Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

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

Tennessee won’t bite Biden’s Medicaid carrot

BY: - February 18, 2021

Tennessee is likely to reject hundreds of millions of dollars President Joe Biden is offering states to expand Medicaid as part of his $1.3 trillion COVID-19 relief package, even though hundreds of thousands of people remain without healthcare coverage. Democrats have been urging the state’s top Republican leaders for years to accept the federal government’s […]

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 […]

(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 […]

The controversial bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest perches in the Tennessee Capitol's second floor, between the chambers of the House of Representatives and Senate. (Photo: John Partipilo)

February Historical Commission decision might not solve Forrest question

BY: - February 4, 2021

The Tennessee Historical Commission could decide in mid-February whether to move busts of Nathan Bedford Forrest and two Union admirals from the Capitol to the State Museum, but the outcome remains uncertain because of a pending dispute over state law. Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton stand by an October letter contending […]

COMMENTARY
Downtown Knoxville (Photo: Deidre Woolard)

Column: Legislative Webinar becomes Shadow Government

BY: - January 25, 2021

On Saturday, Knoxville Professional Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and the League of Women Voters of Knoxville – Knox County collaborated on a “legislative webinar,” coming at the close of the special state legislature session on education and at the opening of the regular session.  It quickly devolved into an exercise in “Shadow Government” […]

A group of legislators file into the War Memorial Building for Gov. Bill Lee's address at the start of a special session. (Photo: John Partipilo)

One senator catches COVID-19, another under quarantine in special session

BY: - January 21, 2021

State Sen. Ed Jackson confirmed Thursday he tested positive for COVID-19 and is quarantining at his Nashville home while another senator is isolating during a special session of the Legislature designed to reform education amid the pandemic. Jackson, a Republican from Jackson, said he underwent testing this week as soon as he started feeling symptoms […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

U.S. Capitol attack looms over Legislature as lawmakers downplay insurrection

BY: - January 12, 2021

A Republican Tennessee lawmaker who attended the Washington, D.C. protest-turned-riot denied Tuesday she did anything wrong as she faces potential removal for supporting the insurrection. State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, a Lancaster Republican representing the 40th House District, acted as if she was unaware of the Jan. 6 attack in which five people died as […]

Tennessee House of Representatives. (Photo: Tennessee General Assembly)

Targets of FBI raid lawyer up

BY: - January 12, 2021

A new Marshall County Republican legislator targeted by the FBI in a Friday morning raid has hired a prominent Nashville criminal defense attorney to represent him. Todd Warner, a Chapel Hill farmer and businessman, retained Peter Strianse after federal agents swooped down on his home and business early Jan. 8. Warner also could face renewed […]

COMMENTARY
Thousands of President Donald Trump's supporters storm the U.S. Capitol building following a "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Commentary: Personal responsibility? Any Tennessee Republican leader ready?

BY: - January 11, 2021

“Personal responsibility” is a favorite slogan for Tennessee Republican political leaders. Until it comes to their own words and actions. After the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday Tennessee GOP leaders issued their obligatory statements of condemnation.   U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty said:  “Yesterday was a shocking day of lawlessness… Last […]

(Photo: Alex Kent)

Putting the presidency back together: McNally recognizes Biden presidency as congressmen seek Trump removal

BY: - January 7, 2021

Recognition of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory started trickling in Thursday from Tennessee Republicans as congressional leaders tried to figure out the nation’s next step in the wake of a U.S. Capitol insurrection by Trump supporters. At least four people died, including one Air Force veteran shot by U.S. Capitol Police, in the melee, and […]

Tennessee House of Representatives. (Photo: Tennessee General Assembly)

Sexton balks at masks, but Legislature to take other COVID-19 precautions

BY: - January 6, 2021

House Speaker Cameron Sexton told lawmakers Tuesday masks won’t be required during 2021 sessions because their effectiveness is disputable, yet both the House and Senate are taking other steps to stem COVID-19 as the 112th General Assembly convenes. Among the new measures, an antibacterial mist will be sprayed in the Senate and House chambers in […]

Gov. Bill Lee addresses Tennesseans from the Governor's Residence. Lee issued an executive order limiting public gatherings to no more than 10 people. (Photo: YouTube)

Governor orders limited Christmas gatherings

BY: - December 20, 2020

A day after announcing his wife contracted COVID-19, Gov. Bill Lee declined to make a statewide mask mandate but asked Tennesseans not to hold indoor Christmas gatherings with anyone outside their household. “Family time and celebrations are important, and I understand deeply how much Tennessee families need each other. But we must do all we […]