Politics

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Law enforcement officials investigating report of abuse at Chattanooga facility for migrant kids

BY: - June 16, 2021

State and federal authorities, along with local law enforcement, are investigating a report of child abuse at a Chattanooga facility that has come under fire from Tennessee’s Republican lawmakers for housing migrant children picked up by federal border authorities.  The abuse was reported to officials with the Department of Children’s Services, accompanied by an interpreter, […]

A Department of Health and Human Services employee holds a COVID-19 vaccine record card Nov. 13, 2020, in Washington D.C. The cards will be sent out as part of vaccination kits from Operation Warp Speed, which is an effort by several U.S. government components and public partnerships to facilitate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

Piercey to face raft of childhood immunization questions

BY: - June 16, 2021

The chairman of the House Government Operations Committee appears ready to grill Tennessee’s Health Department commissioner over childhood immunization policy, potentially to overturn the state’s mature minor doctrine. Rep. John Ragan, an Oak Ridge Republican, sent a list of questions June 12 to the Department of Health requesting that Commissioner Lisa Piercey be prepared to […]

Historic Nashville Courthouse. (Photo: Nashville.gov)

After Metro Nashville Council passes $2.6B budget, focus turns to Chancellor Perkins’ ruling in referendum lawsuit

BY: - June 15, 2021

After three years of bruising budget fights, Metro Council breezily passed a $2.6 billion opening budget on Tuesday night. The unanimous vote was a far cry from the contentious council meetings in recent years when property tax hikes were debated. In both 2018 and 2019, the margin for rejecting the proposed property tax increases came […]

A 2019 Memphis City Council meeting. (Photo: City of Memphis)

Memphis votes to set $2.71 tax rate

BY: - June 15, 2021

The Memphis City Council voted Tuesday to certify the city’s tax rate at $2.71 after back and forth discussion.  Before the vote concluded, Councilmember Martavius Jones proposed increasing the tax rate in order to improve long standing issues in the city, such as the affordable housing crisis, the Memphis Area Transit Authority and numerous trash-pick […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Massive federal funding to locals could put burden on banks

BY: - June 15, 2021

Local governments are slated to receive $2.28 billion in federal funds through the American Recovery Plan, but banks could be running into a problem handling the amount of money slated to go straight to counties and cities. Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Comptroller Jason Mumpower and […]

Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Why it matters that 7 states still have bans on atheists holding office

BY: - June 13, 2021

Tennessee’s Constitution includes a provision that bars three groups from holding office: atheists, ministers and those engaging in duels. Efforts are under way in the state legislature to remove this exclusion for ministers, but not for duelists – or atheists. In January 2021, Republican Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, proposed Senate Joint Resolution 55 […]

Flanked by legislative leaders, Gov. Bill Lee signs - for the second time -a law permitting permitless gun carry. (Photo: Sam Stockard)

Governor goes “back to the future” with Memphis Megasite push

BY: - June 11, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee sent out a press release this week hailing a renewed effort to market the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County and – at long last – build a wastewater line needed to attract a major manufacturer. It’s a tactical change of sorts because not too long ago, state officials were saying Tennessee […]

A drag queen performs at Temptations, Wendy McCown-Williams bar in Cookeville. (Photo: Submitted)

Transgender people in Tennessee: How one business owner walks a fine line in a small city

BY: - June 11, 2021

For Wendy McCown-Williams, life as a transgender woman and a gay bar owner in a small Tennessee community can be a fine line to walk.   Tennessee ended this year’s legislative session with multiple anti-transgender bills, and most recently passed a bill requiring businesses and government facilities to post a sign stating if they let transgender […]

(Art: Getty Images)

Harwell considering congressional run if the lines are right

BY: - June 10, 2021

Former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has a hankering to enter public office again. In fact, after just four years away from the state House, she’s eyeing a congressional race if the 2022 redistricting plan puts her in a strong position. In an interview Thursday with the Tennessee Lookout, Harwell, a southwest Davidson County Republican, […]

Map of Tennessee's 5th congressional district. (Map: Cooper.house.gov.)

Democrats anticipate Republican efforts to redraw Cooper’s district out of existence

BY: - June 10, 2021

Republicans already hold seven of nine Tennessee congressional districts, but with redistricting approaching in 2022, Democrats fear the GOP-controlled Legislature will try to redraw U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper’s Nashville-based district and effectively push him out of Congress. Such a move could help Republicans gain another seat in Congress to chip away at Democrat control on […]

Cardboard cutouts of fans and celebrities, including singer Tim McGraw, are placed in seats at mostly empty Nissan Stadium during the pandemic season of 2020. (Photo: John Partipilo)

How the Tennessee Titans would be affected by proposed Metro charter amendment

BY: - June 10, 2021

The Tennessee Titans would be negatively impacted by several provisions of the proposed Metro charter amendment, scheduled to be in front of voters on July 27, according to a legal filing by a business group seeking to halt the referendum. The Titans would stand “to lose potentially in the millions of dollars” should the referendum […]

Sen. Heidi Campbell, D-Nashville, said Gov. Bill Lee's "pattern of granting no-bid contracts to disreputable companies is really alarming." (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lee defends federal unemployment cut despite potential loss of $486M

BY: - June 9, 2021

Citing a Memphis restaurateur’s troubles with finding workers, Gov. Bill Lee defended his decision Tuesday to end federal unemployment benefits to people still hobbled by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite a report showing the state economy could take a $486 million hit. Questioned about the expected loss by Tennessee’s economy detailed in a congressional report, in […]