Monthly Archives: March 2018

Randy Boyd’s fourth TV commercial

Press release from Randy Boyd campaign

Nashville, Tenn. – Randy Boyd, Republican candidate for Governor, launched his fourth campaign commercial “K to J” (Kindergarten to Job) which highlights Boyd’s commitment to education and better preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow.

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Burchett accused of nepotism in hiring of stepson

A complaint to the state comptroller and anonymous emails to county commissioners accuse Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett of violating nepotism laws in the hiring of his stepson, a county laborer with a history of legal troubles, reports the News Sentinel. Burchett is currently running for the Republican nomination to the 2nd Congressional District seat.

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House approves, 51-41, Haslam’s overhaul of UT board of trustees

The state House on Thursday approved Gov. Bill Haslam’s controversial plan to dismantle the existing University of Tennessee system’s board of trustees, reduce its size and appoint new members, reports the Times Free Press. The Senate approved the measure earlier but in a different form and the bill now returns to the Senate for approval of the House amendments.

The bill, known as the UT FOCUS Act (SB2260), narrowly passed on a 51-41 vote. (It passed the Senate 27-3 on Monday)

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Senate sends ‘defund Planned Parenthood’ bill to governor

The state Senate Thursday approved and sent to the governor a bill promoted as “defunding” Planned Parenthood. It requires TennCare officials to submit a waiver request to the federal government for ending any payments to “elective abortion providers’ – even if those payments are for health care services other than abortions.

The bill (HB2251, as amended) was approved 24-2 in the Senate with Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) as sponsor. It was approved by the House 71-17 on March 13 with Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City) as sponsor.

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House sub sinks another bill inspired by Confederate monument flap

The House State Government Subcommittee on Wednesday rejected a bill to expand state law dealing with historic monuments, reports The Tennessean. It’s the third bill inspired by the City of Memphis’ maneuvers on Confederate statues to fail so far this session.

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De-annexation bill dead; sponsor blames city lobbyists

An effort to enact legislation allowing disgruntled residents in some areas of Tennessee cities to vote to secede is dead for the year, reports the Times Free Press. The House sponsor, Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) blames lobbyists for municipalities.

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In-state tuition bill dead; sponsor blames election year politics

Sen. Todd Gardenhire says the push to allow some undocumented students living in Tennessee to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges is dead for the year because of election-year politics, reports the Times Free Press. The sponsor of SB2263 let the bill die without seeking a vote in the Senate Education Committee’s last meeting of the session on Wednesday, saying it was sure to fail.

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Byrd denies wrongdoing as lawmaker, ‘disappointed’ in Harwell

Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) attends a House committee meeting on March 28, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Statement from State Representative David Byrd (R–Waynesboro):

“First, let me say that I have done nothing wrong or inappropriate during my term as state representative for the 71st District, which I proudly serve. I am disappointed that Speaker Harwell so quickly publicly turned her back on me but understand her political posture.

Second, these recent allegations of inappropriate contact, never before made, date back over three decades ago and are disheartening to me, and my family. One must question the motives of these three former students out of the hundreds of students I have coached.

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Businessman Paul Harper, husband of state senator, dies aged 79

Nashville businessman Paul Wilson Harper, husband of state Sen. Thelma Harper, has died at age 79 “after a year of slowly declining health,” reports the Tennessee Tribune.

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Haslam pushes security assessment of all schools, anonymous threat reporting system

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced his approval of recommendations submitted by the school safety working group he appointed earlier this month to make immediate enhancements to school safety. The working group identified three immediate priorities:

1.      A review and risk assessment of all school facilities to identify vulnerabilities;

2.      An increase in available resources to help secure school resource officers (SROs); and

3.      A statewide technology application for anonymous reporting of security threats.

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