Haslam to biz leaders: Engage the legislature

'Your voice counts way more than you think it does'
Mar 26, 2014 6:46 AM

Two fewer for Turner's seat

Former TNDP staffer Brandon Puttbrese and former radio host Freddie O'Connell opt out of running for Mike Turner's House seat.

Mar 25, 2014 2:03 PM

Todd's time bill flummoxes committee, killed dead

A bill which began life as a movement to ban daylight savings time and was then amended to make daylight savings permanent across the state — which would have had the effect of making East Tennessee share a time zone with Bermuda for half the year — was amended again to only make DST permanent in Central Time (but, apparently, allowing that decision to come at the county level, which wouldn't have been confusing at all).

Then, the committee rejected it. So we can all move on.

Mar 25, 2014 12:26 PM

Campfield declares victory in UT Sex Week flap

Via Humphrey, the controversial Knoxville state senator has withdrawn his attempts to legislate how the university spends student fees after UT officials agreed to make voluntary changes.

Mar 25, 2014 11:44 AM

Effort to rewrite Tenn. whiskey law fails for year

Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) has withdrawn his effort to redefine Tennessee whiskey. The move drew fire from Jack Daniels and its corporate parent Brown-Forman.

Mar 25, 2014 11:41 AM

Holy cow! Ramsey has more pull than Harwell

At least, that’s according to the judges of the annual Ag Day on the Hill milking contest between the two speakers. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey teamed up with Sen. Frank Niceley to beat out House Speaker Beth Harwell and Rep. John Forgety by a three-to-one margin.

This is the third year the two speakers have milked-off against each other and Ramsey’s first win against Harwell. However, Harwell’s victories may have had something to do with Chairman Charles Sargent pouring some extra milk in her bucket, sources said.

Mar 25, 2014 10:14 AM

Haslam: Outcome of BEP Task Force not predetermined

The governor on the new task force: “A lot of time when these are set up, people think, ‘Well, the administration has decided what they want, they’ve got the answer they’re going to drive to, and this whole effort will just be a product of that.’ I can assure you that’s not true."
However, the governor and the education commissioner warn there's little money to talk about how they can plug more cash into the funding formula. More on the launch on the BEP Task Force.

Mar 25, 2014 8:56 AM

Harwell unsure on veto session

House Speaker Beth Harwell says she’s still weighing whether the legislature should come back for a veto session after their expected adjournment next month.

“I don’t know that I’ve made up my mind,” said Harwell who confirmed Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey brought the idea up to her. “This is not in any way a reflection that we have any disagreement with the governor. We don’t. We were just looking at what’s good government and the protection of the strength of the legislative body.”

The speaker, who said issues like cost and timing are worth thinking about, would not confirm whether she would consider a veto session for this year, saying she and Ramsey would make that decision together. Ramsey said the legislature should not let the governor's veto go unchecked and suggested lawmakers come back for one day a month after they adjourn to revisit any vetoed bills.

Gov. Bill Haslam told reporters it’s the legislature’s prerogative if they want to come back to overturn vetoes he may make.

“There’s always a lot of speculation at this point in time in a session about what’s the governor going to veto. At this point in time, as I’ve said before, we’re still really early in this book,” he said.

Mar 25, 2014 6:59 AM

Haslam: Nothing predetermined on education funding formula

BEP task force to be led by Education commissioner
Mar 25, 2014 6:42 AM

In-state tuition for undocumented immigrants shelved for the year

Extending in-state tuition to students who are illegal immigrants appears to be a no-go after the Senate Education Committee moved the bill to general subcommittee Monday, essentially retiring the idea for the year.

Sponsor Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, has another bill that would allow U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition. That bill is scheduled for the Senate floor tonight and the House floor in two weeks. 

Cesar Bautista, a coordinator of Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition tuition equality campaign, responded in a statement:

"It is unfortunate that the legislature has missed an opportunity to strengthen our state's economy, generate revenue for our universities, and give every student the opportunity to pay their fair share for college. When undocumented high school seniors graduate this May, they will have to pay 3 times as much for school, making higher education impossible for most."


Mar 24, 2014 3:14 PM