legislators

Judge dismisses Durham lawsuit seeking pension and insurance benefits

U.S. District  Court Judge Aleta Trauger dismissed Friday a lawsuit filed by former state Rep.  Jeremy Durham seeking to restore lifetime health care and pension benefits he lost when the state House voted to expel him last year, according to The Tennessean. Continue reading

ALEC meeting brings conservative legislators from across nation to Nashville

Conservative activists and state legislators from across the country will gather in Nashville for a summit of the American Legislative Exchange Council that runs from Wednesday through Friday, reports WPLN. Gov. Bill Haslam is expected to address the group Thursday.

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State Rep. Shelia Butt won’t seek reelection, plans full-time Christian ministry work

State Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, announced Tuesday that she will not run for re-election in House District 64 next year, reports the Columbia Daily Herald. She plans to work full time for a Christian “women’s ministry” called “Sisters, Servants and Soldiers.”

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Politicians cheer appointment of Fulmer as UT athletic director

Tennessee politicians are generally praising the appointment of former head football coach Phil Fulmer as athletics director at the University of Tennessee, reports the News Sentinel, but some are also voicing concerns about the future of the state’s flagship campus in Knoxville.

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Art Swann picked as interim successor to Sen. Doug Overbey

The Blount County Commission voted today to name state Rep. Art Swann of Maryville to temporarily fill the state Senate District 2 seat vacated by Doug Overbey, who resigned to become U.S. Attorney for East Tennessee.

Swann received 14 votes from commissioners to three for Scott Williams, who lost to Overbey in the 2016 Republican primary, according to County Clerk Gaye Hasty. Four commissioners were absent at the meeting.

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Overbey sworn in as U.S. attorney, resigns state Senate seat

Former state Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, resigned his Senate seat effective 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee at 3:30 p.m., reports the Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times.

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Rep. JoAnne Favors announces she won’t seek reelection

State Rep. JoAnne Favors, a Chattanooga Democrat representing House District 28, announced Monday she won’t seek re-election in 2018 and instead will retire at the end of her current term, reports the Times Free Press.

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State Sen. Overbey confirmed as U.S. attorney for East Tennessee

The full U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of state Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, as U.S. Attorney for East Tennessee late Thursday.

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Jim Tracy becomes third TN senator to get new job through Trump administration requiring resignation from legislature

State Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Jim Tracy of Shelbyville has been named Tennessee state director of rural development by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, an appointment that will require the Republican lawmaker to step down from his Senate District 14 seat that covers Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties, along with part  of Rutherford County.

Perdue filled state director rural development positions in all 50 states with Trump administration appointees in an announcement Friday. He also named state directors of USDA’s Farm Services Agency, a position held in Tennessee during the Obama administration by former Democratic state Rep. Gene Davidson of Adams. The FSA Tennessee post now goes to Dennis Beavers, apparently the same Dennis Beavers who headed the Trump campaign in Alabama last year and who is identified in some media reports as a native of McMinn County, Tennessee.

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Sen. Massey retires from regular job, expands legislative work with new disabilities committee

While some of her colleagues are planning to leave their state Senate seats, Knoxville Republican Sen. Becky Duncan Massey says she plans to devote more time to legislative duties with retirement from her regular job, reports  Georgiana Vines. She retiring as executive director of the Sertoma Center, which serves individuals with disabilities and where she has worked for 24 years.

A major focus for new legislative duties will be co-chairing with Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, a new joint ad hoc committee on disability services appointed by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell, to examine state services for the disabled, with a goal of making recommendations on how to streamline the services and improve their quality, access and affordability. The recommendations are for the next governor elected in 2018, she said.

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