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Editorial Results (free)

1. Standoff over guns at Tennessee legislative office complex -

NASHVILLE (AP) — If it's up to the Republican speakers of the state House and Senate, the more than half-million Tennesseans with permits will soon be able to carry guns inside the legislative office complex.

2. School voucher bill stalls in House amid flagging support -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to create a school voucher program stalled in the House on Thursday despite efforts to drum up support among wary rural lawmakers by limiting the areas of Tennessee where parents could receive state money to pay for private school tuition.

3. Change would allow handguns at Tennessee legislative complex -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The leaders of the state House and Senate are moving to end a total gun ban at the legislative office complex.

Sen. Ron Ramsey of Blountville and Rep. Beth Harwell of Nashville, the Republican speakers of the Senate and House, said Thursday that they want the begin allowing people with handgun carry permits to be armed within the Legislative Plaza.

4. Teachers wary of Haslam’s push for increased pay -

Pushing a budget with more than $100 million for K-12 teacher pay raises, Gov. Bill Haslam says Tennessee is taking education to new levels by raising standards, linking teacher evaluations to student performance and expanding education options.

5. Tennessee AG appointed to investigate Durham allegations -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A special House committee has voted to designate Tennessee's attorney general to investigate sexual harassment allegations against Republican state Rep. Jeremy Durham.

6. Minority leader Harris confident even on wrong side of supermajority -

Lee Harris says he ran for state Senate because he felt Memphis could do better on Capitol Hill, defeating Ophelia Ford in 2014.

In his second legislative session, the Senate Minority leader says Democrats, though small in number, are making “inroads” while he continues to focus on improving neighborhoods from downtown Memphis to Millington.

7. Only so much Durham could blame on media -

It’s little wonder state Rep. Jeremy Durham had to take a two-week break from the General Assembly. He was probably feeling faint from the evolution of his own devolution as a leader in the House Republican Caucus.

8. Haslam, lawmakers see need to clear pending records requests -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam and two top Tennessee lawmakers say they recognize the need to clear a backlog of hundreds of open records requests.

John Dunn, a spokesman for Comptroller Justin Wilson, said Wilson has requested nearly $265,000 in the budget to help with the growing number of requests for information.

9. Durham taking leave from Tennessee House calls to resign -

NASHVILLE (AP) — State Rep. Jeremy Durham is taking a leave of absence from the Tennessee General Assembly amid calls for his resignation and the Senate speaker's allegation on Thursday that he had an affair with another lawmaker.

10. Top Middle Tennessee residential transactions for December 2015 -

Top residential real estate sales, December 2015, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

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

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

Based on his legislative record as a Republican state representative and senator from Germantown, he is doing both without exactly toeing the tea party line but bolstered by a GOP supermajority in the House and Senate.

12. Higher education changes highlight Haslam's 2016 agenda -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday released his administration's 42-bill agenda for this year's legislative session that includes an effort to restructure higher education governance that led to the early retirement of the chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents schools.

13. Still-persecuted Durham surrenders leadership post -

The boys in the newsroom had a running bet on whether the reasons for “media persecution” of Rep. Jeremy Durham had little, if anything, to do with a spate of revelations about his odd behavior over the last few years.

14. Refugees, higher education, 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.

“I’m not advocating that. I am advocating a little bit more accountability and closer review of the funding,” says Yager, a Kingston Republican who chaired a December joint meeting of Senate and House State and Local Government committees.

15. GOP leader discussed 'options' with Rep. Jeremy Durham -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Embattled state Rep. Jeremy Durham said Wednesday that he won't resign as House majority whip amid worries among top Republicans that his ongoing leadership role could hurt campaign fundraising efforts.

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. Judge praises Durham for 'moral courage' -

NASHVILLE (AP) - While many GOP leaders in the Tennessee Legislature have distanced themselves from state Rep. Jeremy Durham for writing a character reference letter on behalf of a former youth minister who pleaded guilty to child porn possession, a judge in the Franklin Republican's home county is praising what he calls the lawmaker's "moral courage."

18. No bids submitted in Haslam's parks privatization plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's effort to outsource hospitality operations at 11 state parks has failed to draw any interest from private vendors.

Haslam has long said park services like restaurants, golf courses, inns and marinas are prime examples of areas where private vendors could do a better and cheaper job than state government.

19. Robocalls urge resignation of Tennessee Rep. Jeremy Durham -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Voters in the home county of a top Republican in the state house are getting robocalls demanding his resignation over a prescription fraud investigation and a letter he wrote urging a lower sentence for a former youth pastor who pleaded guilty to child porn possession.

20. Tennessee lawmaker urged lower sentence in child porn case -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A top Republican in the state House wrote to a federal judge to call for a lenient sentence for a former youth pastor convicted of child porn possession.

House Majority Whip Jeremy Durham of Franklin wrote the letter in March, about three months after a grand jury declined to indict him on prescription fraud charges sought by prosecutors.

21. Ramsey: Ban immigrants from places with terrorism ties -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey called Tuesday for a moratorium on all immigration from countries with "ties to terrorism."

The comments from Ramsey - a Republican who previously called on fellow Christians to arm themselves - follow a call by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to block all Muslims from entering the United States. Trump's comments have been widely condemned by rival GOP candidates, party leaders and others.

22. If fear is the goal, terrorists have won in Tennessee -

The terrorists who struck Paris three weeks ago succeeded in more than killing and wounding hundreds of people. Their attack is pitting Americans against each other in how to respond, and Tennessee politicians are no exception.

23. New Tennessee Blue Book to be named after Howard Baker -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The next Tennessee Blue Book will be named after former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, who was known as the "The Great Conciliator" during his high profile Washington career that also included a stint as chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan.

24. Haslam asks federal government not to send Syrian refugees -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam says he is asking the federal government to suspend placement of Syrian refugees in Tennessee.

In a statement released Monday, Haslam acknowledged that the federal government has the authority to place refugees but said "they have said in the past they would be open to cooperating with receiving states."

25. State’s landlords find hidden costs of privatization -

Murfreesboro businessman Tom Hyde felt the sting of Tennessee’s privatization practices two years ago when a representative of Jones Lang Lasalle notified him he would have to pay the company a commission as part of his next lease agreement.

26. Haslam uncertain about seeking lawmakers' OK on outsourcing -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says he's uncertain whether he would seek approval from fellow Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly about potential plans to privatize state operations.

The governor told reporters after a Veterans Day event in Nashville on Tuesday that he wants to see what the final form of the outsourcing proposal looks like before deciding whether to bring it before lawmakers. Haslam stresses that no decision has been made on whether to pursue privatization.

27. Haslam: Decide road priorities before talking funding -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is calling on state lawmakers to decide on Tennessee's priorities on future road projects before resolving the politically tricky issue of finding a way to pay for them.

28. Haslam tries to jumpstart support for road funding increases -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Armed with a new $5.3 billion wish list for statewide road projects, Gov. Bill Haslam embarked on another tour Monday seeking to jumpstart support among deeply skeptical lawmakers for boosting transportation funding in Tennessee.

29. Ramsey springs to Haslam's aid on Tennessee outsourcing talk -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is dismissing rising concerns among fellow Republicans about Gov. Bill Haslam's efforts to privatize elements of state government as a result of complaints from "squeaky wheels" in their districts.

30. Ramsey urges 'fellow Christians' to get handgun permits -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's lieutenant governor said in a Facebook posting on Friday that his "fellow Christians" should consider getting a handgun carry permit after a gunman killed nine people at a local community college in southern Oregon.

31. More Tennessee lawmakers come out against gas tax hike in 2016 -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Add the chairman of the state Senate transportation committee to the list of opponents of raising Tennessee's gas tax in 2016.

Republican Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville, who heads the transportation panel in the upper chamber, said Tuesday that there isn't enough time to put together a comprehensive road funding proposal for the upcoming legislative session.

32. Democrats push for reconsideration of guns in parks bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's new guns in parks law could make it more difficult — and dangerous — for officers to do their jobs, two law enforcement representatives said Thursday at an event to urge reconsideration of the bill.

33. Raise gas tax or borrow? How to fund state's backlog of road projects -

Tennessee has an $8 billion backlog of transportation projects and not enough funds to pay for them, largely because the state gas tax, which funds those projects, hasn’t been increased in 26 years.

34. Ramsey clear in push to politicize Supreme Court -

Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has a penchant for igniting flames of partisanship, and the retirement of Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade is no exception.

In this case, Ramsey elicited criticism for injecting politics where some believe political colors shouldn’t be unfurled.

35. 10 named to panel to review Tennessee K-12 education standards -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam and the speakers of the House and Senate have appointed the 10 members of a committee established to review K-12 education standards in Tennessee.

Haslam appointed Sharen Cypress, dean of education at Freed-Hardeman University; Tracy Franklin, principal at Steekee Elementary School in Loudon; Amy Gullion, instructional coach at Smyrna Elementary School; and Doug Hungate, academic director at Cheatham County Central High School.

36. Questions, jockeying abound amid Tennessee Supreme Court vacancy -

NASHVILLE (AP) — When Gary Wade was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2006, the self-described "mountain boy from the Smokies" planned to serve the eight-year term and retire from his distinguished judicial career.

37. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade announces retirement -

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade, a target of a failed ouster campaign led by Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey last year, says he plans to retire in September.

38. With no real rival, state Republicans attack their own -

Republicans are sitting in Tennessee’s political catbird seat, but that doesn’t keep them from flying off in different directions.

Elected political leaders of the same stripe found themselves at odds this year over the Bible as a state book, Common Core education standards and Insure Tennessee, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to catch 280,000 people in a medical coverage gap.

39. ‘The Fighting 26’ Democrats work to stay relevant -

Sometimes Tennessee Democrats must feel like a tree that falls in the forest: Does anyone hear them?

When Democratic legislative leaders called for a special session this summer on Insure Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam’s market-based plan to use federal dollars to catch 280,000 working people in a coverage gap, they found themselves alone.

40. 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 says, “Love and equality won. I’m glad the Supreme Court ruled on the right side of history.”

41. Southern heritage defined differently across Tennessee -

Tennessee’s loyalty was divided in the Civil War, and 150 years later, little is changed as the debate over Confederate symbols arises in the wake of the racist-fueled South Carolina church massacre.

42. Capitol Commission to review which historical figures should be honored -

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell are encouraging the Tennessee Capitol Commission to evaluate the characteristics of Tennesseans honored in the Capitol Complex.

“From time to time, it is appropriate for the State of Tennessee to review which Tennesseans are honored and in what location and manner,” states a letter from Ramsey and Harwell, both Republicans, to the commission.

43. Capitol Commission to review which historical figures should be honored -

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell are encouraging the Tennessee Capitol Commission to evaluate the characteristics of Tennesseans honored in the Capitol Complex.

“From time to time, it is appropriate for the State of Tennessee to review which Tennesseans are honored and in what location and manner,” states a letter from Ramsey and Harwell, both Republicans, to the commission.

44. Call grows louder to remove bust of Confederate general -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The call to remove a bust of a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader from the halls of the Tennessee Capitol got louder on Wednesday.

The state's two Republican speakers sent a letter to the Tennessee State Capitol Commission to evaluate the characteristics of those to be honored in the Capitol complex following calls to remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

45. Garrett, Himes named co-legal directors of Tennessee Legislature -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee General Assembly has named two new directors of legal affairs following the retirement of attorney Joe Barnes.

46. Mandated markups on cigarettes, wine, milk in Tennessee decried as hidden tax hike -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Under a new state law, Tennessee retailers will have to charge smokers at least 15 percent more than the wholesale cost. The surcharge is theirs to keep.

That increase follows last year's law requiring wine to be sold at least 20 percent above cost and another longstanding 10 percent markup on milk. State law refers to those margins as "the cost of doing business."

47. Ramsey: No Medicaid expansion until 2017 -

The Tennessee legislative session ended in late April, giving itself a little more than two and a-half months to handle the state’s business. That’s plenty of time, according to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

48. Tennessee’s most powerful politician -

Senate Speaker and Lieutenant Gov. Ron Ramsey laughs at the notion he’s changed since being elected to the Legislature 23 years ago, that he’s lost touch with the common man or become “arrogant” as lieutenant governor of Tennessee.

49. 148 former lawmakers covered by state insurance plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee records show that there are more former lawmakers enrolled in the health insurance plan for state employees than current lawmakers.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1EGB2Ye) cited records from the state office of benefits administration in reporting that 148 former lawmakers are enrolled compared to 116 current lawmakers.

50. Panel approves $136M plan to move Tenn. legislative offices -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The State Building Commission has approved the first step toward making a building next to the state Capitol the new home of the Tennessee General Assembly.

The panel that includes Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville and fellow Republican House Speaker Beth of Nashville on Wednesday without debate approved expanding the scope of a $136 million Capitol complex project. That includes the overhaul of the Cordell Hull building that was until recently designated for demolition.

51. New coalition will push lawmakers to fund Tennessee roads -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Raising taxes is never popular, but a new coalition says the lack of funding for Tennessee's roads and bridges has reached a crisis point requiring action.

Tennessee has more than $8 billion in unfunded transportation needs, thanks to a gas tax that has remained unchanged from 21.4 cents per gallon since 1989, the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee noted Wednesday.

52. Vanderbilt poll: Majority support Insure Tennessee plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) - An overwhelming majority of Tennesseans support Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's failed proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income residents, according to a new Vanderbilt University poll released Wednesday.

53. Speakers disavow any 'mandate' for Tennessee security group -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A private group called the Tennessee Task Force on National and Homeland Security is marketing itself with an official-looking logo and a claimed "mandate" from state lawmakers. But legislative leaders say the group has no official endorsement from the General Assembly.

54. Will Tennessee Republicans ever be truly happy? -

Why aren’t Tennessee Republicans happier? With the GOP so dominant in the Tennessee General Assembly and losses so rare – on the Hill or in elections – the party’s lawmakers should be jubilant with this year’s session. But it’s never enough.

55. Defeat of Insure Tennessee proposal set tone in 2015 session -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The defeat of Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans set the tone for the 2015 session of the state Legislature.

Lawmakers adjourned the first session of the 109th General Assembly on Wednesday night that also featured the defeat of a proposal to offer in-state tuition to non-citizens, the passage of a bill to remove local power to ban guns in parks and the latest rejection of a perennial effort to create a school voucher program in Tennessee.

56. Defeat of Insure Tennessee proposal set tone in 2015 session -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The defeat of Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans set the tone for the 2015 session of the state Legislature.

Lawmakers adjourned the first session of the 109th General Assembly on Wednesday night that also featured the defeat of a proposal to offer in-state tuition to non-citizens, the passage of a bill to remove local power to ban guns in parks and the latest rejection of a perennial effort to create a school voucher program in Tennessee.

57. Tennessee General Assembly adjourns for the year -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee General Assembly adjourned for the year on Wednesday following an often contentious session highlighted by the passage of legislation that would allow handgun-carry permit holders to be armed in any state park, and the failed attempt to make the Bible the official state book.

58. Lessons of Bible lost in lack of health care debate -

Tennessee’s legislators spent hours this session arguing over guns and whether to pass a law making the Bible the state book of Tennessee.

In fact, the Bible bill took two days of debate in the House, where it passed, and thorough discussion in the Senate, before it died – at least until next year.

59. Guns-in-parks proposal headed to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation that would allow handgun-carry permit holders to be armed in all of the state's parks - including greenways, playgrounds and sports fields - was sent to the governor for his consideration Thursday.

60. Tennessee plan to make Bible 'official' book derailed -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Bible usually unites Republicans in conservative Tennessee, but lately it is proving to be - as an epistle writer put it - more powerful and sharper than a double-edged sword.

Legislators here are deeply divided over a proposal to make the holy text an official state book, with some saying it's far too sacred to be trivialized like the state fruit (tomato), the state amphibian (Tennessee cave salamander) and several state songs ("Tennessee Waltz" and "Rocky Top").

61. Tennessee House votes to make Bible official state book -

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

62. An ‘epiphany’ for legislators on in-state tuition -

Tina Sharma grew up in Tennessee, graduated from Martin Luther King High School in Nashville and enrolled at Belmont University. She calls the Volunteer State home.

But Tennessee doesn’t exactly return that love to Sharma and thousands of other students whose parents entered the United States illegally years ago when they were small children.

63. Tennessee lawmakers to restart debate on Bible as official book -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee House members are preparing for another run today at making the Bible the official book of Tennessee.

Time ran out on a sometimes raucous debate Tuesday about whether the measure would run afoul of the state and federal constitutions by endorsing a religion.

64. Effort to make the Bible Tennessee's official book bogs down -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal from a Republican lawmaker and former pastor to declare the Bible the official book of Tennessee is running into stiff opposition from top members of his own party, while the state attorney general is calling it unconstitutional.

65. Attorney general election proposal passes Tennessee Senate -

NASHVILLE (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.

66. Guns-in-parks bill likely headed to conference committee -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers anticipate that a special committee will be needed to work out differences in a proposal that would allow people with handgun-carry permits to be armed in all of the state's parks - including greenways, playgrounds and sports fields.

67. Bill that would make Bible official state book of Tennessee advances -

NASHVILLE (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.

68. Bill to make Bible official state book of Tennessee advances -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he opposes a measure to make the Bible the official state book of Tennessee.

69. Tuition equality bill headed to full Senate -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee residents who are authorized to be in the United States would be eligible for in-state tuition under legislation that advanced in the state Legislature on Tuesday.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Todd Gardenhire, of Chattanooga, was approved 7-3 in the Senate Finance Committee and will be scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor.

70. Anti-abortion legislation finds little resistance -

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.

71. Tennessee GOP senator gives obscene response to protester -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A state senator who has drawn the ire of supporters of Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal called a protester an obscene name in a video posted to YouTube.

The video captures an exchange between a protester and Sen. Todd Gardenhire of Chattanooga at the legislative office complex Tuesday. A voice repeatedly asks the senator whether he would give up his state health insurance after contributing to the defeat of the measure to extend health insurance to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans.

72. State Senate votes to allow handguns in parks, at Tennessee Capitol -

NASHVILLE (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.

73. Haslam undaunted by difficult prospects for Insure Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (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.

The Republican governor told reporters after a prayer breakfast at Lipscomb University that the more often lawmakers take up his plan, the more chances his administration has to quell concerns about the proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans by drawing down $2.8 billion in federal Medicaid funds.

74. Haslam undaunted by difficult prospects for Insure Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (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.

The Republican governor told reporters after a prayer breakfast at Lipscomb University that the more often lawmakers take up his plan, the more chances his administration has to quell concerns about the proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans by drawing down $2.8 billion in federal Medicaid funds.

75. Senate panel advances Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A revived version of Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans on Wednesday cleared its first full Senate committee.

The Senate Health Committee voted 6-2 to advance the Insure Tennessee proposal to the commerce committee, where it is expected to face difficult prospects. Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has predicted that the measure won't make it to a full floor vote.

76. Haslam encouraged by Insure Tenn. revival; Ramsey skeptical -

NASHVILLE (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.

77. Compromise legislation keeps Tennessee academic standards -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Thursday that an agreement has been reached on legislation that would keep the state's current academic standards intact - for now - despite efforts to repeal them.

78. Compromise legislation keeps Tennessee academic standards -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says an agreement has been reached on legislation that would keep the state's current academic standards intact.

79. Secret 'pre-meetings' become commonplace in Tennessee House -

NASHVILLE (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.

80. Tennessee Republican legislators hit each other on 'social hour,' expenses -

NASHVILLE (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.

81. Battle of the band(width): Fast, available Internet more important than state vs. FCC game in legislature -

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.

82. Eliminating Hall income tax raises new problems -

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.

83. Tennessee public television stations to air legislative show -

NASHVILLE (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" are scheduled to air Sunday morning 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.

84. Bid to block health exchange in Tennessee seen as 'overkill' -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Some Republican lawmakers still reveling in the recent defeat of a proposal to expand Medicaid coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans are now setting their sights on 230,000 people enrolled through the federal health insurance exchange.

85. Tennessee GOP leader questions GM incentives amid VW union talks -

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Thursday 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.

86. Kelsey’s new voucher plan looks a lot like Haslam’s -

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.

87. Haslam wary of gas tax hike after ‘Insure’ loss -

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.

88. Insure Tennessee fails to win sound bite test -

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.

89. 6 of 7 who killed Insure Tennessee are on state health plan -

NASHVILLE (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.

90. 6 of 7 who killed Insure Tennessee are on state health plan -

NASHVILLE (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.

91. Reaction to the defeat of Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Reactions to the defeat of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income residents:

___

"We still have health care cost issues that haven't gone away, so I don't know what the next step looks like. But I think people elected us to answer problems and to come here to make a difference. And we've got to figure out a way to do that." - Gov. Bill Haslam.

92. Haslam's plan to expand Medicaid fails in state Legislature -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans has failed during a special legislative session after nearly two years of negotiating with federal officials.

93. 5 lawmakers to watch in Insure Tennessee special session -

NASHVILLE (AP) — As Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal to cover 280,000 low-income people heads into a special legislative session Monday, here are five lawmakers who are playing key roles in the debate.

94. Both sides dig in for Insure Tennessee special session -

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.

95. House, Senate at odds over who goes first on Medicaid plan -

NASHVILLE (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.

96. Branches of state government join in anti-hunger campaign -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Officials from all branches of Tennessee government are joining in a campaign against hunger.

Members of the Tennessee General Assembly, the governor's cabinet, the Tennessee Supreme Court and the state's constitutional officers will help pack about 50,000 meals for food banks across Tennessee today.

97. Fellow Republicans reluctant about Haslam's health proposal -

NASHVILLE (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.

98. Tennessee lawmakers convene 109th General Assembly -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers convened the 109th General Assembly on Tuesday 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 the chambers shouted into a bullhorn, banged drums and chanted.

99. Haslam calls Tennessee lawmakers into special session on Feb. 2 -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday issued a call for a special legislative session to take up his proposal to offer medical coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.

100. Tennessee General Assembly launches website redesign -

NASHVILLE (AP) — 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."