A large group of people wait in line to early vote at the Howard Building before Polls opened at 8:00am.(Photo: John Partipilo)

After record turnout in the 2020 election, state Sen. Janice Bowling wants to abolish early voting

BY: - February 18, 2021

After a presidential election which saw record turnout and widespread disinformation, followed by a violent insurrection, one Tennessee state senator is proposing an end to early voting. Republican state Sen. Janice Bowling, of Tullahoma, contends early voting creates opportunities for fraud—or, as she puts it, “mischief.” She introduced a bill last week that would abolish […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates shakes hands with House Subcommittee Chairman Steve Cohen (D-TN) during a hearing on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on June 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee debated the H.R. 40 bill, which proposes a commission be formed to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Biden backs reparations study, as House Dems push for commission

BY: - February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON—The White House on Wednesday indicated that President Joe Biden would support studying reparations for slavery, the same day that House Democrats held a hearing on legislation that would set up a reparations commission. But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stopped short of saying Biden would sign the bill under consideration by the House […]

Metro Council rejects bill to pause multi-family developments in Antioch

BY: - February 17, 2021

Metro Council voted down a plan on Tuesday to temporarily suspend new multi-family developments in the Antioch area, but the councilmember pitching the idea says the issue is broader than her under-served part of town, calling into question if Nashville is doing a good job managing its growth. Metro Councilmember Tanaka Vercher proposed legislation to […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Getty Images)

Registry of Election Finance changes unlikely amid FBI probe

BY: - February 17, 2021

With an FBI investigation hanging over the Legislature, changes are improbable in the makeup of the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance. An idea to merge the Registry of Election Finance and Ethics Commission into one eight-member body is being floated in the Legislature, as reported by the Tennessee Journal.  But it will meet resistance […]

The Cordell Hull Legislative Building. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Bad weather shuts down Legislature for the week

BY: - February 16, 2021

With ice and snow covering highways and streets into Nashville, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally announced Tuesday the Legislature will be closed this week. “Due to continuing severe weather and adverse road conditions, all @tnsenate meetings are cancelled for the remainder of the week. Members do not need to travel to Nashville. Staff is advised to […]

A.B. Hill Elementary (Photo: Shelby County Schools)

Senator lauds Shelby Schools plan to return to classrooms

BY: - February 16, 2021

State Sen. Raumesh Akbari praised Shelby County Schools’ plan to bring students back to classrooms amid pressure from state leaders and a steady decline in COVID-19 cases. “The Return Stronger plan to phase in classroom learning is a plan to safely reopen schools – and keep schools open,” Akbari, a Memphis Democrat, said in a […]

A pro-Trump mob breaks into the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Commentary: Justice will be found in we the people

BY: , and - February 16, 2021

The U.S. Senate vote to acquit former President Donald Trump for the second time affirmed what most of us have known since Nov. 8, 2016—Donald Trump is dangerous; and, despite overwhelming evidence, Republicans will put partisan politics and personal gain over protecting America’s democracy.  “For those that continue to feign great surprise about what happened […]

The Tennessee State Capitol with gates locked.

Census delay in releasing population data throws states into chaos

BY: - February 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Census Bureau won’t be releasing population data needed to redraw state legislative and congressional district boundaries until Sept. 30 — six months after that data is typically made available. The latest pandemic-spurred delay, announced by bureau officials on Friday, hugely scrambles the once-a-decade redistricting process for states with deadlines looming this […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Getty Images)

Stockard on the stump: Kelsey throws down challenge to Shelby County Schools

BY: - February 12, 2021

Retired Capitol Hill reporter Tom Humphrey for years wrote a column called “Humphrey on the Hill.” In his stead, I am taking up the mantle with a new report called “Stockard on the Stump,” a collection of briefs, anecdotes and quotes from the latest week in the Tennessee General Assembly.–SS Pouring gas on an argument […]

Gov. Bill Lee ending his third State of the State address. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s Column: Altered state

BY: - February 12, 2021

Monday night, I switched on Facebook to watch Gov. Bill Lee’s third State of the State address. There’s much which I disagree with Lee on but having read a preview of the speech, I felt confident I at least knew what to expect going in.  Sure — we are mid-COVID-19 pandemic and Lee had already […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Legislature’s legal costs raise questions as transgender athlete bill starts rolling

BY: - February 12, 2021

The state attorney general is seeking $700,000 to hire new attorneys to fight for new state laws, and the governor is requesting $7 million more for court costs, raising questions about whether the state is spending too much money on litigation it could avoid. Despite those planned expenses, the state could find itself in yet […]

(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Billions of dollars for Medicaid expansion dangled in front of holdout states

BY: - February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. House Democrats are trying again to entice a dozen holdout states—many of them in the South—to expand Medicaid coverage with the prospect of billions of dollars in federal cash. The new offer, included in a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that House Democrats are pushing through committees this week, could help provide health […]