legislators

New online TN voter registration officially operational

News release from Secretary of State’s office
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett is proud to officially launch the state’s new online voter registration system.

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Former state rep gets 21-year sentence for Ponzi scheme

One-time Tennessee legislator Larry Bates drew a prison sentence of 21 years and 10 months for a $20 million Ponzi scheme around the family business of selling gold and silver to investors on Tuesday, reports the Memphis Daily News.

Bates and his family did so with an appeal based on political and economic instability and focused on pitches on Christian media outlets as well as their own Information Radio Network Inc.

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Rep. Coley hospitalized after apparent heart attack

State Rep. Jim Coley remained hospitalized Sunday following an apparent heart attack suffered at a restaurant on Friday. The Tennessean reports that House colleagues are using twitter to wish the Bartlett Republican well and call for remembering him in prayers.

Coley, 66, was placed in a coma Friday evening but was awake by Sunday morning.

“This morning at 8:30 he woke up,” his son, Evan Coley, said in a Facebook post Sunday. “He is having some mild seizures but he is tracking people with his eyes and responding to questions of pain.”

The post added that when Coley arrived at the hospital, “his pupils were fixed and dilated as there were other indicators there could be significant brain damage.” But, the younger Coley added, “For the past 13 hours, it’s been nothing but good news.”

Haslam request to move Forrest bust rejected

The State Capitol Commission today rejected Gov. Bill Haslam’s request to move a bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from the lobby of the state Capitol building to the state museum. Seven of the members on hand opposed the move; five voted yes – and the tally could be seen as a legislature-versus-the-governor lineup.

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House Republicans hold ‘team-building’ retreat

House Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams tells The Tennessean about 50 members attended a “retreat” and fundraiser on Sunday and Monday.

Most of the meetings were at the offices of a Nashville law firm, where he says the Republican representatives heard from the three state constitutional officers, discussed membership dues and forthcoming open legislative seats and participated in team-building sessions (including a bowling outing).

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Registry memo: Legislators should not double dip on expense payments

Back in June, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally asked the Registry of Election Finance to produce a memo on the legality of legislators using campaign money to pay for meals and motels on days when they’re also getting “per diem” expense money from the state — $220 per day for those living more than 50 miles from Nashville.

After discussion of the matter at a Registry board meeting earlier this month, the Registry staff has produced the requested a short memo this week and sent it to the speakers. Not surprisingly, the brief memo says legislators shouldn’t be reimbursed twice for the same expenses.

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Beavers resigning state Senate seat; expanding gubernatorial campaign team

News release from Sen. Mae Beavers

MT. JULIET, TN – Tennessee State Senator and conservative Republican candidate for Governor Mae Beavers has announced that she will resign her seat in the legislature effective Friday, September 1st at noon. Beavers also disclosed key additions to her gubernatorial campaign team.

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Rep. Van Huss ‘doubles down’ in praise of Confederate battle flag, bashing Black Lives Matter

State Rep. Micah Van Huss has rejected a request to “dialog” with a group that criticized his Facebook posting declaring the Confederate battle flag a “symbol of freedom” and that the Ku Klux Klan and Black Lives Matter are both “racist hate groups.” Instead, reports the Johnson City Press, the Washington County Republican “doubled down” on his previous remarks.

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On songwriting Sen. Rusty Crowe, Glen Campbell and Tanya Tucker

State Sen. Rusty Crowe is co-author of a song paying tribute to the late Glen Campbell that has been recorded by Tanya Tucker and released for sale this week, reports the Johnson City Press. The song, “Forever Loving You,” ties into legislation Crowe, R-Johnson City, successfully sponsored last year that was promoted by two of Campbell’s children.

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McNally gets legislative longevity award

News release from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

NASHVILLE — Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) has received the Thomas B. Murphy Longevity of Service Award from the Council of State Government’s Southern Legislative Conference. Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) presented the award to McNally at the group’s annual meeting last week in Biloxi, Mississippi.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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