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Haslam runs into more trouble on 'Tennessee Plan'

The state has a deadline today on some ACA compliance issues (the governor says it will be met) but Gov. Bill Haslam has run into some more issues with his 'Tennessee Plan':

Haslam acknowledged one of those areas is his hope to use co-payments for the estimated 160,000 Tennesseans who would be brought in through the expansion.

"We think there are certain things you can do, where they're not as convinced they have the Congressional flexibility as we think they do," Haslam said. "Some of that's places where we think the law does allow you to do that, and they're saying 'we don't think it does.'"

Advocacy groups have said ever since Haslam unveiled his plan last year that federal law won't allow the Obama administration to increase co-pay limits beyond what is permissible under Medicaid. There's a reason for that, they argue: While co-payments are intended to make people think twice about seeking unnecessary services, even small ones can discourage poorer people from seeking care at all.

Jul 14, 2014 6:53 AM

Governors wrap meeting, five protestors arrested

The nation's governors came to an agreement on Internet sales taxes and Common Core as the NGA meeting wrapped up this weekend in Nashville. Outside, five protestors were arrested for trespassing and later released.

Jul 14, 2014 6:49 AM

State revenues slump in June

As the state’s budget year nears an end, tax collections are nearly $289.9 million in the hole following another month of revenues falling below expectations.

Revenues collected by the state for the last 11 months have largely come in below budget, leaving state government with a weak financial tax base struggling largely from an unexpected drop in business taxes.

“June collections recorded stronger than anticipated sales tax growth, but continued to reflect weaker than anticipated collections from the corporate sector,” state Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin (pictured) said in a statement Friday. “We continue to believe the recent up-tick in retail activity is an indication of renewed consumer confidence, and an economy slowly on the mend.”

Sales taxes posted a $13.5 million gain in June, a figure that is 2.2 percent more than the state budgeted. Sales taxes make up the bulk of the state’s revenue used to support state departments and services. While sales tax collections are up nearly 3.6 percent year-to-date, sales taxes hover $15.5 million below expectations for the budget year.

But the big drop throughout the year has come from the state’s franchise and excise tax collections, which combined fell $54 million short of expectations last month, 14 percent below budget. Year-to-date, the state collections are $278 million less than expected.

Tax collections on tobacco, motor vehicle title and registration, business, inheritance and estate, privilege, gross receipts, severance taxes and alcoholic beverages all fell short of expectations in June, according to the state.

Taxes on income, gasoline, mixed drinks, motor vehicle fuel and coin-operated amusement were up in the last month, with marginal increases in tax collections on purchases of beer and petroleum.

In total, the state collected $5.3 million more last June than it did last month.

Year to date, the state has collected .1 percent more than it did last year, but leaving state coffers collectively below budgeted estimates by $289.9 million, or 2.6 percent.

Jul 11, 2014 4:04 PM

Register makes his stand

Jesse Register called for an end to attacks on his leadership and said it's time to bring charters into the fold.

Jul 11, 2014 11:31 AM

With governors in town, Jindal heads to barbecue

The nation's governors (and VP Biden) are in Nashville today; meanwhile, Bobby Jindal is headlining Jack Johnson's barbecue.

Jul 11, 2014 8:34 AM

The reddest roots

TNGOP has announced its crop of featured candidates in its Red to the Roots campaign. Troy Brewer — running in House 50 — and John Wang — House 53 — are the Davidson County representation.

Jul 11, 2014 7:08 AM

UAW doing it anyway

In spite of all the circumstances surrounding the last election (or perhaps because of them), the UAW is setting up a local at the VW plant anyway with an eye towards that German-style works council.

Jul 11, 2014 7:06 AM

Clemmons says Gary Odom's in league with the Tea Party

Because he got Stop Amp's backing — and because of the stances he took to get there — John Ray Clemmons says Gary Odom should be ashamed of himself.

Jul 10, 2014 6:39 AM

Will Pinkston calls for the end of Register's regime

Will Pinkston says Jesse Register has got to go:

"It's taken me a while to come to grips with the reality that Bransford [the schools' Central Office] is just a badly broken place in terms of its culture and lack of process at every level," says Pinkston, a former senior adviser for then-Gov. Phil Bredesen now halfway through his first term on the board.

"I don't think the school system moves forward in a meaningful way until Register leaves, and I think anybody who watches the day-to-day function, or dysfunction, of the Nashville school board knows that we need to rotate leadership at the board level as well."

Jul 10, 2014 6:35 AM

The shape of the race

Steven Hale takes a look at the goings-on in the mayoral race — which is still more than a year hence.

Jul 10, 2014 6:33 AM