A group of young protesters outside the Tennessee House of Representatives during expulsion hearings for three Democratic lawmakers on April 6, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee Student Solidarity Network carries non-violent message of activism

BY: - May 30, 2023

School walkouts and student protests at the Tennessee Capitol following The Covenant School shooting in March and expulsion of two young lawmakers highlighted political organization efforts by Tennessee high school and college students.  Members of the Tennessee Student Solidarity Network say there’s no shortage of issues around which to organize. As the group grows beyond […]

The need for healthcare workers is not expected to lag, analysts say. Shown here is a nurse in the emergency room at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown, Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

States see record low unemployment across the US

BY: - May 30, 2023

Across much of the country, the jobs market is as strong as it’s ever been, and Black women, young people and people with disabilities are among the workers benefiting, recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. Twenty states reported an unemployment rate under 3% in April, while 15 states saw record lows, led by […]

(Photo: Memphis Police Department Facebook page)

Comptroller: Ex-director of publicly-funded Tennessee police chief group spent $60k on booze, meals

BY: - May 30, 2023

The former executive director of the publicly-funded Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police oversaw spending of more than $63,000 on food, alcohol, meals, gift cards and gas over a four-year period — credit card expenses questioned by the Tennessee Comptroller in a report that has been turned over to the Davidson County District Attorney’s office. […]

In the military, fertility policies and family building collide

BY: - May 29, 2023

If you’re a service member with a family, the military’s got your back. If you’re trying to start one, it can be another story. Active duty service members unable to conceive children naturally can face significant hurdles as the military health plan doesn’t cover reproductive assistance, such as in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, a surrogate […]

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, McCarthy say they have brokered a debt limit deal to avert U.S. default

BY: and - May 27, 2023

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced a deal in principle Saturday night that would stave off a first-ever default on the nation’s debt as long as it can clear both chambers of Congress before June 5. The agreement would address the nation’s debt limit and include a “historic” reduction in spending, McCarthy said, though […]

Cade Cothren, former chief of staff to ex-House Speaker Glen Casada, leaving the federal courthouse in Nashville following his arraignment on conspiracy charges. (John Partipilo)

Cade Cothren claims he helped Cameron Sexton win TN speaker’s race before indictment

BY: - May 26, 2023

A former House speaker’s chief of staff — under federal indictment on bribery and kickback charges — claims he helped Cameron Sexton win the speakership in 2019 before being paid tens of thousands of dollars through a shadowy campaign vendor. Cade Cothren, who left his post early that year amid a racist and sexist texting […]

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

With debt default as soon as a week away, U.S. House jets off for holiday break

BY: - May 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House members walked down the steps of the Capitol building Thursday morning to head back to their districts for a Memorial Day recess that began exactly one week before the country could default on the debt. House Democrats took to the floor after the final vote of the week to give a […]

(Anne-Marie Miller/Getty Images)

Lawsuit: Tennessee employee health insurance plan discriminates against transgender enrollees

BY: - May 26, 2023

Two transgender women have filed suit against the state after being denied gender affirming care under Tennessee’s public employee health benefits program. Gerda Zinner, an academic advisor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Story VanNess, a former Knox County special education teacher, each say they were unlawfully discriminated against by being denied coverage […]

Tennessee committee extends and increases Pearson testing contract by $40 million

BY: - May 25, 2023

Amid uproar over third-grade reading scores and the prospect of thousands of failing students, Tennessee lawmakers extended the testing vendor’s contract and bumped up the total payout by nearly $40 million. The Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Review Committee voted Wednesday to tack on another year for British-based NCS Pearson to administer TNReady and increase the total […]

A rural county’s choice: use opioid funds to pay off debt, or pay them forward to curb crisis

BY: - May 25, 2023

Over the past two years, rural Greene County in northeastern Tennessee has collected more than $2.7 million from regional and national settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors. But instead of helping people harmed by addiction, county officials are finding other ways to spend it. They have put $2.4 million toward paying off the county’s debt […]

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, photographed by John Partipilo.

Nashville sues to block law lowering the votes needed to approve new NASCAR track

BY: - May 24, 2023

Metro Nashville’s legal department filed a lawsuit to block a new state law making it easier for the Metro Council to approve a new racetrack at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. The measure — passed by Tennessee lawmakers earlier this year and signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee on May 5 — overturned a Metro Nashville […]