U.S. Rep.-elect George Santos (R-NY) photographed in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 04, 2023 (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Democratic attempt to expel Santos from U.S. House handed over to ethics panel

BY: - May 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Wednesday agreed on a motion to refer to the Ethics Committee a Democratic-sponsored resolution to expel New York Republican Rep. George Santos from Congress. The motion led by Republicans was approved 221-204, with seven Democrats voting present. The expulsion resolution introduced by freshman California Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia was […]

President Joe Biden. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Biden vows debt ceiling talks will continue while he’s overseas at G7 summit

BY: - May 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will remain in “constant contact” with debt ceiling negotiators and promised to update the nation Sunday upon his return from a shortened trip to Asia for the G7 economic summit. Biden delivered brief remarks Wednesday before departing on a scheduled trip to Japan that will no longer include stops in […]

Former Tennessee state Sen. Brian Kelsey exits the federal courthouse in Nashville after pleading guilty on two federal counts on Nov. 22. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Judge says former Sen. Brian Kelsey can’t take back guilty plea

BY: - May 16, 2023

Former state Sen. Brian Kelsey won’t be allowed to change his guilty plea on charges that he illegally funneled money to his failed 2016 Congressional campaign. The ruling — by a federal judge Tuesday — sets up a July sentencing hearing for the former Germantown Republican. Kelsey pleaded guilty in November to one count of […]

Rep. Justin Pearson, D-Memphis, with a future voter on April 13, the day Pearson returned to the legislature after a short-lived expulsion. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Pearson projects student protests despite special session timing

BY: - May 12, 2023

A chorus of boos is following Gov. Bill Lee’s plan to call a special session Aug. 21 — after public school students return to class — to “do something” in response to the March 27 Covenant School mass shooting. But Rep. Justin J. Pearson, fresh off a House expulsion and reinstatement after leading a floor […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Lawmakers push updated psychiatric bed registry to cut emergency room burden

BY: - May 11, 2023

Amid the debate over mental health care versus gun control, two Rutherford County lawmakers are hoping to improve the flow of mentally unstable patients to psychiatric hospitals from emergency rooms. House Bill 827 sponsored by Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna, and Sen. Shane Reeves, R-Murfreesboro, would require psychiatric hospitals to make daily updates to the state’s […]

Tennessee Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Analysis: How Nashville and its suburbs subsidize Tennessee’s state government

BY: - May 10, 2023

The vast majority of Tennessee counties rely on Nashville-Davidson and Williamson counties to provide the tax dollars to keep funding state operations in their counties, an analysis by the Tennessee Lookout found.  Across Tennessee, 79 out of 95 counties generate less tax revenue than the state spends in their counties. The largest costs are direct […]

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, left, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell outside the White House following a meeting on the debt limit with President Joe Biden and Democratic congressional leaders on May 9, 2023. Ashley Murray/States Newsroom

Biden and congressional leaders fail to reach a debt limit deal, but will meet again Friday

BY: and - May 9, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and top congressional leaders were unable to reach a bipartisan debt limit agreement during a closed-door meeting Tuesday, leaving the dispute unresolved as the country moves closer to a default predicted as soon as early June.  White House staff and aides to the four congressional leaders, however, will meet throughout […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Earnings from Tennessee’s mental health trust fund for kids slow to roll out

BY: - May 9, 2023

Two years after Tennessee passed a law to make a one-time $250 million investment in mental health services for school-age children, plans on how to spend earnings from the trust fund are still being made. Any mental health expenditures won’t take place until the 2024-25 fiscal year.  Work continues on an assessment of mental health […]

(Photo illustration by John Partipilo)

New law puts schoolbook sellers, distributors at risk for criminal prosecution

BY: - May 4, 2023

Gov. Bill Lee has signed a new law that puts book publishers, sellers and distributors at risk of prosecution for providing written materials to the state’s public schools that may at any point be deemed obscene. The new law could open book vendors to Class E felony charges, carrying 1-6 years in prison and a […]

Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Attorney General beefs up office to take on feds, cities

BY: - May 4, 2023

Facing a spate of legal battles with Tennessee cities and the federal government, the Attorney General’s Office enters this year with a new “strategic litigation unit” and heftier budget. As part of a $56.2 billion budget for fiscal 2023-24, the Legislature approved 10 more positions at a cost of $2.25 million for Attorney General Jonathan […]

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Vanderbilt Poll: majority of Tennessee voters support red-flag laws

BY: - May 3, 2023

A majority of Tennessee voters support so-called red flag laws designed to take guns out of the hands of people at risk for harming themselves or others, according to a new poll by Vanderbilt University  The Vanderbilt Poll was conducted three weeks after a deadly mass shooting at The Covenant School claimed the lives of […]

Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (Photo: John Partipilo)

Cumberland Co. Dems file civil complaint with Attorney General over TN House Speaker’s residency

BY: - May 2, 2023

More than a dozen residents of House Speaker Cameron Sexton’s district filed a complaint with the Tennessee Attorney General, asking for a civil investigation into whether he wrongly filed reimbursement expenses with the state. The complaint alleges by filing for the larger per diem allowed to lawmakers who live outside the State Capitol — even […]