bill haslam

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.

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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.

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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.”

Legislature approves seven Haslam UT board appointments, including two last-minute nominees

The Tennessee General Assembly Tuesday evening approved seven of Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed appointments to the University of Tennessee’s new board of trustees, reports the Times Free Press. That includes two new nominees submitted by the governor and rushed through the confirmation process as replacements to nominees spurned in the Senate earlier.

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Haslam’s ‘Complete College TN Act’ flops on House floor — a second setback for governor’s higher ed agenda

A bill cutting state-funded scholarships of college students who complete less than 30 hours of course work per year – part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislative package for the year – got more negative votes than positive votes on the House floor Monday.

The “Complete College Tennessee Act” (HB2114) has been promoted by the governor as a means of improving college graduation rates, now reported at 26 percent in two-year colleges and technical institutes and at 57 percent in four-year universities. But some legislators contend it would unfairly penalize students who are working while going to school, who are sidelined by illness for a semester or otherwise have valid reasons for completing 30 hours of credits in three semesters, as the bill requires.

(Update: On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, a sponsor, decided against putting the bill up for a Senate vote, remarking that “We should rename this the incomplete” college Tennessee  act.”

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With Haslam signature, legal Sunday booze sales can begin this weekend

Gov. Bill  Haslam today signed into law legislation that authorizes Sunday sales of liquor and wine, according to his communications department. The bill (HB1540) says that, insofar as liquor stores go, it takes effect “upon becoming law” – meaning when governor signs it.

Thus, Tennessee liquor stores could legally be open on this Sunday if the operators wish – or have time to prepare. But the bill also declares the effective date for grocery stores and supermarkets that sell wine only is Jan. 1, 2019. The first Sunday after that date is Jan. 6, 2019.

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GOP legislators spurned renewed Haslam pitch for Medicaid expansion in private meeting

Gov.  Bill Haslam asked Republican legislative leaders earlier this month if they would reconsider Medicaid expansion legislation, which was rejected when he initially proposed the idea three years ago, reports The Tennessean. House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally were open to discussing the idea but others were not and the notion was dropped.

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Senate panel spurns four more Haslam nominees to UT Board of Trustees

Four of Gov. Bill Haslam’s 10 nominees to a new University of Tennessee Board of Trustees were effectively rejected by the Senate Education Committee Thursday – a day after another, current board Vice Chairman Raja Jubran, withdrew amid criticism from legislators. That leaves just five of the governor’s 10 appointees up for approval on floor votes.

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Poll: Trump approval in TN higher than Alexander or Corker; lower than Haslam

President Trump’s approval rating in Tennessee stands at 56 percent, according to polling focused on Southern states and reported by NBC News. That’s higher than favorablity ratings for U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker; lower than for Gov. Bill Haslam.

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Legislators grill Haslam UT board nominees over Sex Week and more; one withdraws

The University of Tennessee system’s current Board of Trustees vice chairman, Raja Jubran, on Wednesday withdrew as a nominee to serve on UT’s freshly re-configured board after it became clear the Knoxville businessman and friend of Gov. Bill Haslam faced significant hurdles in winning legislative confirmation, reports the Times Free Press. After four hours of grilling the governor’s nine other nominees, a House committee approved their confirmation while a Senate committee delayed a vote.

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