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Editorial Results (free)

1. Tennessee House elects 1st African-American minority leader -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee House Democrats have elected the chamber's first African-American minority leader.

Democrats chose Rep. Karen Camper of Memphis during leadership elections Sunday. She replaces former Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley, who left the Legislature in an unsuccessful bid for governor.

2. Legislators work all the angles for leadership posts -

With apologies to Robert Zimmerman, “the times they are a-changing.” Unlike Bob Dylan’s 1964 song of rebellion, Capitol Hill isn’t turning into a hotbed of liberals, although someday the first could be last. In fact, it could turn more conservative this fall before things take a different direction.

3. It’s Lee’s to win unless he makes a rookie mistake -

When Bill Lee drove a tractor through tiny Eagleville last October, hardly anyone noticed.

Only a handful of supporters milled around in the parking lot of the Farmers Co-op in southwest Rutherford County that morning where Lee spent a few minutes talking to people inside the store before emerging to ride to another town as part of a statewide tour, a precursor to an RV ride he would take later in the Republican primary race.

4. Rough governor's race highlights Tennessee primary election -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Four candidates who have spent tens of millions of dollars of their own wealth fighting over who is more devoted to President Donald Trump face off Thursday in the Republican primary for Tennessee governor.

5. Rough governor's race highlights Tennessee primary election -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Four candidates who have spent tens of millions of dollars of their own wealth fighting over who is more devoted to President Donald Trump face off Thursday in the Republican primary for Tennessee governor.

6. New faces in Tennessee legislative primaries as dozens leave -

NASHVILLE (AP) — An exodus of more than two dozen state lawmakers means new faces are running for the Republican-led Tennessee General Assembly, setting up primary fights that could have early implications on the jockeying to become the House's new leader.

7. With rough GOP primary, Tennessee Dems see gov's race chance -

NASHVILLE (AP) — While the Republicans in contention for Tennessee governor spend big to sort out who is most devoted to President Donald Trump, the two leading Democratic hopefuls recently stood side-by-side at a debate and, for an hour, pretty much agreed.

8. Spending in Tennessee governor's race tops $51M -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee governor's race tab has topped $51 million before the Aug. 2 primary.

Adding activity from July 1 to 23, four Republicans have spent $45.7 million, infused $40.2 million of personal money and raised $13.2 million otherwise.

9. 2 Dems give final debate pitch before Tennessee gov primary -

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Two leading Democratic candidates for Tennessee governor were largely in agreement on the issues during their final debate Sunday night before the Aug. 2 primary.

At Pellissippi State Community College, ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh were on the same page in support of raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid, and against Confederate flag vanity license plates in Tennessee and a new anti-sanctuary cities law.

10. What statewide candidates have to say about education -

Gov. Haslam and the General Assembly have invested in education during the last eight years. Has that been a good investment and should it continue? What do the candidates propose for the next four to eight years?

11. Tennessee GOP gov race: Candidates chip in $33M, spend $33M -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Four Republicans have spent $33 million-plus in Tennessee's primary for governor, unleashing about $33 million of personal wealth.

Reports through June show ex-state economic development commissioner Randy Boyd has added $14.2 million in personal cash and spent $15.7 million since the race began.

12. What statewide candidates have to say about rural Tennessee? -

Like most of America, Tennessee’s metropolitan areas have prospered during the last eight years, while the rural areas have lagged in almost every measure. The state has 19 of its 95 counties classified as “distressed.” What can and should we do to give every Tennessean a chance to succeed?

13. What statewide candidates say about opioids, public safety -

The spread of opioid abuse claimed more than 1,600 lives in Tennessee in 2016, and it is getting worse. Methamphetamine abuse, while not getting the headlines, has increased. Gun violence and murder is increasing. What proposals do our candidates have to help Tennesseans address these public safety issues?

14. What do statewide candidates say about infrastructure investment? -

Is investment in public infrastructure important? And should Tennessee have more dedicated revenue sources to pay for construction and maintenance of infrastructure across the state, or is the existing tax structure – primarily the state tax on fuel, and wheel taxes – sufficient to pay for what Tennessee needs to sustain and grow its economy?

15. NRA endorses Black in Tennessee governor's race GOP primary -

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Rep. Diane Black has landed the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in a crowded Republican primary field for Tennessee governor.

In a news release Thursday, the influential gun rights group's Political Victory Fund said Black is the only Tennessee gubernatorial candidate with an "A'' rating and a "perfect record" on Second Amendment issues.

16. What statewide candidates say about health care - According to Think Tennessee’s State of Our State dashboard, the state ranks near the bottom in the number of adults with heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It also ranks near the bottom of all states for the health of senior citizens, infant mortality and number of adults who smoke, and at the absolute bottom in childhood obesity. Tennesseans are, on the whole, not healthy. What can and should our next political leaders do about it?

17. Enthusiasm not enough to turn Tennessee blue -

Tennessee’s legislative Democrats are eternally optimistic. They don’t have much choice but to look on the bright side with 75-24 and 28-5 deficits in the House and Senate.

So when they put a nearly full slate of candidates on the ticket for November’s general election – about 110 districts – and say they’ve got a good chance of picking up seats, they almost have to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.

18. Blue wave? State Democrats more likely up a creek -

Tennessee Democrats are hoping a “blue wave” will wash across the Volunteer State this fall and help them regain a number of seats lost over the last decade. Republicans are banking on red voters to crush any wave by capitalizing on the popularity of President Donald Trump when November arrives.

19. Dems tussle on charter schools in Tennessee governor debate -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The two leading Democrats in Tennessee's open governor's race tussled during a debate Tuesday over charter schools, the National Rifle Association and one candidate's use of federal flood money to build a downtown Nashville amphitheater.

20. Democrats to debate tonight in Tennessee governor race -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The two leading Democrats in Tennessee's open race for governor are meeting for a head-to-head debate.

The Democratic debate with former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh will take place Tuesday evening at Belmont University's McAfee Concert Hall.

21. Marijuana law reform supported by Fitzhugh, Dean at forum -

MEMPHIS (AP) — Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh expressed support Thursday for eliminating criminal punishment for possessing small amounts of marijuana statewide if elected governor.

22. Democrat, Republican debates set in Tennessee governor race -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Separate debates for the Democratic and Republican hopefuls in Tennessee's open race for governor are slated for the upcoming weeks.

The Democratic debate with former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh will take place the evening of June 19 at Belmont University's McAfee Concert Hall.

23. Super PAC boosts Lee in Tennessee GOP governor's race -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A super PAC is praising Tennessee Republican candidate for Bill Lee in radio ads as the "conservative outsider we need."

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press , Tenn Values PAC spokesman Chris Butler said the 60-second spot is airing in the Chattanooga, Knoxville and Tri-Cities markets. He didn't disclose how much the ad-buy costs.

24. If only legislators could focus on important issues -

A year-old law enabling Tennessee colleges and universities to keep secret the “proprietary” fees they pay money managers for handling risky investments is likely to be reviewed this year.

25. Tennessee candidate: Florida students used as anti-gun props -

NASHVILLE(AP) — A Republican candidate for Tennessee governor claimed Tuesday that the "liberal media," teachers unions and the "far-left lobby" have used students who survived Parkland, Florida's deadly school shooting as "props to push their anti-gun agenda."

26. Jack Daniel's may no longer be scared cow -

When Van Halen front man David Lee Roth opened a bottle of Jack Daniel’s on stage back in the ’80s, the last thing he thought about was taxes and court appeals when he took a big swig of whiskey.

27. Tennessee GOP gov hopefuls mixed feelings on Trump tariffs -

MARTIN (AP) — President Donald Trump's plan to raise tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel drew concerns from most candidates for governor at a forum on Thursday, who said they worry a trade war could harm Tennessee's farm exports, particularly soybeans.

28. Look ahead to 2019 session: New faces, unfinished business -

The Tennessee Legislature took steps toward combating opioid abuse and reforming juvenile justice in the 2018 session but fell short of what many lawmakers hoped to achieve, setting the stage for renewed action in 2019 when a new General Assembly will convene.

29. Tennessee lawmakers agree to shield teachers from test problems -

The House and Senate broke gridlock Wednesday night on problems stemming from the results of troubled TNReady testing by passing legislation saying no “adverse action” would be taken against teachers, students or schools for poor test scores.

30. Tennessee lawmakers agree to shield teachers from test problems -

The House and Senate broke gridlock Wednesday night on problems stemming from the results of troubled TNReady testing by passing legislation saying no “adverse action” would be taken against teachers, students or schools for poor test scores.

31. Lawmakers honor man hailed as hero in Waffle House attack -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The man who snatched an AR-15 rifle away from a gunman at a Tennessee restaurant told Tennessee lawmakers Tuesday he faced "the true test of a man," drawing a standing ovation during his brief address.

32. Tennessee GOP gubernatorial candidates square off in debate -

MEMPHIS (AP) — Republican candidates for Tennessee governor said Wednesday that Memphis did not do the right thing when it removed statues of Confederate-era leaders from city parks last year.

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee squared off in Memphis during the first televised, Republican-only debate during the campaign to replace Gov. Bill Haslam, who faces term limits.

33. Effort to expand Medicaid in Tennessee fails -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Another effort to expand the Tennessee's Medicaid program has failed after the state's Republican-dominated House refused to support an amendment on a bill on insurance coverage for certain cancer patients.

34. Candidates for governor give millions to their own campaigns -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee candidates for governor are raising millions of dollars in contributions, but the big money is coming from the contenders themselves.

A campaign finance disclosure report released this week shows that Republicans Diane Black and Bill Lee had the most in contributions this quarter — each around $3.3 million — but both either loaned or gave $3 million of their own money to their campaigns. Republican Randy Boyd raised a little more than $2.6 million, but $2 million was money he gave to himself.

35. Lawmakers see conspiracy in UT Board alterations, approve anyway -

It’s not that hard to light a fire under some state lawmakers, but the University of Tennessee FOCUS Act raised blood pressure considerably in the House of Representatives before barely passing with 51 votes.

36. Democrats need viable candidates to catch blue wave -

Republicans called it the “kickoff” to what they hope will be a great election season. Democrats are downplaying a lopsided loss in the 14th Senate District special election, saying it won’t represent results later this year in President Donald Trump’s midterm.

37. 2 Trump gun proposals divide Tennessee governor GOP field -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's leading Republican gubernatorial candidates have mixed feelings or aren't taking firm stances on President Donald Trump's ideas to ban bump stocks and bar people under 21 from buying semi-automatic guns.

38. Civil War re-enactor outflanked on statues, Medicaid expansion -

When state Rep. Steve McDaniel was a youngster he often read the historical marker at the intersection of Highway 22 and Wildersville Road detailing Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s first West Tennessee raid in the Battle of Parker’s Crossroads.

39. Governor hopefuls largely OK with TennCare work requirements -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's gubernatorial candidates are largely fine with proposed TennCare work requirements, with some concerns.

At Tuesday's health care forum, Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell touted legislation seeking TennCare work requirements on able-bodied patients without children under 6. Others expressed support for the concept but had questions.

40. Legislators likely to put cork in Sunday wine sales for pre-k -

Legislation sending revenue from Sunday wine sales to prekindergarten expansion faces a battle on several fronts when it reaches a committee in early March.

The bill sponsored by state Sen. Lee Harris is designed to take the state tax dollars from the sale of wine on Sundays, if that separate bill passes this session, and divert it to a fund designed to increase access for low-income children to prekindergarten classrooms in Tennessee. The bill is set to be heard March 6 in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

41. Clemmons: UT football fiasco at heart of Haslam's plan to shrink Board -

Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to shake up the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees is getting blitzed by legislators, some contending it’s linked to the hiring of the Tennessee Vols football coach.

42. Bredesen: U.S. Senate win possible for Dems -

The last Democrat to win statewide elected office in Tennessee eight years ago acknowledges times have changed.

“The Democratic brand is damaged in Tennessee,” former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said in Memphis. “The Republican percentage has stayed the same over the last decade. What’s changed is people have abandoned the Democrats and started calling themselves independents.”

43. Complaints question Harwell's PAC help, $3.1M self-loan -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A campaign finance complaint claims that Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell received help from a political committee beyond what's legally allowed, while another complaint contends she doesn't have the money to back up a $3.1 million self-loan to her campaign for governor.

44. Tennessee governor's race: Black most donors; Harwell most cash -

NASHVILLE (AP) — In the most recent fundraising period of the Tennessee governor's race, U.S. Rep. Diane Black raised the most from donors, with more than $1.7 million, and state House Speaker Beth Harwell ended with the flushest bank account, topping $5 million.

45. Boyd buys $300k in TV ad time in Tennessee governor's race -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican candidate for governor Randy Boyd will hit TV airwaves this week with an ad buy worth about $300,000.

46. Immigrant tuition splits Tennessee governor's field in forum -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Candidates for governor in Tennessee largely agreed on broad issues facing education during the race's first televised forum Tuesday, except for a partisan split on in-state tuition for immigrants whose parents brought or kept them in the country illegally.

47. Tennessee governor's race hopefuls meet for education forum -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Six of the seven leading candidates for governor in Tennessee are meeting for a televised forum on education.

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education forum will take place Tuesday evening at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University.

48. Medicaid expansion splits governor hopefuls in health forum -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A health care forum showed a partisan split in the governor's race over Medicaid expansion, with Democrats ranking it their top priority and Republicans opposing it or espousing other priorities.

49. Despite need, expanding health care not in cards -

Springfield resident Felicity Palma struggled mightily when she moved to Tennessee from Florida two years ago after suffering health problems and losing her job.

The 47-year-old former social worker became homeless for a period when she came here, and now she finds herself in a health insurance coverage gap as she tries to get treatment for ulcers, sciatica, fibroids and thyroid disease. Debt is piling up on her, too, for the care she does receive.

50. Tennessee House speaker proposes Medicaid work requirements -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has filed legislation to pursue TennCare work requirements for able-bodied adults without young children.

51. Black steps down as US House budget chair amid governor bid -

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Rep. Diane Black announced Wednesday that she is stepping down as House Budget Committee chairwoman, but will remain in Congress as she runs for governor of Tennessee.

The Republican's decision follows passage of a wide-spanning tax reform law that she and her committee helped usher through the legislative process. She said she plans to leave the budget leadership post once a successor is chosen in the new year so she can focus more on the campaign.

52. Opioid crisis and juvenile justice -

With the state’s budget projected to be tight and lawmakers lining up to run for re-election in 2018, the coming legislative session isn’t expected to yield many surprises.

But the 110th General Assembly still has a long row to hoe as the session starts Jan. 9 with new legislative offices and committee rooms in the renovated Cordell Hull Building in downtown Nashville.

53. Haslam considering changes to UT Board of Trustees -

Gov. Bill Haslam is considering reducing the number University of Tennessee Board of Trustees members and trimming the number of finalists presented for top leadership positions in the UT system, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally has confirmed.

54. Black names leadership teams in all 95 Tennessee counties -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black has named leadership teams in all 95 Tennessee counties.

55. 4 Tennessee governor candidates won't release tax returns -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Four of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor are declining to release details of their federal income tax returns.

The Tennessean newspaper asked five Republicans and two Democrats in the race for copies of their federal tax filings. U.S. Rep. Diane Black and fellow Republican state House Speaker Beth Harwell provided some financial details, as did Democratic House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh.

56. Despite massive turnover, GOP owns legislature -

2018 will be a year of change for the Tennessee General Assembly, and 2019 will bring even more, especially in leadership – much depending on the popularity of President Donald Trump.

Not only is the Legislature moving to the Cordell Hull Building, vacating the Legislative Plaza after 45 years or so, a number of legislative faces are changing, too, even before next year’s election.

57. Black launches latest broadside in Tennessee governor's race -

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Rep. Diane Black's gubernatorial campaign is taking aim at Republican rival Randy Boyd, launching a broadside Tuesday at the former member of Gov. Bill Haslam's Cabinet for everything from his running attire to what the congresswoman decries as his moderate record.

58. Democrats look to Bredesen to run, reinvigorate party -

Tennessee Democrats are canvassing the state to find candidates at every political level, but their next star is a well-known veteran who has people of all political stripes holding their breath.

Phil Bredesen, the former mayor of Nashville and a two-term governor, could alter the landscape of Tennessee politics if he enters the race for U.S. Senate to fill the void by departing Republican Sen. Bob Corker in 2018.

59. There’s Bredesen, and then there’s ... -

Murfreesboro resident Jon Santee woke up “a different person” on Nov. 9, 2016, the day after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency.

“I saw something that in my time I thought was pretty much unfathomable at a top political level,” says Santee, a 41-year-old father of four who works in the IT field.

60. State politicians in no hurry to fix health insurance -

We don’t need no stinkin’ special session on Medicaid expansion. That’s pretty much the Republican response to House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh’s call for Gov. Bill Haslam to bring lawmakers back to Nashville after the Graham-Cassidy bill failed in Congress.

61. GOP candidates for Tennessee governor uneasy about gas tax -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The ink may be dry on a new state law that boosts funding for road projects through Tennessee's first gas tax hike in 28 years, but that doesn't mean all Republicans running for governor are happy with it.

62. Mississippi case offers hope for bust removal -

State Sen. Lee Harris is encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s request for the state of Mississippi to respond to a lawsuit seeking to remove the Confederate battle flag from its state flag.

63. Beavers to resign from Senate to focus on Tennessee gov bid -

MT. JULIET (AP) — Mae Beavers announced Wednesday that she will step down from the state Senate so she can focus on her bid for Tennessee governor.

64. Republican Lee calls for school vouchers across Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee said he supports spending more public money on private school tuition around Tennessee, and that restrictions should be placed on lobbying by government entities that oppose school vouchers.

65. A million reasons not to jump into governor’s race -

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mae Beavers is banking on the idea wealthy candidates won’t be able to buy voters in 2018.

“Most of them seem to think they can write a hundred-dollar check to everybody in Tennessee and get their vote. I just don’t think it’s gonna play out that way this time,” says Beavers, an ultra-conservative state senator from Mt. Juliet who says she hopes President Donald Trump will give her a bounce at the polls.

66. Democrat Craig Fitzhugh joins race for Tennessee governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Democrat Craig Fitzhugh is joining the race for Tennessee governor.

The banker and attorney from Ripley tells The Tennessean that he will draw on his 23 years of experience as a state lawmaker, most recently as House minority leader and previously as chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee.

67. Legislature losing some powerful, familiar members -

A shakeup in leadership is looming for the state Legislature, though it may portend more of a change in personalities than party strength.

In the House, longtime Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, the affable Democrat from Ripley in West Tennessee, is preparing for a 2018 gubernatorial run, a move that would knock him out of his House seat, at least temporarily, and the position as Democratic Caucus leader.

68. Medicaid cuts could hit rural children hardest -

As Congress fiddles with an Obamacare replacement, one likely to cut billions in Medicaid spending, health care experts warn a decrease in funding could be hard on Tennessee.

During a recent forum in Jackson, Andy Schneider of the Georgetown Center on Children and Families reported that 50 percent of Tennessee’s children in small towns and rural areas are covered by Medicaid, a higher percentage than the rest of the nation, and more than in Tennessee’s urban areas where 39 percent have Medicaid.

69. Green drops gubernatorial bid after failed Trump nomination -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican state Sen. Mark Green announced Friday that he will not resume his bid for Tennessee governor after withdrawing from consideration as President Donald Trump's pick for Army secretary.

70. GOP field for Tennessee governor soon to become more crowded -

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Businessman Randy Boyd will happily talk at length about his role in creating Tennessee's free community college tuition program and his plans to attract more companies to the state and cut regulations to keep others from leaving.

71. Boyd takes delivery of first new VW SUV in Chattanooga -

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd became the country's first customer to drive Volkswagen's new Atlas SUV off a dealer lot Thursday.

72. Haslam credits GOP control for successful legislative session -

With the legislative session finished, Gov. Bill Haslam is touting budget accomplishments and a strong economy as the result of Republican leadership.

In a Capitol Hill press conference shortly after the General Assembly adjourned for the year, the governor called passage of a $37 billion budget, the second consecutive one with no new debt, as the Legislature’s most important act.

73. Fitzhugh's K-12 bill passes House will have to wait a year in Senate -

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh pushed his K-12 education fund to passage Tuesday, but the possibility of funding and Senate approval will have to wait until 2018.

Dubbed the “K-12 Block Grant Act,” the measure calls for setting aside $250 million in excess state revenue for interest-generating investment to provide grant money for school systems statewide. Each system could use the funds for state-approved programs such as reading coaches or dual enrollment, items not funded through Tennessee’s Basic Education Program.

74. Gas tax rancor lingers as session coasts to close -

Remnants of rancor over Republican leadership roiled the House, a reminder of outrage over roguish behavior as representatives reached the finish line.

Alliteration is probably better suited for poetry. But in a case of what could be considered poetic justice, at least for some, this literary device – goofiness maybe – is suitable for legislative action requiring a score card to keep up with the characters and a bit of history to put it all together.

75. Tennessee lawmakers make late session push on final bills -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers nearly checked off the last of their lingering legislative priorities Tuesday, as they moved to require metal detectors for gun-banning city facilities and pushed to let older adults without a college degree or certificate attend community college for free.

76. Thursday's acrimony is Friday lovefest: House passes $37B budget -

Putting a day of acrimony behind it, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $37 billion budget plan, stripping away nearly $320 million in amendments placed on it the previous day.

Compared to the previous day of arguments and overspending, Friday’s debate was a veritable lovefest.

77. Tennessee House adjourns amid budget chaos -

The House of Representatives adjourned in apparent disarray today after arguing over amendments to $37 billion budget plan, some saying discord stemmed from votes on the governor’s IMPROVE Act.

78. Fitzhugh's $250M education fund faces long odds -

Legislation by House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh seeking to create a $250 million education fund may have to fit through the eye of a needle to get into the governor’s $37 billion budget plan.

79. IMPROVE Act fight an insight into testy election ahead -

In case anyone’s keeping stats, Senate leadership soundly defeated House leadership this session in the gas tax/tax cut battle.

Whether this is a forerunner to a Republican gubernatorial primary remains to be seen as Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and House Speaker Beth Harwell weigh decisions. It’s not as if they’d be facing off against each other, though, since businessman Bill Lee and former Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd are definitely in the race and not hurting for money.

80. Tennessee House OKs bill opening officer shooting records -

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation Monday requiring records about officer-involved shooting deaths be open to the public.

Sponsored by Rep. G.A. Hardaway and Sen. Lee Harris, both Memphis Democrats, the move opens the curtain on Tennessee Bureau of Investigation records, which are exempt from the Tennessee Open Records Act and confidential. Generally they are disclosed to the public only through a court order.

81. Letter urges more legislative oversight of outsourcing -

Forty-one state lawmakers signed a letter requesting the state put a hold on its outsourcing plans until the General Assembly can scrutinize its effect on state workers and services.

The state is set to sign a contract April 28 with Chicago-based JLL for facilities management work that could be used by universities and departments statewide. Even local government jobs could be doled out to the contractor.

82. Tennessee House, Senate pass Haslam's gas tax proposal -

The House and Senate are nearly ready to send the IMPROVE Act to Gov. Bill Haslam, passing it with relatively wide voting margins after months of debate.

Only one adjustment is needed in a measure providing property tax relief for veterans, the disabled and elderly before the measure can be sent to Haslam.

83. House short of votes to needed to pass Haslam's gas tax/tax cut -

Votes aren’t adding up in the House of Representatives for passage of the governor’s gas tax/tax cut legislation.

With floor debate scheduled Wednesday morning, not only is a Republican head count showing lack of support, Democrats aren’t exactly lining up behind the measure. The minority party says it wants concessions on other items from the governor before it can vote for the IMPROVE Act, and some Democrats say they won’t go for a combination of tax cuts for wealthy investors tied to a higher gas tax.

84. Divisive bid to strip gas tax hike from road funding fizzles in House -

Gov. Bill Haslam’s transportation funding/tax cut bill raced ahead of a measure backed by House Speaker Beth Harwell in the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday. But the battle isn’t done.

85. Bill to expand Medicaid appears dead for the year -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A plan by Democrats to expand the Medicaid program in Tennessee appeared dead Wednesday after the sponsor of the measure pulled the bill.

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, told the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee that he was withdrawing his bill. He later said that he would try to revive the bill.

86. GOP happy to ‘wait and see’ on Medicaid expansion -

Republicans say ho, Democrats say go. In the wake of Trumpcare’s congressional crash, states such as Kansas and North Carolina are joining the majority of the nation in expanding Medicaid rolls.

87. Democrats looking for GOP help to derail outsourcing efforts -

Legislative Democrats are calling on Republicans to join them in passing a slate of bills to combat Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plans for everything from state parks to facilities management at universities.

88. Casada bill targets Nashville's affordable housing requirements -

Saying free market forces should control development, state Rep. Glen Casada pushed a measure through the House Thursday targeting a Nashville ordinance placing affordable housing requirements on developers.

89. Senate panel moves to prohibit state park outsourcing -

A Senate panel approved legislation Monday prohibiting the outsourcing of jobs at state parks less than a week after the State Building Commission renewed plans for rebuilding and privatizing the inn at Fall Creek Falls.

90. Boyd tour raises questions about campaigning at public sites -

NASHVILLE (AP) — For Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, it made perfect sense to make two stops at community and technical colleges during his campaign announcement tour last week.

91. House committee avoids zombies, approves school voucher bill -

Despite a packed room of Memphis-area people opposed to vouchers for public school students, a House Education Committee advanced a pilot program targeting low-income children in the Shelby County Schools system’s low-performing schools.

92. Trump event gets mixed reviews from legislators -

NASHVILLE – While state lawmakers recognized the historical significance of President Donald Trump visiting the home of President Andrew Jackson in Hermitage Wednesday, the review is mixed on comparisons between the two as well as the Jackson legacy.

93. Outsourcing win more about turf than trends -

As Fall Creek Falls folks celebrate a state decision to postpone park privatization, the question is whether public opposition or failure to follow long-standing state protocol led to the plug-pulling.

94. Tennessee leaders weigh in on death of longtime lawmaker -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former Sen. Douglas Henry, a lawmaker with the longest tenure in the history of the Tennessee General Assembly, died at 90 years old on Sunday.

Here is a look at how some Tennessee political leaders are remembering Henry:

95. Fitzhugh questions plans to sell downtown Nashville buildings -

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh is questioning a long-term real estate strategy to would consolidate state properties and sell Davidson County land and buildings in the downtown Capitol hub, including the multi-story Citizens Plaza.

96. Freeman won't run for governor, won't support Dean -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Democrat Bill Freeman, who spent $3.5 million of his own money in his failed bid for Nashville mayor in 2015, says he won't run for governor next year.

The Nashville real estate investor tells WZTV-TV that he won't support former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean's bid to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. Freeman says he is encouraging House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley to seek the Democratic nomination.

97. House hits brakes on Tennessee transportation funding bills -

NASHVILLE (AP) — After months of debate, Wednesday was supposed to be the day that Gov. Bill Haslam's transportation funding proposal finally passed the starting line in the Legislature. Instead, lawmakers decided to hit the brakes and try again next week.

98. Lawmakers disagree with suggestion to cut business taxes -

NASHVILLE (AP) — State lawmakers on Thursday disagreed with a Reagan-era economist who urged them to cut more business taxes instead of the sales tax on groceries to offset a gas tax hike aimed at funding a massive road-building package.

99. Tennessee Democrats push for elimination of grocery tax -

Calling the governor’s fuel-tax plan a “slap in the face” of working Tennesseans, legislative Democrats are making a move to offset increased costs at the pump by phasing out the grocery tax.

100. McNally new Tennessee Senate speaker; Harwell wins in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Randy McNally was elected as the new speaker of the Tennessee Senate on Tuesday, and fellow Republican Beth Harwell unanimously won a fourth term in charge of the House.

The votes came as lawmakers convened the first session of the two-year 110th Tennessee General Assembly.