Voters turn out early and stand in line on the first day of early voting, Oct. 14, 2020 in Memphis, Tennessee. (© Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht)

Two bills would make a dent in Tennessee’s voter ID laws by letting students use their college IDs

BY: - March 2, 2021

Two bills before the Tennessee General Assembly would chip away, ever so slightly, at the state’s voter ID laws, making it easier for students to vote. Those bills wouldn’t get rid of the photo ID requirement, but they would allow voters to prove their eligibility with their student IDs. Democrats from Nashville and Memphis are […]

Historic Nashville Courthouse. (Photo: Nashville.gov)

Chancellor Lyle recuses herself from education funding lawsuit

BY: - March 2, 2021

Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle recused herself on Monday from the education funding lawsuit brought by Shelby County and Metro Nashville Public Schools. The recusal came less than one week after state lawmakers filed legislation to begin the process of removing Lyle from the bench because of her ruling last year allowing more people to vote […]

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

House Finance chair laments use of Phoenix Solutions for constituent work

BY: - March 1, 2021

Signal Mountain Republican Rep. Patsy Hazlewood and other House Republicans regret using mysterious out-of-state vendor Phoenix Solutions for a taxpayer-funded legislative mailer in 2020. “It would be good to know who you’re doing business with. I thought I did, but maybe not,” said Hazlewood, appointed by House Speaker Cameron Sexton this year to chair the […]

Coffee County Courthouse (Photo: City of Manchester)

Tennessee markets Coffee County mega site as Lee administration swings for the fences on ECD deals

BY: - March 1, 2021

A sprawling, 2,000 acre property off I-24 in Coffee County has quietly emerged as a prime location for a major economic development project with possibilities including automotive companies. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has been marketing the site for about a year, its top official said. Multiple sources told the Tennessee Lookout […]

(Photo: City of Chattanooga Facebook)

Analysis: Chattanooga Mayor’s race features cast with business acumen

BY: - February 26, 2021

There’s a theory that local elections are determined by the alphabet. Ballots are in alphabetical order by last name, and uninformed voters, of which there are many, don’t have the time or patience to get to know each candidate, especially when there are a lot of candidates. The evidence used to support this theory is pretty […]

Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Stockard on the Stump: Lawmakers on getting Miranda warning and taking the fifth

BY: - February 26, 2021

Retired Capitol Hill reporter Tom Humphrey for years wrote a column called “Humphrey on the Hill.” In his stead, Sam Stockard is  taking up the mantle with a  report called “Stockard on the Stump,” a collection of briefs, anecdotes and quotes from the latest week in the Tennessee General Assembly. If anyone doubts the FBI […]

The Tennessee State Capitol with gates locked.

GOP lawmaker seeks to remove Nashville judge over absentee voting ruling

BY: - February 26, 2021

A Republican lawmaker filed legislation on Wednesday to begin the process to remove the Nashville judge whose ruling last year expanded absentee voting during the pandemic. State Rep. Tim Rudd’s resolution would authorize state Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton to appoint a committee to consider the removal of Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle. […]

Store shelves are empty of milk and water at Kroger Trinity Commons in Cordova, Tennessee. Memphis Light Gas and Water has issued a first ever boil order alert due to low water pressure problems related to the recent winter storms that have passed through the area. (© Karen Pulfer Focht)

Memphis lawmakers: Bolster water lines to avoid crisis

BY: - February 25, 2021

Shelby County legislators say upgrading the Memphis water infrastructure is critical to avert another boil-water advisory the next time the city is hit with a winter storm. Memphis Light, Gas and Water put the advisory into effect last week when water lines across the city sprang leaks, causing water pressure to dwindle and raising concerns […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Tennessee Republicans’ words cannot be taken at face value

BY: - February 25, 2021

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the age of Trump, it’s that Republicans cannot be taken at face value on anything.  So when GOP lawmakers in Tennessee claim they are pushing anti-transgender legislation to “protect” girls’ high school athletics, we need only to look at their political records, personal behavior and the predators in […]

A pickup truck emblazoned with the Jack Daniel's Distillery logo parked in front of the Cordell Hull Legislative Office Building Wednesday. Inside the building, officials with company gave one-fith bottles of Jack to legislators. (Photo: Sam Stockard)

From the Hill: Lawmakers enjoy a bottle of Jack at virtual reception

BY: - February 24, 2021

COVID-19 rules remain partially in effect at the Legislature, including a ban on most fundraising receptions. But that didn’t stop Jack Daniel’s from handing out bottles of the state’s top Tennessee sipping whiskey to lawmakers Wednesday. Brown-Forman, the Kentucky-based owner of Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, was to hold a virtual legislative reception from 7-9 […]

Tennessee Senate Chambers (Photo: Tennessee Secretary of State)

Constitutional amendment would give legislature a hand in attorney general selection

BY: - February 24, 2021

A move for “transparency” and legislative control is butting heads with the concept of separation of powers in an effort to change the way Tennessee selects its top law enforcement officer. With a key vote Tuesday, state Sen. Ken Yager, chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus, is gaining momentum for passage of a constitutional amendment […]

A rendering of the Fred D. Thompson Federal Courthouse in Nashville, slated to be complete in Summer 2021. (Rendering: GSA.gov)

Analysis: Names to watch for Nashville U.S. Attorney appointment

BY: - February 24, 2021

The resignation of U.S. Attorney Donald Cochran jumpstarts a compelling behind-the-scenes process leading to President Joe Biden appointing a replacement from a deep pool of Democratic-leaning lawyers in Nashville. It’s been seven years since a Democratic president appointed a U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. In 2014, President Barack Obama appointed career prosecutor […]