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Editorial Results (free)

1. Democrat Ball names Senate campaign leadership -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Gordon Ball has named the leadership of his campaign team for his challenge to Republican incumbent Lamar Alexander.

2. Haslam signs bill seeking to end book shredding -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill into law to ban the shredding of Imagine Library books delivered to the incorrect addresses.

The governor's office announced Tuesday that Haslam signed the measure sponsored by Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley and fellow Democratic Sen. Lowe Finney of Jackson last week.

3. Democrats bemoan lack of Medicaid expansion -

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Democratic leaders said Tuesday that Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's decision not to expand Medicaid in Tennessee eclipses his signature plan to cover tuition at two-year colleges.

4. Lawmakers pass Haslam free tuition plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is headed to his desk after passing the House on Tuesday.

5. Lawmakers approve $32.4B spending plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers on Thursday approved the state's $32.4 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning in July after failed attempts to increase the pay of teachers and state employees.

6. $300M for VW union fight, nothing for teachers -

In February, Gov. Bill Haslam stood in front of a joint session of the General Assembly to deliver his annual State of the State address, proclaiming the state has “set a goal to be the fastest-growing state in the country when it comes to paying our teachers, so more than $63 million is included [in the budget] for teacher salaries.”

7. State employees, teachers won't get pay increase -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that he won't be able to give state employees and teachers a pay increase next year mainly because of reductions due to an ongoing decline in revenue collections, which state officials are looking into.

8. Democrat Fitzhugh won't run for Tennessee governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh has announced he will run for re-election to his House seat this year rather than making a bid for governor.

9. Tennessee House votes to delay Common Core standards -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to delay further implementation of the state's Common Core standards was approved in the House on Thursday, even though Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has called them key to Tennessee students' improvement.

10. Turner talks retirement, possible mayoral run -

State Representative and Nashville Democrat Mike Turner is retiring from the General Assembly and considering a run for mayor.

He served for 14 years, representing District 51, including parts of Old Hickory, Madison, East Nashville, downtown Nashville and Germantown.

11. School voucher bill advances in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is advancing in the House despite concerns from some lawmakers that the legislation would be detrimental to public schools.

12. State Rep. Mike Turner retiring after 14 years -

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner said Thursday that he will not seek re-election because he wants to spend more time with his family and explore a run for Nashville mayor.

13. Haslam asks feds for Medicaid counterproposal -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday he has asked U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to make a counterproposal to Tennessee's efforts to carve out a special deal for Medicaid expansion.

14. Lawmakers seek compromise on school voucher bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Lawmakers trying to decide on a limited school voucher program in Tennessee or a broader one say they're close to reaching an agreement on legislation.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville is carrying a proposal for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam that's limited to students from low-income families attending the bottom 5 percent of failing schools. He had that measure withdrawn last year when Senate Republicans sought to expand to a larger number of children.

15. Haslam to bring back school voucher bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday he will support a school voucher bill this legislative session that's similar to a limited measure he proposed last year, even though other GOP lawmakers say they'd like to see something a little broader.

16. VU poll: Majority in Tennessee want Medicaid expansion -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Three in five Tennesseans support expanding Medicaid, though nearly half also have a negative view of the federal health care law, according to a Vanderbilt University poll released Wednesday.

17. State Rep. Charles Curtiss not seeking re-election -

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Charles Curtiss says he will not seek re-election. The 66-year-old Sparta Democrat didn't give a specific reason for his decision but said Wednesday he wanted to give candidates considering running for his District 43 seat plenty of time to plan.

18. Haslam pledges to increase Tennessee teacher salaries -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam pledged Thursday to improve the salaries of the state's teachers amid criticism of his education commissioner who has proposed changes that include tying teacher licenses to student test data.

19. Longtime Tennessee lawmaker Lois DeBerry remembered -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Rep. Lois DeBerry, one of the longest serving female lawmakers in the nation and a powerful influence in state politics, died Sunday after a nearly five-year bout with pancreatic cancer. She was 68.

20. Tennessee lawmaker to propose tuition freeze -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Republican state lawmaker says he wants to freeze tuition at Tennessee's colleges and universities despite criticism from education officials that such a proposal would eliminate funds needed to sustain essential programs and basic operation.

21. Haslam defends education commissioner under fire -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday reiterated his support for the state's education commissioner, who has come under fire for changes to how teachers are paid.

At least two Facebook pages have been created calling for Kevin Huffman's ouster as well as an online petition that has garnered hundreds of signatures.

22. Tennessee's new teacher salary plan raises ire -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A decision by the state Board of Education to change how teachers are paid has led to a social media push to remove Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.

23. New labor chief says job searches should be easier -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state labor chief says cutting services at state jobless service centers shouldn't make it harder for out-of-work Tennesseans to find jobs.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/13NyR50), Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips told the legislative Fiscal Review Committee last week that coming changes should make it easier to search for jobs.

24. Wins, losses despite GOP supermajority -

Smaller government and lower taxes were the watchwords of Republican leaders as they began this session of the state legislature in January.

With lopsided majorities in both the state House and Senate, the Republicans could do pretty much whatever they wanted.

25. Measure to let cities form school systems advances -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would clear the way for cities to begin forming municipal school systems is needed to continue education reform in Tennessee, proponents of the measure said Monday.

26. House approves changes to injured workers' claims -

NASHVILLE (AP) — After defeating several attempts by Democrats to dial back the proposal, the House on Thursday approved Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's bill to change the way the state considers injured workers' claims.

27. House approves changes to injured workers' claims -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has approved Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's bill to change the way the state considers injured workers' claims after defeating several attempts by Democrats to dial back the proposal.

28. Legislature’s legacy: Fixing things that ‘aren’t broken’ -

As the state legislature moves toward completion, state Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) offers his assessment:

“This is no way to govern.”

Fitzhugh, the House minority leader, says the Republican-controlled legislature has needlessly rushed through its business without due deliberation.

29. Haslam voucher bill dead this session -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Republican leader carrying Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create school vouchers in Tennessee said he's decided to let it die this session because he's tired of the "gamesmanship."

30. Senate to vote on changes to injured workers fund -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Opponents of a proposal that seeks to change the way injured workers' claims are considered in Tennessee say it would reduce benefits and remove impartiality from the judgment process.

31. House OKs bill to require proof of immunization -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The mother of a Middle Tennessee State University freshman who died after contracting meningitis says she hopes legislation headed to the governor for his likely signature will prevent the deaths of other college students.

32. House OKs bill to require proof of immunization -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The mother of a Middle Tennessee State University freshman who died after contracting meningitis says she hopes legislation headed to the governor will prevent the deaths of other college students.

33. Haslam begs off Medicaid expansion millions -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday that a breakdown in negotiations with the federal government means that he won't expand the state's Medicaid program, a decision that will cost Tennessee billions of dollars in federal money and keep 140,000 uninsured Tennesseans from obtaining free coverage.

34. Echoes of TennCare feed state Medicaid misgivings -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Proponents of expanding Medicaid in Tennessee say the financial support from Washington is a deal too good to pass up — federal funding for 100 percent of the expansion costs for three years and at least a 90 percent match after that.

35. Youth concussion policy bill headed to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Coaches and school athletic directors would be required to complete a concussion safety education course under legislation that's headed to the governor for his consideration.

The measure, which would require schools and other organizations with youth athletic programs to adopt concussion policies, was overwhelmingly approved 93-3 in the House on Thursday. The companion bill unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 last month.

36. Concussion policy bill headed to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Coaches and school athletic directors would be required to complete a concussion safety education course under legislation that's headed to the governor for his consideration

The measure, which would require schools and other organizations with youth athletic programs to adopt concussion policies, was overwhelmingly approved 93-3 in the House on Thursday. The companion bill unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 last month.

37. Bill to require proof of immunization advancing -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof of immunization against meningitis is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Democratic House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Jackson passed the House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday and is headed to the House floor. The companion bill unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 earlier this month.

38. Haslam 'likely' to sign parking lot guns bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is likely to sign into law a bill to allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their cars no matter where they are parked, a spokesman said Thursday.

39. House sends parking-lot guns bill to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The House on Thursday voted to send to the governor a contentious bill that would allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.

40. Bill to require proof of immunization -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof of immunization against meningitis is expected to be on the Senate floor Thursday.

41. Concussion policy bill to be heard in Senate -

NASHVILLE (AP) - As the nation continues to debate increasing safety in contact sports, Tennessee lawmakers are looking at legislation that would require schools and other organizations conducting youth athletic programs to adopt concussion policies.

42. Voucher plan is gearing up in Tennessee Legislature -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tiffany Clay says she wants to give her sons the best education possible, and that's why the Memphis mother favors a proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee.

43. Analysis: Gun bill is 1 GOP wishes would go away -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The guns bill that Tennessee lawmakers wish would just go away is up for its first floor vote today.

The measure to allow people with state-issued handgun carry permits to store loaded firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked is once again putting the squeeze on Republicans torn between their allegiances to gun advocates and businesses interests.

44. Haslam may not be given choice on Medicaid growth -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam wants more answers from the federal government before he decides whether Tennessee should expand its Medicaid rolls as part of the national health care overhaul. But his Republican colleagues in the Legislature may not let him get to that point.

45. Haslam budget proposal includes DCS staff shake-up -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday presented a $32.7 billion annual spending plan to lawmakers that includes a staffing shake-up at the troubled Department of Children's Services, a heavy investment in construction projects around the state and a large deposit into the state's cash savings fund.

46. Fitzhugh mulls longshot gubernatorial bid -

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh is mulling a gubernatorial bid in 2014, but the Ripley Democrat says it's not because he believes he can defeat Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

47. House Democrats keep top leadership in place -

NASHVILLE (AP) — House Democrats and Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to keep their top leadership in place.

Democratic Rep. Mike Turner of Nashville overcame a challenge from Rep. Johnny Shaw of Bolivar to maintain his chairman seat, and Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley was re-elected as minority leader without opposition.

48. Haslam says no to state health insurance exchange -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that Tennessee will not create a state-run health insurance exchange, but the Republican governor said he remains undecided about whether to expand Medicaid.

49. Democrats want to see pre-K expansion -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Democratic leaders said Wednesday that they plan to talk with Gov. Bill Haslam about expanding pre-kindergarten classes after the state's education commissioner said he doesn't plan to request funding for an expansion.

50. Maggart loses state House GOP primary to NRA pick -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart lost her state House primary Thursday to a retired Air Force officer backed by the National Rifle Association.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting Thursday night, Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers had 3,392 votes, or 58 percent, compared with Maggart's 2,421 votes, or 42 percent.

51. Tennessee Democrats hoping to win some seats in Legislature -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Democrats are looking at Thursday's primary as a critical step in the rebuilding urged by an internal analysis last year.

Since 2006, Democrats have lost 19 seats in the House and three seats in the Senate, placing them firmly in the minority of the two chambers. Another nine Democratic incumbents announced earlier this year they weren't running again.

52. Ramsey: State revenue surplus should stay in bank -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Thursday that the state's revenue surplus of more than a half-billion dollars should stay in the bank despite calls from Democrats to use it to offset tuition costs and provide tax relief.

53. Bill to overhaul TRA passes House 60-28 -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to overhaul the Tennessee Regulatory Authority passed the House on Tuesday despite criticism that it's unnecessary.

The measure carried by Republican Rep. Pat Marsh of Shelbyville was approved 60-28 on Tuesday. Voting for the bill were 58 Republicans, one Democrat and one independent. Twenty-five Democrats and three Republicans voted against the proposal, including Rep. Matthew Hill, son of TRA Chairman Kenneth Hill.

54. Lawmakers send budget compromise to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state's more than $31 billion annual spending plan is headed to the governor after Republicans rejected Democratic efforts to make further changes to the compromise legislation.

55. Lottery scholarship bill likely dead this session -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would make cutting some students' lottery scholarships in half contingent on lottery revenues was withdrawn from consideration on Monday because the House sponsor said he didn't have the votes for passage.

56. Lawmakers reach agreement on governor's budget -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A panel of Republican and Democratic lawmakers reached an agreement late Friday that will restore funding for key projects in Gov. Bill Haslam's more than $31 billion spending plan.

57. Tenn. lawmakers hope to adjourn session this week -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are preparing for what they hope is the last week of the 107th General Assembly, though issues that still need to be worked out include the state's annual spending plan, proposals to change the way the state selects Supreme Court justices and a resilient effort to ban teaching about gay issues in schools.

58. 'No Sex Bill' headed for House floor vote -

NASHVILLE (AP) — An outside vendor that promotes sexual activity in "family life education" curricula taught in schools could be sued by a parent under legislation that has advanced in the House.

59. House votes to boost penalties for domestic abuse -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The House passed Gov. Bill Haslam's bill to require mandatory jail time for people with repeat domestic violence convictions.

The chamber voted 98-1 Wednesday to approve the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim Coley of Bartlett, despite objections from some lawmakers that the measure could be seen as an unfunded mandate for local governments.

60. House votes to allow governor to name THEC chief - NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The House has voted to give the governor the power to appoint — or fire — the head of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The chamber voted 66-26 on Thursday to cede more control over THEC and other commissions to the executive branch.

61. Tenn. House passes tax cuts on groceries, estates -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House voted on Thursday to begin phasing out Tennessee's inheritance tax and to lower the state's sales tax on groceries.

The chamber voted 88-8 on the estate tax measure, and 96-0 to cut the food tax from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent.

62. House votes to allow governor to name THEC chief -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has voted to give the governor the power to appoint - or fire - the head of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The chamber voted 66-26 on Thursday to cede more control over THEC and other commissions to the executive branch.

63. House votes to allow governor to name THEC chief -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has voted to give the governor the power to appoint - or fire - the head of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The chamber voted 66-26 on Thursday to cede more control over THEC and other commissions to the executive branch.

64. House to vote on confidential higher ed applicants -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill to make confidential the names of applicants to lead the state's two university systems and each public college or university hit a speed bump in the state House on Wednesday after easily clearing the Senate earlier in the week.

65. House OKs remote school board meeting attendance -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House on Thursday passed a bill to allow school board members to participate in meetings remotely, despite concerns that the practice could spread to other elected bodies in the future.

66. House OKs remote school board meeting attendance -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House on Thursday passed a bill to allow school board members to participate in meetings remotely, despite concerns that the practice could spread to other elected bodies in the future.

67. Bill to let students express religious viewpoint -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would prevent students from being discriminated against for expressing their religious beliefs is headed for a House floor vote after passing a key House committee on Tuesday.

68. Bill ending ID requirement for early voting fails -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to allow people to cast early votes without a photo ID has failed in the House.

The measure sponsored by Democratic House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley would set up a system for photographing voters at the polling place instead of requiring them to provide government-issued photo identification.

69. Rep. Mike McDonald becomes 10th Dem to retire -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Democratic state Rep. Mike McDonald of Portland has announced he will retire after nine terms in the House.

70. Naifeh to retire after 38 years in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Rep. Jimmy Naifeh announced Thursday that he won't seek re-election after 38 years in the House of Representatives, saying it's time to "pass the torch to the next generation of leaders."

71. GOP discuss need for 'Don't Say Gay' ban -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation that would ban the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students may be stalled, as Republican lawmakers discuss whether they should proceed with the bill.

72. GOP puts off 'Don't Say Gay' measure in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Supporters of a measure to ban the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students have put off consideration of the proposal after being told of fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's concerns.

73. Haslam class size plan getting 'mixed reviews' -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam acknowledged Thursday that his class size proposal has received with "mixed reviews," but vowed to press ahead with the measure intended to help schools fill high-priority teaching positions.

74. Lawmakers discuss bills to reduce sales tax -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Republican sponsor of a proposal to reduce the sales tax on groceries in Tennessee said Wednesday he's open to working with Democrats who have a similar measure if it would help the legislation's passage.

75. GOP cries foul over Dems' call for good government -

NASHVILLE (AP) — If Democrats have their way, the Tennessee General Assembly would meet every other year, lawmakers' daily expenses would be capped and bill sponsors would have to divulge if their legislation originated with national groups.

76. TN finance chief says budget surplus to be reserve -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee should hold a $28 million general fund surplus in reserve in case state tax collections drop, state Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes said Monday.

Emkes is Gov. Bill Haslam's chief Cabinet officer and said in an interview with The Associated Press that showing such restraint could help bolster the state's case for keeping its high credit ratings.

77. Governor mulls possible credit rating drop -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says state officials are discussing the impact of a lowered credit rating if the U.S. government's credit rating is downgraded.

Earlier this month, Moody's Investors Service placed the federal government's triple-A credit rating under review for a possible downgrade as Congress and the White House wrestle over raising the nation's $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. Moody's said there is a small but rising risk the government will default on its debt if the limit is not raised by Aug. 2.

78. Tenn. unemployment rises to 9.8 percent in June -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says state officials are discussing the impact of a lowered credit rating if the U.S. government's credit rating is downgraded.

Earlier this month, Moody's Investors Service placed the federal government's triple-A credit rating under review for a possible downgrade as Congress and the White House wrestle over raising the nation's $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. Moody's said there is a small but rising risk the government will default on its debt if the limit is not raised by Aug. 2.

79. Checks in the mail soon for extended unemployment -

Thousands of unemployed Tennesseans on the Extended Benefits program are still without funds after a mix up in how the state and federal government calculates a state’s eligibility for the program.

80. Bill to require photo ID from voters passes House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal that would require Tennessee voters to show photo identification before they can cast ballots passed the House on Thursday despite a legal opinion from the state's attorney general that the Republican-led effort would violate the Tennessee and U.S. constitutions.

81. Governor's tenure proposal advances in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to make it more difficult for teachers to get — and keep — tenure advanced in the House on Wednesday after a failed attempt to delay the measure for at least a year.