Monthly Archives: March 2018

Call to exhume President Polk falls short in House

A resolution calling for the bodies of President James K. Polk and his wife, Sarah, to be exhumed from the grounds of the state Capitol and move them to Columbia has fallen one vote short in the House.

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Haslam: “Leave James and Sarah where they are”

A visitor walks by the tomb of James K. Polk tomb in Nashville on March 13, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The Knoxville News Sentinel caught up with Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday, asking him about a variety of issues including his feelings about a work requirement for TennCare recipients (he supports the bill), his NCAA bracket (it’s busted), and calls to exhume the bodies of President James K. Polk and and his wife, Sarah, from the grounds of the state Capitol grounds and move them to Columbia.

Haslam said he’d be disinclined to move the Polks: “I guess if the vote was up to me I’d leave them buried there on the grounds.”

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Corker won’t be a lobbyist; otherwise ‘no idea’ of post-Senate future

In a nationally televised interview Sunday, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said he doesn’t know what he’ll do once after leaving Congress in January, but the Times Free Press notes he also declared there’s one thing his future won’t include: Following the well-worn Washington path from lawmaker to hired-gun lobbyist.

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Alvin York’s grandson: ‘Greatest battle’ was in Fentress County, not France

Alvin York’s 70-year-old grandson plans to travel this fall to France for the 100th anniversary of the World War I battle where his grandfather won the Congressional Medal of Honor by single-handedly killing 25 German soldiers and capturing another 132, reports The Tennessean. But Gerald York says Alvin York considered his greatest battle to be over founding a state-supported high school in Fentress County that’s still operating (though Gov. Bill Haslam made a short-lived attempt to end state funding five years ago.)

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Advancing bill broadens mandate for reporting mental health commitments

Many persons involuntarily committed to mental health institutions currently are not reported to the TBI for inclusion in the database of those ineligible to buy a gun because of a quirk in Tennessee law that would be eliminated by pending legislation, reports the Johnson City Press.

As things stand now, mental health hospitals licensed under Title 33 of Tennessee Code Annotated are mandated to report involuntary commitments. But hospitals licensed under Title 68 – including general acute care hospitals that have a psychiatric wing – are not.

SB2365, introduced as a caption bill, has been amended in committee “to fix this loophole,” the article says. Sponsors are Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City) and Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) and the TBI is advocating the measure as amended.

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Andy Ogles nominated as GOP candidate for Maury County mayor

Andy Ogles, the former Americans for Prosperity director for Tennessee who briefly launched a campaign for the U.S. Senate last year, was nominated to become Maury County mayor at a county GOP convention Saturday, reports the Columbia Daily Herald. Three other candidates for the office are running as independents.

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Democratic leader: Harwell’s TennCare work bill is a ‘political stunt’ using financial gimmicks

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart says House Speaker Beth Harwell’s bill to impose work requirements on some people enrolled in the state’s TennCare program is “a political stunt to get votes in the governor’s race” and relies on “fairy tale” financial gimmicks to cover projected costs, reports the Times Free Press.

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House GOP leader: Leave bump stock ban to the feds

House Republican leaders have declared there’s no need for Tennessee’s legislature to pass a Democrat-sponsored bill banning firearm “bump stocks” because it’s being handled at the federal level, as U.S. General Jeff Sessions mentioned in a Nashville speech, according to The Tennessean.

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Mae Beavers running for Wilson County mayor

Mae Beavers, who resigned from the state Senate last year to make a short-lived run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, has obtained a qualifying petition to now run for Wilson County mayor, reports the Wilson Post.

She will face Incumbent Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, who has already filed his qualifying petition. Another potential candidate, Bob Richie, has picked up a petition but has not filed, according to the county election commission office.

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State revenue: A bit below budget in February; year-to-date take shows $181M surplus

Press release from Department of Finance and Administration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin announced today that Tennessee tax revenue fell short of budgeted estimates in February. Overall February revenues were $884.9 million, which is $38.2 million more than we received in February one year ago, but were $3.4 million less than the state budgeted. The overall growth rate for February was 4.51 percent.

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