helmet Law in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – AAA motor club wants to put the brakes on proposed legislation that would allow many motorcyclists to ride without a helmet.

Currently, Tennessee law requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. But a bill that will be going to committee on Tuesday would allow anyone who is 21 or over who has health coverage, as long as it's not through TennCare, to be able to legally ride without a helmet.

19. Done Unto -

BELL. BOWLING. CROWE. GARDENHIRE. KELSEY. NICELY. ROBERTS. AND NORRIS. Since last week’s debacle in the state Legislature – the abandonment of common sense and decency and hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans by their elected representatives – the ether and printed pages here and elsewhere have been full of various explanations and finger pointing. Let’s keep it simple. Let’s simply point that finger at those who raised their hands.

20. 6 of 7 Who Killed Insure Tennessee are on State Health Plan -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Six of the seven Republican senators who voted to kill Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans are enrolled in the state government health plan.

21. Haslam's Insure Tennessee Health Plan Fails in Legislature -

Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans has failed during a special legislative session.

The Senate Health Committee defeated the Republican governor's Insure Tennessee plan Wednesday on a 7-4 vote.

22. Tenn. Lawmakers Want More Time on Redistricting Plans -

NASHVILLE (AP) – State lawmakers opposed to legislative redistricting plans are questioning the desire of Republican leaders to pass them so quickly.

GOP leaders hope their redistricting plans can come up for a vote early as Thursday, Jan. 12, after the judiciary committees in both chambers passed the plans on to the House and Senate floors.

23. Tenn. Lawmakers Want More Time on Redistricting Plans -

NASHVILLE (AP) – State lawmakers opposed to legislative redistricting plans are questioning the desire of Republican leaders to pass them so quickly.

GOP leaders hope their redistricting plans can come up for a vote early as Thursday after the judiciary committees in both chambers passed the plans on to the House and Senate floors.

24. Roberts Replaces Black in Tenn. Senate -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican Kerry Roberts has been sworn in to replace Diane Black in the Tennessee Senate.

25. Voters to Decide Black Successor in Tenn. Senate -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Voters in Robertson and Sumner counties go to the polls Tuesday to select Republican Diane Black's permanent successor in the state Senate.

26. Stephens Named Executive Director Of Exceptional Foundation of West Tenn. -

Jeni Stephens has been named the executive director of the Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee.

Stephens was appointed following a national search conducted by the EFWT.

She joins the EFWT with a 14-year background in nonprofit administration. She most recently served as deputy director of development for the Pink Palace Family of Museums. She also has served as director of marketing and development for the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and the Memphis Academy of Science in Engineering.