"This is a huge obstacle that has been put in front of us," said Dawn Harrington, executive director of Free Hearts, an organization that helps families navigate incarceration. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Restoring voting rights after a felony is rare in Tennessee. This year, the process got harder.

BY: - December 7, 2023

Janiqua Thompson was in her early 20s when she began stealing from the hotel she worked for. Her motivation was to catch up on bills to support her mother and three younger brothers, but her felony conviction only added more financial strain. She spent a day in jail and three years on probation, faced $20,000 […]

Margi Quin, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, photographed on June 2, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

DCS fights to keep records in teen’s starvation death secret

BY: - December 7, 2023

When a child dies from abuse or neglect in Tennessee, how much information should the Department of Children’s Service release to the public about its past history with the child — and how quickly should the agency disclose it? The Tennessee Court of Appeals will now consider those questions in a case brought by a […]

U.S. House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., speaks to advocates outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, about $16 billion in child care funding requested by the Biden administration. (Samantha Dietel/States Newsroom)

U.S. House Democrats and advocates push for additional federal child care funding

BY: - December 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democratic leaders on Wednesday called on Congress to pass President Joe Biden’s $16 billion supplemental child care funding request. House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York and Whip Katherine Clark of Massachusetts gathered with child care activists and other House Democrats at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol. Child […]

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks with members of the media in the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 30, 2023 in Washington, D.C. McCarthy, who was ousted as speaker on Oct. 3, announced his retirement on Dec. 6. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy to exit Congress, along with a flock of other lawmakers

BY: - December 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — Former U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Wednesday joined the growing list of Congress members heading for the U.S. Capitol exits. McCarthy’s planned departure by year’s end, following the expulsion of disgraced New York Republican Congressman George Santos, will leave the House GOP with a razor-thin majority in 2024. The California Republican’s announcement also […]

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry works in her home office, in front of a photo montage of her late son, Max. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry to run against Mark Green for seat in Congress

BY: - December 6, 2023

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announced Wednesday she’ll challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Green in Tennessee’s 7th U.S. Congressional district. Barry, 60, served as Nashville Mayor from 2015-2018 and was considered by many to be a rising star in Tennessee’s Democratic Party before resigning her position after she admitted to having an extramarital affair with […]

U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, a Florida Democrat, introduced the “Fight Book Bans Act” at a press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Samantha Dietel/States Newsroom)

Florida congressman proposes federal funding to help schools fight book bans

BY: - December 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost unveiled legislation Tuesday to combat a nationwide surge in book bans. Frost, a Florida Democrat, is pushing the “Fight Book Bans Act,” which he discussed at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol alongside fellow House Democrats and advocacy groups. Frost’s bill would provide funding for school districts so […]

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Bob Deacy shows US Department of Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm the site of a future nuclear reactor in Oak Ridge. (Photo: Benjamin Pounds)

Energy Secretary celebrates steps towards TVA nuclear power

BY: - December 6, 2023

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited the site of a possible first-of-its-kind nuclear reactor for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Oak Ridge, Tenn. on Tuesday.  The utility’s board authorized $200 million to explore building a reactor on the site last year after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave TVA an early site permit in […]

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Former Republican candidate Michelle Foreman slapped with $100,000 in court sanctions

BY: - December 6, 2023

A Nashville judge has ruled that former two-time Republican legislative candidate Michelle Foreman must pay $100,000 in sanctions to a former Metro Nashville council member to deter Foreman from future lawsuits intended to chill public participation. Circuit Court Judge Lynne Ingram ruled in favor of Dave Rosenberg, who served on Metro Council from 2015-2023, finding […]

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., speaks to members of the press at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 15, 2023 in Washington, D.C. Tuberville on Tuesday, De. 5, 2023 gave up on his blockade of hundreds of military nominees. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Tuberville relents on months-long blockade of most military nominees, blaming Democrats

BY: - December 5, 2023

WASHINGTON — After blocking hundreds of U.S. military promotions for most of 2023 in protest of a Pentagon abortion policy, Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said Tuesday he will lift his holds on all of them except for a handful of four-star general nominees. The senator, who sits on the Senate Committee on Armed Forces, […]

Tennessee Senate leaders, including Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Majority Leader Jack Johnson, photographed on Aug. 29, the final day of a special legislative session on public safety. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Senate and House redistricting rulings challenged at Supreme Court level

BY: - December 5, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect comments from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and filings by the state Attorney General’s Office. A Nashville resident is seeking an expedited ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court after the state challenged a three-judge panel decision that found state Senate redistricting maps unconstitutional. Simultaneously, a West Tennessee […]

Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, said of vouchers, "“This is a concept and an idea that I’m 100% for.” (Photo: John Partipilo)

Sumner lawmakers support private school vouchers

BY: - December 5, 2023

Sumner County’s delegation of state lawmakers is fully backing the governor’s plan to enact private school vouchers statewide, though at least one local school board member opposes the idea. “There’s much more pressing needs, to me, that our education tax dollars could be going toward besides providing scholarships for private school or homeschool,” Sumner County […]

Air Force airmen load munitions for a guided multiple launch rocket system onto a Boeing 767 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Aug. 11, 2022. The cargo was part of a security assistance package for Ukraine. The White House is asking Congress to approve additional Ukraine aid. (DOD Photo by Air Force Senior Airman Matt Porter)

White House points to defense spending in states in new plea for Ukraine aid

BY: - December 5, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is warning Congress that without more funding for Ukraine, the United States will no longer be able to provide that country with military assistance — and emphasizing the multiple states from Arkansas to Michigan to Pennsylvania where businesses already have benefited from earlier aid. Cutting off U.S. funding would not […]