bill haslam

Reports of guns in TN schools running at double national average

Tennessee has double the national rate of kids caught bringing a gun or possessing one at school, state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen told the opening session of Gov. Bill Haslam’s working group on school safety on Thursday. At the same time, the state currently has just 865 school resource officers assigned to protect an estimated 1 million children in the state’s schools.

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Haslam spokeswoman: ‘Political affiliation did not play a role’ in appointing school safety panel

Through a spokeswoman, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is pushing back against criticism of his appointments to a  task force assigned to study school safety and recommend revisions in state laws or policy, reports the Times Free Press. Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris has been the lead critic, saying the 16-member panel is solid Republican with no Democratic members “where a bipartisan consensus is sorely needed.”

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Haslam appoints school security task force

Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at a press conference at the state Capitol in Nashville on March 1, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has announced a 17-member task force to evaluate ways to improve school safety in Tennessee.

The governor has asked the  group chaired by Safety Commissioner David Purkey  to “move quickly in making practical recommendations” before the end of the current legislative session.

UPDATE: Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris (D-Memphis) criticized the governor for setting up “a solid Republican task force on an issue where bipartisan consensus is sorely needed.”

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Haslam: No executive order to restore net neutrality in TN (but there’s a bill)

Gov. Bill Haslam is spurning request from Democratic state legislators that he join some other governor in issuing an executive order to preserve “net neutrality,” reports the Nashville Post. Rep. John Ray Clemmons of Nashville and Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis wrote him a letter last week with the request, which could have restored regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission.

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Haslam voices misgivings about recruiting new Amazon HQ to Nashville

Gov. Bill Haslam sounded apprehensive when asked recently about the prospect of Nashville landing the immense second headquarters planned by retail behemoth Amazon.com, reports the Nashville Business Journal.

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House committee revises, then approves Haslam bill shrinking UT Board of Trustees

A state House committee approved today Gov. Bill Haslam’s bill to shrink the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees after revisions the administration agreed to accept after a round of recent criticism. A key alteration is to add a non-voting student member to the panel.

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Haslam talks with governor accused in extramaritial affair, offers no advice on resignation

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, facing an indictment tied to an extramarital affair, cancelled a planned appearance at a weekend National Governors Association meeting in Washington and fellow Republican governors who attended shied away from saying whether he should resign or fight the charges, according to Politico.  With Nashville embroiled in controversy over Mayor Megan Barry’s extramarital affir, Gov. Bill Haslam, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, said he has talked with Greitens but isn’t offering advice.

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Haslam backs ban on bump stocks, raising age for gun buys

Gov. Bill Haslam declared his support for banning “bump stock” gun modifications and for raising the legal age for purchase of semi-automatic firearms in a Washington, D.C., speech from 18 to 21, reports WBIR TV. President Trump has supported both notions.

“It’s just crazy to me that you can’t buy a beer at 19, but you can buy an AR-15,” Haslam said during a speech at the breakfast event at the Pew Charitable Trusts Friday.

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Haslam ‘not certain about arming teachers’ while planning statewide school safety review

Gov. Bill Haslam, who last week said his administration plans a statewide review of school security in light of a recent mass shooting at a Florida high school, is quoted in a Sunday Politico story headlined, Governors to Washington: Stop dithering on guns.

The article is based on comments from state chief executives gathered for a weekend meeting in Washington of the National Governors Association meeting in downtown Washington.  An excerpt:

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New U.S. Civil Rights Trail includes 10 Tennessee locations

Press release from Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Memphis, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett, today (Wednesday) officially dedicated 10 sites in Tennessee as part of the newly-launched U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The announcement was made during a press conference at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

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