Author

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard is a veteran Tennessee reporter and editor, having written for the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, where he served as lead editor when the paper won an award for being the state's best Sunday newspaper two years in a row. He has led the Capitol Hill bureau for The Daily Memphian. His awards include Best Single Editorial from the Tennessee Press Association.

The Tennessee State Capitol with gates locked.

Sen. Robinson faces second wave of federal charges

By: - January 20, 2021

State Sen. Katrina Robinson, already under federal indictment, is charged in a new case with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday. Robinson, 40, a Memphis Democrat, was accused in 2020 of stealing $600,000 from her federally-funded business to pay for a lavish lifestyle. In this […]

Gov. Bill Lee addresses members of the 112th General Assembly at the opening of a special session dedicated to education. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Governor touts COVID-19 “science” in push to send students back to schools

By: - January 20, 2021

Taking a shot at the state’s two largest school systems, Gov. Bill Lee accused Metro Nashville and Shelby County school systems of caving in to “scare tactics” when they opted to teach students virtually during a pandemic-affected school year. “Months ago, when critics were loud and the scare tactics were louder with all the reasons […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Republican leader: Caucus paid Phoenix Solutions through state party

By: - January 19, 2021

A House Republican leader is confirming the caucus paid an out-of-state vendor called Phoenix Solutions through the state Republican Party for campaign mailers after being assured the vendor wasn’t campaigning against sitting House members. State Rep. Johnny Garrett, a Goodlettsville Republican who serves as whip for the House Republican Caucus and handles re-election and vendor […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

House joins Senate in passing Medicaid block grant

By: - January 15, 2021

A Medicaid block grant agreement brokered with the Trump Administration rolled through the House Friday on a party line vote. The measure passed 68-22, as the House joined the Senate in approving a Medicaid waiver program designed to enable the state’s TennCare program to take advantage of savings garnered over decades of work. Rep. Bryan […]

Tennessee Senate Chambers (Photo: Tennessee Secretary of State)

Senate approves Medicaid block grant, paves path for House

By: - January 15, 2021

The Tennessee Senate pushed a modified block grant Medicaid program to passage Thursday despite concerns it will be rescinded when President-elect Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20. The Senate voted 25-6 in favor of the move, with only Democrats in opposition. The House is set to consider the measure Friday at 9 a.m. after it […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

Senate speeds modified block grant agreement with feds; House suspends rules for consideration

By: - January 14, 2021

The Tennessee General Assembly is roaring ahead with a modified Medicaid block grant program for the state’s poorest residents despite the possibility the Biden Administration could rescind it. Two Senate panels — the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee — approved the federal agreement Wednesday, with dissent coming only […]

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett testifies before the U.S. Senate Rules Committee on Absentee Voting. (Screenshot of Senate Rules Committee.)

Hargett remains Secretary of State despite modicum of Democratic opposition

By: - January 13, 2021

The General Assembly overwhelmingly re-elected Secretary of State Tre Hargett to the constitutional office, despite opposition from some Democrats, and elevated former legislator Jason Mumpower to the post of Tennessee Comptroller, replacing the retiring Justin Wilson. Twelve Democrats out of 132 members in the 112th General Assembly voted against Hargett’s re-election Wednesday at the War […]

Rep. Robin Smith, R-Hixson, talks with reporters on the opening day of the 112th General Assembly. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Smith sidesteps questions about FBI raid but won’t deny she could be subject of probe

By: - January 13, 2021

Days after the FBI raided her office and home, state Rep. Robin Smith denied being a “target” of a federal investigation but stopped short of saying she’s not a “subject” of the FBI probe. “My attorney issued a statement on Friday. It’s an accurate statement. I am fully cooperating. I plan to be doing that. […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

U.S. Capitol attack looms over Legislature as lawmakers downplay insurrection

By: - January 12, 2021

A Republican Tennessee lawmaker who attended the Washington, D.C. protest-turned-riot denied Tuesday she did anything wrong as she faces potential removal for supporting the insurrection. State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, a Lancaster Republican representing the 40th House District, acted as if she was unaware of the Jan. 6 attack in which five people died as […]

Tennessee House of Representatives. (Photo: Tennessee General Assembly)

Targets of FBI raid lawyer up

By: - January 12, 2021

A new Marshall County Republican legislator targeted by the FBI in a Friday morning raid has hired a prominent Nashville criminal defense attorney to represent him. Todd Warner, a Chapel Hill farmer and businessman, retained Peter Strianse after federal agents swooped down on his home and business early Jan. 8. Warner also could face renewed […]

U.S. President Donald Trump stands in the colonnade as he is introduced to speak to March for Life participants and pro-life leaders in the Rose Garden at the White House on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Cooper: House to seek removal of President Trump

By: - January 12, 2021

Congressman Jim Cooper predicted Monday the U.S. House will seek to remove President Donald Trump this week for inciting insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, either by invoking the 25th Amendment or impeaching the commander in chief as he leaves office. Cooper, a Nashville Democrat, was set to return to Washington, D.C., Monday where he said […]

California voters at a protest against Medicaid cuts. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Cooper urges Biden to reverse TennCare block grant

By: - January 11, 2021

Three days after Tennessee officials announced approval of a Medicaid block grant to fund TennCare, the state’s program for sick and needy residents, Congressman Jim Cooper sent President-elect Joe Biden a letter asking him to rescind the plan. Tennessee’s Republican leaders say a block grant will enable the state to run the healthcare program more […]