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.
43. Attorney General Election Proposal Passes Tennessee Senate - Wednesday, April 15, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposed constitutional amendment calling for the popular election of Tennessee's attorney general overwhelmingly passed the Senate on Tuesday despite arguments that the current system doesn't need to be changed.44. Tennessee House Bogs Down Over Making Bible Official Book - Wednesday, April 15, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A small-town Republican's proposal to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee ran into opposition from top members of his own party as the House delayed a scheduled vote on the measure Tuesday.45. Bill Would Make Bible Official State Book of Tennessee - Friday, April 10, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Despite concerns that giving the holy Bible the same status as a salamander is a little tawdry and could be unconstitutional, Tennessee lawmakers are forging ahead with plans to make it the official state book – something at least two other states have failed to do.46. State Senate Votes to Allow Handguns at Tennessee Capitol - Thursday, April 02, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – People with handgun carry permits would be able to carry their weapons on the grounds of the state Capitol under a provision inserted into a guns-in-parks proposal that overwhelmingly passed the Senate on Wednesday.47. Anti-Abortion Legislation Finds Little Resistance - Thursday, April 02, 2015
Buoyed by passage of Amendment 1 last fall, legislation restricting abortions is starting to roll – with relative ease – through the General Assembly.
Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, and Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, began the push recently with measures backed by Gov. Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and the Republican ranks. Their bills couldn’t even draw enough resistance to require a roll-call vote.48. Haslam Undaunted By Difficult Prospects for Insure Tennessee - Friday, March 27, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday that he is willing to risk a second defeat of his Insure Tennessee proposal to highlight the need for improving health standards in the state.49. Haslam Encouraged By Insure Tenn. Revival; Ramsey Skeptical - Wednesday, March 25, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that he's pleased to see his Insure Tennessee proposal revived in the Legislature, but the top Republican in the Senate called it unlikely that the measure will reach an up-or-down vote by the full chamber.50. 7 Tennessee School Systems Sue the State Over Funding - Wednesday, March 25, 2015
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Hamilton County and six Chattanooga-area school systems filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state saying local schools are not being funded as required by law.51. Legislation Keeps Tennessee Academic Standards - Friday, March 20, 2015
Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says an agreement has been reached on legislation that would keep the state’s current academic standards intact.52. Secret 'Pre-Meetings' Become Commonplace in Tennessee House - Wednesday, March 18, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee House committees are increasingly gathering in cramped, tucked-away conference rooms in the legislative office complex to hold secret "pre-meetings" to discuss pending legislation. The public isn't informed or invited.53. Tenn. Republicans Hit Each Other on 'Social Hour,' Expenses - Monday, March 16, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick drew hoots and hollers of agreement from his colleagues when he suggested that members of the Senate had met during recent winter storms in the interest of padding their expense accounts.54. Battle of the Band(width) - Saturday, March 14, 2015
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.55. Eliminating Hall Income Tax Raises New Problems - Thursday, March 05, 2015
Republican lawmakers are lining up legislation to reduce or phase out Tennessee’s Hall income tax on investments, even though Gov. Bill Haslam is concerned about losing revenue amid the state’s economic ups and downs.56. Tennessee Public Television Stations Airing Legislative Show - Tuesday, March 03, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee public television stations are airing a new show about the happenings in the state Legislature.
The first of four 30-minute episodes of the "Tennessee Capitol Report" began airing Sunday morning, March 1, on public TV stations in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Lexington-Jackson and Cookeville. The next episodes are scheduled to air on March 29, April 26 and May 31.57. Tennessee GOP Leader Questions Incentives for Unionized GM Plant - Monday, March 02, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said last week that it may have been "a mistake" for Tennessee to subsidize the development of the General Motors plant outside Nashville because it has a United Auto Workers union contract.58. Bid to Block Health Exchange in Tennessee Seen as 'Overkill' - Monday, March 02, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Some Republican lawmakers still reveling in the recent defeat of a proposal to expand Medicaid to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans are now setting their sights on 230,000 people enrolled through the federal health insurance exchange.59. Kelsey’s New Private School Voucher Plan Looks More Like Haslam’s - Friday, February 27, 2015
Momentum is building this session for voucher legislation that would allow state dollars to follow students from struggling public schools to private and religious institutions.
But it is hardly etched in stone.60. Haslam Wary of Gas Tax Hike - Friday, February 20, 2015
Despite low gas prices, a backlog on road projects and prevailing winds for fuel-tax reform, Gov. Bill Haslam is pulling back from a gas-tax increase this session.
After floating the possibility of raising the tax in December, the Republican governor appears to be changing course, in part because of his loss in a Senate committee on Insure Tennessee, the Medicaid expansion alternative that failed to make debate in the full House or Senate.61. Insure Tennessee Fails to Win Sound Bite Test - Friday, February 13, 2015
Fresh off a resounding November re-election victory, Gov. Bill Haslam ran smack dab into the reality of Tennessee politics: The Republican Party abhors anything connected to President Barack Obama.62. Fresh Off Medicaid Loss, Haslam Pivots to Common Core Fight - Tuesday, February 10, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Fresh off his failed effort to persuade fellow Republicans in the Legislature that he wasn't peddling "Obamacare," Gov. Bill Haslam is pivoting to another tough fight over what he describes as the ruined brand of Common Core education standards.63. 6 of 7 Who Killed Insure Tennessee are on State Health Plan - Friday, February 06, 2015
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.64. Haslam's Insure Tennessee Health Plan Fails in Legislature - Thursday, February 05, 2015
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.65. Both Sides Dig In for Insure Tennessee Special Session - Monday, February 02, 2015
Battle lines have been drawn for a Feb. 2 special session of the state Legislature to determine the fate of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal, which would use federal funds to catch some 280,000 working people falling through a health insurance coverage gap.66. Both Sides Dig In For Insure Tennessee Special Session - Saturday, January 31, 2015
Battle lines have been drawn for a Feb. 2 special session of the state Legislature to determine the fate of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal, which would use federal funds to catch some 200,000 working people falling through a health insurance coverage gap.67. House, Senate at Odds Over Who Goes First on Medicaid Plan - Monday, January 19, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican leaders in the state House and Senate are at odds about who should go first on taking up Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.68. Fellow Republicans Reluctant About Haslam's Health Proposal - Thursday, January 15, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to offer health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans is getting a tepid response from fellow Republicans in the Legislature – so much so, that he has yet to find a Senate sponsor for his proposal.69. Tenn. Lawmakers Convene 109th General Assembly - Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Tennessee lawmakers have convened the 109th General Assembly amid abortion rights protests inside the state Capitol.
Republican Rep. Beth Harwell of Nashville and Sen. Ron Ramsey of Blountville were re-elected as speakers of the House and Senate, while about 60 protesters outside shouted into a bullhorn, banged drums and chanted.70. Haslam Eager to Defend Insure Tennessee Plan - Monday, January 12, 2015
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam hopes that when the special session of the Tennessee Legislature begins Feb. 2 the ceremony of the start of a legislative session as well as his second inaugural will have passed.71. Tennessee’s Health Problem - Saturday, January 10, 2015
For years, the concept of “wellness” or “preventive health” measures has been the “eat your vegetables” mantra of a growing national discussion on health care that has focused primarily on the cost of such care and who should pay for it or try to control it.72. Tenn. General Assembly Launches Website Redesign - Saturday, January 03, 2015
A redesigned website for the Tennessee General Assembly features upgrades to bill tracking and video streaming functions.
Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says the redesign is meant to make state government "more open, more transparent and customer-friendly."73. Gas Tax Increase Gaining Momentum in Tennessee - Saturday, December 27, 2014
Momentum is mounting for a possible proposal to raise the state's gas tax for the first time in 25 years.
Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean he thinks a legislative proposal on the issue is close and could be introduced in the next General Assembly, which convenes in January.74. Tenn. General Assembly Launches Website Redesign - Monday, December 29, 2014
A redesigned website for the Tennessee General Assembly features upgrades to bill tracking and video streaming functions.
Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says the redesign is meant to make state government “more open, more transparent and customer-friendly.”75. Tennessee Joins Multistate Lawsuit Over Immigration - Tuesday, December 23, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee is joining a multistate lawsuit seeking to halt President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, state Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced Monday.76. Gas Tax Increase Gaining Momentum in Tennessee - Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Momentum is mounting for a possible proposal to raise the state’s gas tax for the first time in 25 years.
Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean he thinks a legislative proposal on the issue is close and could be introduced in the next General Assembly, which convenes in January.77. Ramsey: Medicaid Expansion ‘Sellable’ in Tennessee - Monday, December 15, 2014
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says that if fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam succeeds in his negotiations with President Barack Obama’s administration on a special Tennessee deal for Medicaid expansion, the result could be “sellable” to skeptical state lawmakers.78. Harwell Defeats Tea-Party Challenge for Speaker - Thursday, December 11, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell decisively defeated a tea-party challenge from Rep. Rick Womick on Wednesday to win the Republican nomination for another term in charge of the lower chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly.79. Online App for Tennessee Lawmakers Wins Award - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An online application for Tennessee lawmakers has won an award from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The group awarded the state Legislature the Legislative Staff Achievement Award for the new "Dashboard" for state senators and representatives.80. Judicial Retention Travels Complex Path - Saturday, October 04, 2014
The 2014 election year is proving to be a long one for those interested in the judicial races on the ballot.
Voters in Shelby County decided the local judicial races and participated in the August statewide retention races for appellate court positions, including three on the Tennessee Supreme Court.81. Haslam Keeps Door Open to Pre-K; Ramsey Skeptical - Monday, September 22, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – While Gov. Bill Haslam is keeping the door open to an expansion of the public pre-kindergarten program in Tennessee, any such move would remain a tough sell among some fellow Republicans in the Legislature.82. New Chief Justice Echoes Haslam Mantra on Review - Friday, September 19, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – First, the state Supreme Court hired Gov. Bill Haslam's top legal adviser as Tennessee's next attorney general. Now the high court's new chief justice is also adopting the Republican governor's rhetoric.83. Sen. Summerville Charged With Public Intoxication - Thursday, September 18, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Outgoing state Sen. Jim Summerville, whose behavior has often drawn the ire of his Republican colleagues, has been charged with public intoxication.84. Coverage Gap Leaves Rural Tennessee Hospitals on Life Support - Saturday, September 13, 2014
Four rural hospitals have closed and dozens are at risk of shuttering: That’s the fallout, some say, from Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision not to join the Affordable Care Act in 2013 and tap into millions in promised federal funds for Tennessee’s financially-strapped health care institutions.85. Haslam, Legislative Speakers Call Education Summit - Saturday, September 06, 2014
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey are convening a summit in Nashville to discuss education changes in Tennessee.86. Haslam, Legislative Speakers Call Education Summit - Thursday, September 04, 2014
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey are convening a summit in Nashville to discuss education changes in Tennessee.87. The Q Party - Friday, August 15, 2014
CRISIS AVERTED. It’s all a matter of perspective.
At the height of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, a friend’s father was in Corinth, Miss., on business. He was outside the courthouse having a cigarette and waiting for an appointment when he overheard a conversation between two old men on a bench.88. Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper to Seek Another Term - Tuesday, August 12, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper announced Monday he will seek another eight-year term after three Democrats were retained on the Supreme Court.89. Supreme Court Retention Clash Likely to Continue - Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Both sides declared victory when the three Tennessee Supreme Court justices were retained by voters in the Thursday, Aug. 7, statewide judicial elections.
The votes to retain or replace Chief Justice Gary Wade and Justices Sharon Lee and Cornelia Clark ended with all three being retained for an eight-year term.90. Cohen Prevails, Incumbents Dominate - Friday, August 08, 2014
Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen held off Thursday, Aug. 7, the most serious electoral challenge he’s faced since winning the Congressional seat in 2006, in the form of attorney Ricky E. Wilkins.91. Cohen, Luttrell, Weirich, Harris Take Early Vote - Friday, August 08, 2014
Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has taken the early vote over challenger Ricky Wilkins in the hard fought Democratic Congressional primary on Thursday’s Shelby County election ballot.92. Supreme Court Justices Rally in Court Square - Thursday, August 07, 2014
The three Tennessee Supreme Court justices on the Thursday, Aug. 4, ballot spent the day before the election campaigning in Memphis for retention.
Chief Justice Gary Wade and Justices Cornelia Clark and Sharon Lee are countering a well-financed campaign by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and others, urging voters to vote against retaining the three justices.93. Tennessee Supreme Court Races See Spending Spike - Tuesday, August 05, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) – An influx of campaign spending on three Tennessee Supreme Court seats has transformed what is traditionally a sleepy affair into a hard-fought campaign that has raised questions about the role of partisan politics in the judiciary.94. Ask a Lawyer - Friday, August 01, 2014
JUDGED BY LAWYERS. Q: What do you when you have a lawyer buried up to the neck in sand?
A: Not enough sand.
Lawyers can’t catch a break.
Q: What the difference between a lawyer and a catfish?95. Supreme Court Justices Make Campaign Push - Thursday, July 24, 2014
Among the candidates going door to door in Memphis this summer looking for votes was a Tennessee Supreme Court justice.
Sharon Lee, one of three justices seeking re-election in the yes-no retention races on the August ballot, campaigned Saturday, July 19, in Hickory Hill.96. Early Vote Expands as Campaigns Enter New Phase - Monday, July 21, 2014
There is a unique and persistent part of the political process that gnaws at candidates, separating them from the voters they court and sometimes stalk. You might call it the day of the ballot.
In the weeks leading up to the start of early voting, they get hit up constantly by those putting out endorsement ballots to be distributed during early voting and on election day, most often by paid poll workers. Candidates must pay to be on a ballot, which those organizing the ballots say is necessary to cover printing and distribution costs.97. Justices Stump in Memphis as Early Voting Begins - Friday, July 18, 2014
Early voting in Shelby County opened Friday, July 18, with that most political of omens – rain.
The three Tennessee Supreme Court justices on the ballot statewide were at the Burch, Porter & Johnson law firm a few blocks from the Shelby County Election Commission early voting site Downtown.98. 3 Democratic Supreme Court Justices Launch TV Ad - Monday, July 14, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The three Supreme Court justices facing retention elections next month have launched a television ad to stress their dedication to the federal and state constitutions.99. Tennessee Bar Poll Calls for Judge Retention - Saturday, June 21, 2014
A first-ever poll of Tennessee Bar Association members shows those the majority of those polled recommend the retention of three of the state’s Supreme Court justices on the Aug. 7 statewide ballot.100. Tennessee Bar Poll Calls for Judge Retention - Monday, June 16, 2014
A first-ever poll of Tennessee Bar Association members shows those the majority of those polled recommend the retention of three of the state’s Supreme Court justices on the Aug. 7 statewide ballot.