This is a compilation of Tennessee news and political stories assembled daily by staffers in Gov. Bill Haslam’s office.
Insurers in Tennessee will payout fewer damages in medical malpractice cases after a new cap on damages took effect earlier this month. The new law also states insurers may no longer be sued under the state’s consumer protection law.
When state lawmakers reconvene next year, they’ll have to weigh in on the recent deal with Amazon dot com, brokered under Governor Bill Haslam. The idea is to let the giant internet retailer put off state sales tax collections in exchange for creating jobs.
Gov. Bill Haslam said today that he’s weighing the pros and cons of a school voucher bill filed by a Germantown lawmaker before deciding whether his administration will take a position on the issue in the next legislative session. Vouchers allow parents to take some or all of the taxpayer money spent on their child’s behalf in public schools to help pay tuition at private schools.
Gov. Bill Haslam will visit Clarksville today to see an education success story and promote the importance of getting a flu shot. The governor and Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner will get flu shots during a 10 a.m. visit to the Montgomery County Health Department.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam saw Rep. Curry Todd at a charity golf tournament Monday and said Todd, who was arrested last week for drunken driving with a loaded weapon in his car, told him he made a mistake. “He said, ‘I realize I made a bad mistake, and I’m sorry,’” Haslam said.
Gov. Bill Haslam said today that he was sorry to hear of state Rep. Curry Todd’s arrest last week on alcohol and gun charges, calling it a “big mistake.” But Haslam said whether Todd steps down from his legislative committee chairmanship is not the governor’s call.
Governor Bill Haslam says a state lawmaker arrested last week for driving drunk with a loaded gun has called it a “bad mistake” and apologized. It’s still unclear what political consequences might await Representative Curry Todd.
Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday, Oct. 17, that Tenn. Rep. Curry Todd has apologized for a “bad mistake” in being arrested on drunken driving and gun charges last week. Haslam told reporters after a speech in Franklin that he had spoken with Todd at a charity golf tournament hosted by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell and Democratic Rep. Gary Odom.
First Lady of Tennessee Crissy Haslam came “home” Monday to belatedly celebrate Knoxville’s 220th birthday and to praise Knox County’s historic house museums. Haslam spoke at a luncheon fundraiser held by the Historic Homes of Knoxville.
During a visit to Knoxville Monday First Lady Crissy Haslam promoted a collection of essays and drawings from third-graders about issues they face at school and at home. The book, called “Be True to You: Celebrating the Things that Make Us Unique,” was produced as a project of the K-Town Youth Empowerment Network Council and the third grade classes at Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Technology Academy.
First Lady Crissy Haslam will be in Knoxville to promote a collection of essays and drawings from third-graders about issues they face at school and at home. The book, called “Be True to You,” was produced as a project of the K-Town Youth Empowerment Network Council and the third grade classes at Sarah Moore Greene Elementary.
Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee will celebrate delivering its two millionth book at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Downtown Nashville Public Library. First Lady Crissy Haslam will present the book to a 3-year-old girl and read books to children from a local daycare.
Traces of chemicals that may disrupt hormonal and immune systems, including several personal care products, have shown up in the drinking water of six of 11 utilities tested across the state, according to a new report. Testing of the lake, river and ground water at scores of utility intakes statewide, including in Nashville and nearby counties, disclosed these same substances and a variety of others.
Tennessee state will be taking applications for a third round of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grants to communities across the state to improve efficiency. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development said in a news release they are taking new applications on Monday.
Marion County is reinvigorating plans for a new college campus on 30 acres of farmland in Kimball, an idea proposed in 2009 before the economic downturn spoiled an early launch. Now, work by county and Chattanooga State Community College officials could end with a groundbreaking as early as spring, officials said.
Eight of the 49 candidates who applied to become East Tennessee State University’s ninth president were invited to the campus Wednesday and Thursday for face-to-face interviews. The presidential search advisory committee, comprised of school, community and Tennessee Board of Regents representatives, met Monday on campus to review candidate materials and vote on whom to advance to the next step, which is round one of interviews.
For the second time this year, the visitors center at Parker’s Crossroads is hosting a traveling Civil War exhibit. The display focuses on 1861, the year the war began.
New this year: online approval The autumn leaves are gorgeous, but they can be dangerous. Outdoor burning permits are again required in Tennessee.
State Rep. Curry Todd, a lead proponent of a new state law allowing permit holders to carry handguns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, resigned a key House committee chairmanship Monday, days after his arrest on drunken driving and gun charges. Todd stepped down as chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee, which handles a range of proposals affecting cities and counties, including most alcohol bills.
Embattled state Rep. Curry Todd stepped aside from his chairmanship of the powerful State and Local Government Committee today — at least temporarily — after a nearly weeklong controversy following his arrest on DUI and possessing a handgun while intoxicated. “Today, I told Speaker [Beth] Harwell that I would step aside as chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee until this matter is resolved and she has accepted it,” Todd said in a statement.
After playing a round of golf with fellow lawmakers, state Rep. Curry Todd stepped down Monday as chairman of the powerful House State and Local Government Committee after his arrest last week on drunken-driving and gun-possession charges. Todd, R-Collierville, issued a statement through the House Republican Caucus after meeting with Speaker Beth Harwell.
A state lawmaker arrested last week for allegedly driving drunk with a loaded gun announced today he’ll step down as chairman of the House committee on state and local government. Representative Curry Todd had already resigned as the head of a task force meant to craft gun bills.
Representative Curry Todd has submitted his resignation as the Chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee. “He indicated he does not want to distract from the work that must be done, and I appreciate his willingness to step aside so that we may focus on legislative business,” said Speaker Beth Harwell This, just hours after Governor Bill Haslam said representative Todd has apologized for what he calls, “a bad mistake.”
Some state lawmakers say they will continue to pursue less regulation on guns despite a colleague’s arrest last week on alcohol and gun charges. Sen. Stacey Campfield told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that no one is advocating tougher state alcohol laws after Rep. Curry Todd’s arrest.
The first AARP question-and-answer session about a new law requiring photo identification to vote is Tuesday in Knoxville. It is the first in a series of such gatherings around the state.
As Tennessee Republicans sit down this fall to redraw the lines that determine the makeup of their legislative districts, there’s an opportunity to do unto Democrats what Democrats did unto them for decades — use the power of the pen to give themselves a political edge. “Any time you have 99 politicians carving up anything, you’re going to have some controversy so I expect there will be some creative tension,” said House Republican Leader Gerald McCormick.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean will ask state legislators to remove financial barriers so more students can take college courses while in high school. Dean recently launched a five-year plan to increase Metro Nashville Public Schools students’ college completion rate from 25 percent to 50 percent.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean plans to start a summer academy focused on raising ACT scores and helping students fill out financial aid forms. It’s the first element of his plan to double college graduation rates in five years, a lofty goal he announced during his inaugural address last month.
When the Knox County Pension Board’s executive director needs to talk to a local actuary, she sometimes travels to Connecticut.When board members want to bone up on investments, they fly to a conference in California that often includes a complimentary game of golf.
He would send bill to full Senate but hopes to limit federal power A proposal unveiled last week to overhaul the No Child Left Behind education law isn’t perfect but is “a good place to start,” Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said Monday. Alexander, a member of the Senate education committee and a former U.S. secretary of education, said that when the panel takes up the legislation this week, he will vote to send it to the full Senate.
A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., issued a news release last week saying his boss would lead YouCut, an online voting program that gives Americans the chance to select which government programs Congress should cut. In a 40-second video clip, Fleischmann did not name, explain or recommend any of the three suggested cuts, some of which could strip Tennessee of federal funding for construction jobs.
Visits to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park remain behind the numbers from last year. With figures released Monday, the National Park Service said visitation for 2011 through September was off 6.2 percent from 2010.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s Tennessee leadership team includes music industry executive Mike Curb, state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and fundraiser Stephen B. Smith. Curb, owner of Curb Records and a former lieutenant governor of California, has been named honorary Tennessee campaign chairman, while Ramsey, a Blountville auctioneer, will serve as the active state chairman.
The White House appeared to waffle Monday on the fate of a financially troubled long-term care program in President Barack Obama’s health overhaul law, as supporters and foes heaped criticism on the administration. At stake is the CLASS Act, a major new program intended to provide affordable long-term care insurance.
Senate Democrats said Monday they would seek to pass a bill that would send $35 billion to state and local governments to retain and rehire teachers and other public-sector workers. The bill would be the first standalone element of President Barack Obama’s jobs program that Democrats will try to advance after a broader package was defeated in the Senate last week.
The federal health law’s controversial Medicaid expansion is expected to add billions to states’ already overburdened Medicaid budgets. But it also offers a rarely discussed cost-cutting opportunity for state corrections agencies.
It’s an all-in, multimillion-dollar bid to create a new wave of manufacturing — and jobs — in America, officials said. Research perfecting new ways to make superstrong carbon fiber cheaply will be demonstrated in a pilot plant, and a local college has received grants to train future workers. “What we’re doing here is freaking out the rest of the world,” said Lee McGetrick, director of the new $35 million Carbon Fiber Technology Facility taking shape in Horizon Center Business Park in west Oak Ridge.
Some 325 Oak Ridge workers involved in the joint USEC Inc./Babcock & Wilcox American Centrifuge Project have been notified they may be laid off by December. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Monday the layoffs may be forthcoming if the project does not receive more funding this month.
Last week was the deadline for the Congressional super committee to take suggestions on how to trim the deficit. Much of what members heard boiled down to a familiar debate – does shrinking the government grow the economy?
When Peggy Hardwig told her daughter, Lily, a sixth-grader at Vine Middle Magnet School, the school was on a list for consideration of being closed, she had tons of questions. “My daughter just loves the school,” Hardwig said. “As a parent, I love the school.
When Billy Orgel takes over leadership of the unified school board tonight, people who know him say the group will see a genius consensus-builder at work. They also say he’s smart, strategic and sees the world in such detail that the 22 other members shouldn’t be surprised if he greets them on their birthdays.
A man and woman were each charged with promoting the manufacture of meth after the Blount County Sheriff’s Office found an active meth lab in the home. The suspects were identified as Melissa Ann Vittetoe, 43, of Clover Hill Road, Maryville, and Donny Allen Baker, 37.
On the Republican campaign trail, the health care debate has focused on the mandatory coverage that Mitt Romney signed into law as governor in 2006. But back in Massachusetts the conversation has moved on, and lawmakers are now confronting the problem that Mr. Romney left unaddressed: the state’s spiraling health care costs.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to sign a bill this week to take control of the state capital’s financial-recovery plan, despite the Harrisburg city council’s attempt to prevent the move by filing for bankruptcy protection last week. Lawmakers are moving to pass legislation outlining a state takeover even as a dispute over the legality of the petition filed under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code continues.
First, Nissan located its manufacturing plant in Smryna, Tenn., in the early 1980s. A decade later, General Motors built a plant to manufacture Saturns in Spring Hill.
There seems to be a lot of misinformation going around about Tennessee’s new photo ID law and I want to clear much of that up for you. Tennesseans have long been concerned about voter fraud and the majority are in favor of having a photo ID to vote.
The legal opinion of the Tennessee attorney general is in the news. Articles abound about how the attorney general (AG) opined on some serious issue — health, taxes, roads, education, death penalty, civil rights, money — whatever. Regardless of the subject, rest assured that the opinion affects every Tennessean.
Congressional Republicans typically reject legislative attempts to broadly override states’ rights without a sound constitutional basis. So you would think they would not be trying to make states yield to a national gun-carry law that nullifies states’ traditional rights to fix their own requirements for gun-carry permits.
In a remarkable reversal, the Obama administration has at long last been forced to admit that the ObamaCare socialized medicine law passed by Democrats in Congress in 2010 has huge financial flaws. One part of the mammoth law is a long-term care program called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, or CLASS. But word began leaking out of Washington in recent days that the administration wanted to put the brakes on implementing the CLASS portion of ObamaCare because it is fiscally unsustainable.