bill haslam

‘Humiliating’ treatment of only woman interviewed for TBI director draws protests

Leaders of some women’s groups are protesting the treatment of Marjorie Quin – the only woman considered for nomination as new director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation – when she was interviewed by the TBI Nominating Commission, according to Nashville news media. Quin is a retired TBI agent who specialized in handling sex trafficking cases.

Continue reading

More on Haslam and the ‘sanctuary cities bill’

Gov. Bill Haslam has elaborated on his decision to let the controversial “sanctuary cities bill” become law without his signature, reports the Times Free Press. And several politicians and individuals are offering comments on the move.

Continue reading

Unsigned: Haslam allows anti-sanctuary cities bill to become law

Critics call it the “mass deportation bill,” while supporters label it the “anti-sanctuary cities bill.” Either way, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday allowed the bill to become law without his signature.

The measure declares that municipalities can lose state grant funds if they loosen local rules involving illegal immigrants and requires state and local law enforcement officers to assist federal officials. Haslam has noted that “sanctuary cities” are already prohibited in Tennessee, despite concerns to the contrary from some of those urging him to sign the bill. He’s also argued that some concerns from the “immigrant community” seemed focused on provisions that were deleted from the measure prior to its final passage.

Continue reading

New state measuring lab dedicated in Nashville

WPLN-FM’s Chas Sisk filed this fine report from the dedication of of new state metrology lab — an official center for measurements and weights. We maintain, however, that the report would have been all the better if Sisk had captured the sound of the oversized scissors cutting the ribbon. Then the scales would have really fallen from our eyes.

Continue reading

Haslam backs state legislator for mayor over educator opponent

Gov. Bill Haslam has endorsed the election of state Rep. Kevin Brooks as mayor of Cleveland, joining outgoing mayor Tom Rowland and other area officials at a campaign rally Friday, reports the Cleveland Daily Banner.

Rowland announced in January he would retire as mayor and support Brooks (R-Cleveland) as his successor and Brooks announced at the same time he would not seek reelection to the legislature. The situation has “raised eyebrows of some in the community,” says the Banner – especially those of Duane Schriver, a former teacher and school principal who is opposing Brooks.

Continue reading

Haslam signs compromise short-term rental bill

Legislation setting statewide rules for short-term rental of residential property has been signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam without public comment. Similar bills have been the subject over lobbying wars for years over how much regulatory authority should remain with local government and the final version passed by the legislature was something of a compromise, worked out in a House-Senate conference committee.

Continue reading

Three finalists nominated as new TBI director

A nominating commission Tuesday chose three finalists for appointment as new director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation – former Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble, current TBI Deputy Director Jason Locke and Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch. Gov. Bill Haslam can now chose the new director from the list submitted by the TBI Nominating Commission.

Continue reading

Outside groups review TNReady troubles; Haslam says it’s still ‘a good test’

Gov. Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen say the state has hired two outside groups to review the troubled TNReady school testing system and will shift some responsibilities to a new testing company while deciding whether to extend Minnesota-based Questar’s contract to give the test next year, reports Chalkbeat Tennessee.

At a joint news conference Monday, they also pledged to abide by laws approved in this year’s legislative session to assure students and teachers suffer no adverse effects from the tests. McQueen outlined her department’s response to dealing with the legislation.

Continue reading

State paying $17.5M to New York firm for moving to Nashville — along with targeted tax break

The state Department of Economic and Community Development has agreed to give $17.5 million to AllianceBernstein for moving its headquarters from Manhattan to Nashville, reports the Nashville Business Journal.   A bill approved by the legislature this year also gives the company a tax break that served to “sweeten” state support for the move, says the state’s ECD commissioner.

The Beacon Center of Tenessee, which has been crusading against “corporate welfare,” had urged that AllianceBernstein get nothing in the way of taxpayer-funded incentives. The global financal firm announced with Gov. Bill Haslam last month that it will bring 1,050 jobs to the state’s capitol city, investing about $70 million.

Continue reading

Haslam declines to sign (or veto) legislation authorizing moving bodies of James K. Polk and wife from TN Capitol grounds

Gov. Bill Haslam has declined to sign a resolution giving the legislature’s approval to moving the bodies of former President James K. Polk and his wife, Sarah, from the state Capitol grounds to his parents’ home in Columbia, reports the Daily Herald.

Haslam’s press secretary, Jennifer Donnals, confirmed the governor’s decision to let the measure take effect without his signature in an email to The Daily Herald Tuesday. (The legislature’s website says SJR141 was “returned by governor without signature” on April 18. ) The governor had previously said he would prefer the bodies not be relocated.

Polk lived in Columbia after graduating college in 1818 until 1824. Polk owned the home after his father’s death in 1827. His mother stayed in the home till her death in 1852. Polk himself died in 1849.

“This is the only other home than the White House that James K. Polk ever lived in [that still stands],” (former Polk Home and Museum curator Tom) Price said. “James K. Polk was a president for all of us, and I think he’d appreciate the democratic process we’re going through, wanting to hear both sides of this argument.”

Now that Haslam has made his choice, the matter will go before the Tennessee Historical Commission and The Capitol Grounds Commission. After that, a Chancery court judge in Davidson County will hear the issue.