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High gravity beer sales in grocery stores goes to Haslam

The General Assembly sends the governor the bill adding high gravity beers to grocery store shelves.

Apr 15, 2014 6:00 AM

Charter authorizer bill passes House, goes to Haslam

The House gave final approval to House Speaker Beth Harwell’s push to let the state Board of Education OK charter schools reject by local school boards. The bill’s passage on a 61-28 vote Monday comes a year and a half after Metro Schools went to blows with the state for refusing to welcome a charter school favored by state and city leaders.

Harwell scolded Democrats who went off topic on given amendments and tried to re-debate the bill, a measure the House passed 62-30 last year.

After holding the bill hostage last year in part of a political battle between the two chambers, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey slow walked the bill again this year to spur movement for a school voucher program.

The bill next heads to the governor’s desk. A close ally of House Speaker Harwell, Gov. Bill Haslam has said the change would help avoid the clash between state and local government. Earlier in his term, he cast doubt over taking authority away from local school boards. He is expected to sign it.

Apr 14, 2014 4:54 PM

Blackburn: No presidential ambitions

Via Business Insider, contrary to a report from Real Clear Politics (and subsequently picked up by The Tennessean's D.C. bureau today), Rep. Marsha Blackburn denied that an appearance in New Hampshire was evidence of presidential ambitions. "Not at all. No. No. I am running for re-election in Tennessee," she said on Saturday.


Apr 14, 2014 3:15 PM

Why sponsor wants the "Open Carry" bill on the House Floor

Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Gray) claims that leadership is bottling up his bill to allow Tennessee residents to openly carry firearms. In a note to fellow House members (page one here and page two here), Van Huss said that he is using a Rule 53 motion to push the bill straight to the House floor. Van Huss provided a timeline of events that he says showed that a fiscal note applied to the bill was improperly added.

"I have filed a new amendment on HB 2409 stating that this act shall not become law until it is fully funded by private, non-governmental sources (I am gathering the $100,000)," Van Huss wrote. "We will all see how quickly or slowly this amendment is given an updated fiscal note."

The bill passed the Senate by a margin of 25-2.

Apr 14, 2014 2:16 PM

Carr's latest cash

Joe Carr's Senate campaign had a good quarter, says Joe Carr's Senate campaign:

Today, the Carr for U.S. Senate Campaign announced its first-quarter fundraising total of $255K – the campaign’s best quarter to date.  The campaign ended the quarter with approximately $460,000 cash on hand and $865,000 in total receipts with 1900 new donors. The campaign’s best previous fundraising quarter was $251K in the 4th quarter of 2013.       

“Tennesseans are tired of Senator Alexander’s liberal record - supporting amnesty, selling out conservatives to fund Obamacare, and defending Common Core.  In contrast, I’m offering voters consistent, constitutional leadership that reflects their conservative values. These strong fundraising numbers show that Tennesseans are ready to make a change and that they continue to rally around our effort,” said Representative Joe Carr.

Apr 14, 2014 12:34 PM

Still on the table

The General Assembly plans to adjourn Tuesday but is willing to stay further into the week if necessary. Lawmakers still have a lot to resolve between now and then. Here's a breakdown of the bigger issues they have left.

Apr 14, 2014 10:25 AM

Democrats keep Murfreesboro mayor on ballot

Murfreesboro mayor Tommy Bragg is fine to run for the Democratic Party Executive Committee. Betsy Phillips with more.

Apr 14, 2014 7:02 AM

The complications of Common Core

The J-Sun has a nice piece on what everybody wants (and doesn't) out of Common Core.

Apr 14, 2014 6:55 AM

Unforced error in the Carr campaign

Via Pith, Joe Carr's campaign spokeswoman made an implicit criticism of Carr for his vote on the state budget.

Apr 11, 2014 1:49 PM

House sponsor of open carry wants full vote

Rep. Micah Van Huss plans to invoke Rule 53 on open-carry.

Apr 11, 2014 12:57 PM