Politics

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Tennessee now only state to pursue plan for Medicaid block grant

BY: - August 18, 2020

Tennessee remains the only state actively pursuing a controversial Medicaid block grant touted by the Trump Administration in January as a “game-changer” that would radically rejigger financing for the federal-state public health insurance program that covers 1 in 5 Americans. Last week, Oklahoma’s Republican governor,  Gov. Kevin Stitt, informed federal officials he was scrapping plans […]

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In-person voting rule challenges Rutherford County voter ill with COVID-19

BY: - August 14, 2020

On July 29, Brittney Whidden received a phone call from the Rutherford County Election Commission. While her husband’s absentee ballot had been approved, hers would not be. Whidden pushed back, and the election commission made an exception. Whidden, who tested positive for COVID-19 and is recovering, received her ballot via mail July 31, but reached […]

Franklin's Angel Stansberry leads a crowd to Cordell Hull Office Building for the special legislative session. (Photo: Alex Kent)

Special session bill criminalizes camping on state property and threatens voter rights

BY: - August 13, 2020

The Tennessee General Assembly Wednesday passed a bill that makes camping on state property a felony. House Bill 8005 appears to target Black Lives Matter protesters who have been camping on Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville since mid-June. One portion upgrades the punishment for camping on property not specifically designated for camping from a Class […]

Tennessee House of Representatives Chambers (Photo: Tennessee Secretary of State)

COVID-19 liability legislation moves forward

BY: - August 11, 2020

The Tennessee legislature reconvened today to fast-track Gov. Bill Lee’s proposed legislation to exempt public and private companies and institutions from legal liability related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In separate committee hearings on Tuesday, during a specially called session expected to wrap up in less than a week, Democratic lawmakers argued unsuccessfully against the measure.  […]

Nashville voters eager to elect women of color, but fundraising obstacles remain

BY: - August 11, 2020

On the heels of political newcomer Keeda Haynes coming closer than any challenger has to unseating nine-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, political insiders say Nashville is in the midst of an existential crisis. Campaign advisers, city politicians and organizers say voters are eager to elect women, especially women of color, to top political posts. […]

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Trump’s $400 a week jobless aid could be just $300. It depends on where you live.

BY: - August 11, 2020

Governors, lawmakers and state unemployment agencies on Monday wrestled with confusion created by President Donald Trump’s executive action extending unemployment benefits, and it appeared some states could settle for $300 a week in benefits instead of the $400 that the president touted. State leaders from both political parties remained unsure how much they’d have to […]

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Election 2020: Live primary coverage

BY: and - August 6, 2020

Get your Election 2020 primary coverage from the Tennessee Lookout, as we keep you posted on hotly contested races from East Tennessee’s Republican primary in Congressional District 1 to District 9 in Memphis, and General Assembly races in between.  

Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson (Photo: Metro Nashville Network)

Nashville Mayor John Cooper: Chief Anderson’s last day is Thursday

BY: - August 6, 2020

Nashville Mayor John Cooper drastically moved up the planned retirement of Police Chief Steve Anderson, announcing Thursday will be Anderson’s last day on the job, following the arrest of a homeless Black man for failing to abide by the city’s mask mandate. Anderson had been with the department for 45 years and served as police […]

Marsha Blackburn waves her finger.

Top Homeland Security official vows federal agents ‘will not back away’ from violent protest

BY: - August 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s number two at the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday defended federal law enforcement officers’ intervention in protests in Portland, Oregon, and other cities this summer. Characterizing some of the protests as “mob rule,” Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told lawmakers  that federal agents could exert force in […]

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US House passes package to rescue child care industry

BY: - July 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House stepped in Wednesday to try to rescue the nation’s child care system from collapse under the weight of the pandemic. The chamber approved a pair of bills that backers say are needed to fully reopen the economy and shore up the child care industry in the longer term. The bills […]

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Clarksville challenger targets veterans in race against incumbent Powers

BY: - July 29, 2020

State Sen. Bill Powers, R-Clarksville, has been representing state senate District 22 for just over a year, but he’s got  opposition from fellow conservative Doug Englen, who is mounting a case for change. Powers has the benefit of name recognition and a lifetime of service to the community, but Englen comes offering a long military […]

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus say farewell at the conclusion of Monday’s memorial ceremony for the late Atlanta Rep. John Lewis in the Capitol Rotunda. Lewis, a civil rights icon and fierce advocate of voting rights for African Americans, died July 17. | J. Scott Applewhite – Pool/Getty Images

Get in ‘good trouble’: John Lewis’ words ring out in Capitol one more time

BY: - July 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — The immortal words of the late civil rights leader John Lewis rang out from the U.S. Capitol Monday during a private ceremony in celebration of his life. “You must find a way to get in the way,” he said in a recording of a 2014 commencement speech he gave at Emory University. “You must […]