Monthly Archives: April 2018

Haslam praises legislators for passing most of his agenda (exceptions not noted)

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today thanked members of the 110th General Assembly for keeping Tennessee on pace to lead the nation in jobs, education and efficient and effective government.

Continue reading

Legislators act to deter any future Confederate monument removals

Legislators gave final approval Wednesday to a bill intended to block local governments from future actions like the City of Memphis’ December move to remove Confederate monuments from city parks. The bill prohibits sale or transfer of public property containing a statue without permission of the Tennessee Historical Commission and says local governments violating the new law are barred from receiving state grant funds for five years.

Continue reading

Two proposed TN constitutional amendments die in windup House-Senate squabbling

Two proposed amendments to the Tennessee state Constitution were caught up in the final round of House-versus-Senate maneuvering Wednesday and both died with adjournment. One would have declared that “Almighty God” is the source of all liberty; the other would have laid out procedures for temporarily replacing a governor when he or she becomes incapacitated.

The upshot is that none of dozen or so state constitutional amendments proposed during the 110th General Assembly were approved. (A listing on the legislative website is HERE.)

Continue reading

Legislators authorize utilities funding chambers of commerce (updated and corrected)

Legislation authorizing natural gas utility companies to provide funding to local chambers of commerce was approved by the Senate on Wednesday. The House initially spurned the bill, but then reconsidered and approved it in the waning moments of the 2018 session.

Continue reading

Legislators vote to require TN law enforcement officers to detain illegal immigrants

On mostly party-line votes, the House and Senate gave final approval Wednesday to legislation that  requires state and local law enforcement to detain suspected illegal immigrants for deportation at the request of federal officials without requiring warrants and prohibits local governments from adopting “sanctuary city’ policies

Democrats, contending the bill was unnecessary because Tennessee already forbids sanctuary cities, offered amendments to the measure (HB2315) that would have increased penalties for businesses that hire illegal immigrants. Those efforts were killed, also on party line votes, with the House sponsor voicing sympathy for the idea but declaring timing of the proposal inappropriate on the last day of the 2018 session.

Continue reading

110th General Assembly adjourns after a round of House-Senate hostility, more TNReady turmoil

The Tennessee General Assembly’s traditional end-of-session jockeying over last-minute bills boiled over into dramatic brinkmanship Wednesday with a focus on the latest TNReady student testing fiasco, reports the Times Free Press. The 110th General Assembly was finally adjourned late Wednesday night, about 10 days later that legislative leaders had optimistically predicted at the January outset.

Continue reading

Squabbles over ‘poison pill’ and herbal remedy resolved to approve Haslam’s opioid bills

Final legislative approval of Gov. Bill Haslam’s two bills dealing with opioid addiction came Wednesday after the House and Senate resolved squabbles over details that had gained little public attention but touched of heated arguments among lawmakers.

Continue reading

House and Senate send governor ‘significantly watered down’ juvenile justice reform (updated)

Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018” has been approved by both the House and Senate after multiple revisions that Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro said on the Senate floor left it “significantly watered down” and perhaps not even deserving its title. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris basically agreed, saying Yarbro’s comments were “well taken” – but both also agreed the measure is at least a “small step” in the right direction.

Continue reading

Legislature approves alcohol sales at MTSU, TSU campus sports events

The legislature has given final approval to a bill that will allow Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro and Tennessee State University in Nashville to sell alcoholic beverages at campus sports events. The Nashville Post reports the move comes after the House earlier spurned a bill that would have applied only to MTSU — and the revised version, adding TSU, passed by the bare minimum 50 votes needed.

Continue reading

Haslam to host Blackburn fundraiser; sees difficult year for GOP in governor races

In a brief interview with Fox News, posted on the Republican Governors Association website, Gov. Bill Haslam declares U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn “a great friend and supporter” and says he will host a fundraiser for her next month.

Asked whether former governors make good U.S. senators, he says “most governors I know” who became senators “wind up being a little frustrated.” Blackburn’s presumptive November opponent, of course, is former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen. And one of the former governors he knows who became a senator is Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander.

Haslam is the current RGA chairman – “by default,” the interviewer suggests – and also says that Republicans face a difficult year in gubernatorial elections around the nation, though not specifically referring to Tennessee, and “we need to go into this with our eyes wide open and be alert.”