Rep. Vincent Dixie

The nearly 3,000-pound bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest loaded onto a flat-bed truck for transport to the Tennessee State Museum. (Photo: John Partipilo)

House Speaker wants more elected “voices” on monument decisions

BY: - July 26, 2021

In the wake of the State Building Commission vote to relocate the busts of Nathan Bedford Forrest and two U.S. admirals, House Speaker Cameron Sexton is set to push for a change in state law, likely to involve more legislators in future decisions to move statues. Sexton issued a statement last week saying, “From the […]

Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, center, and Sen. Kerry Roberts, right, chair the Joint Government Operations Committee. (Photo: John Partipilo)

State lawmakers urge against push to vaccinate children

BY: - July 21, 2021

Two Tennessee lawmakers who chair the Joint Government Operations Committee warned schools Wednesday not to “bully,” “cajole” or “coerce” students to be vaccinated. In a rare crowded gathering for the panel, Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Springfield, co-chairman of the committee, sought to head off upheaval over the recent firing of the state’s chief immunization officer Dr. […]

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 […]

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

Governor signs permit-less carry bill – again – at Beretta plant

BY: - June 2, 2021

Nearly two months after signing his permitless carry bill, Gov. Bill Lee inked the document again, this time during a ceremony at the Beretta USA Tennessee gun factory in Gallatin. The Governor’s office touted the event as a constitutional carry bill signing, even though gun advocates criticized the legislation as falling short of true constitutional […]

Speaker of the Tennessee House Cameron Sexton, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, and Gov. Bill Lee in the legislative library Wednesday. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lawmakers leave door open for special session to handle fed funds

BY: - May 13, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee shrugs off the idea of a special session to deal with billions of dollars in federal funding, but some key lawmakers say legislators might need to be called back to Nashville late his summer to handle the overflow of money.

'Bills have consequences,' says a sign held by a Tennessee resident sitting in a Tennessee Senate hearing Tuesday. The hearing focused on a bill giving immunity to drivers hitting protestors and was one of several racially-charged hearings on what could be the final day of the legislative session. (Photo: John Partipilo)

House, Senate at odds over bill withholding funds from school districts that teach systemic racism

BY: - May 4, 2021

After a far-flung debate that touched on everything from the Three-Fifths Compromise to the Holocaust, the House passed legislation Tuesday that would allow the state to punish school districts if a teacher delves into systemic racism in America. But the bill is tied up in a disagreement between the House and Senate. In the final […]

George Floyd's nephew Brandon Williams (left) raises hands in triumph with civil rights attorney Ben Crump after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter on April 20, 2021. Photo by Max Nesterak/Minnesota Reformer.

Tennessee officials respond to Chauvin verdict

BY: - April 20, 2021

Tuesday afternoon a Minneapolis found police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on three charges resulting from the killing of George Floyd. Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His bail was revoked and he was handcuffed and led from the courtroom. As social media exploded with the new, few Tennessee elected […]

Several hundred people gathered at East Tennessee State University to show support for basketball players who took a knee during the National Anthem at a February game and subsequent resignation of Coach Jason Shay. (Photo: Kate Craig)

Legislature has pattern of harassing Black Tennesseans, says Democratic leadership

BY: - April 8, 2021

Democratic legislative leaders said on Thursday the controversy that began when East Tennessee State University basketball players knelt during the playing the National Anthem is part of a pattern of harassment of Black Tennesseans.  The remarks came during a weekly press conference held by the Democratic House and Senate Caucus leadership. Republican legislative leadership holds […]

Gov. Bill Lee ending his third State of the State address. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Governor renews $250M for K-12 mental health trust fund

BY: - March 30, 2021

A year after putting the program on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic started, Gov. Bill Lee injected $250 million into his fiscal 2022 spending plan for a K-12 mental health trust fund. Lee and other state officials cited increased pressure on young people and the difficulty of the pandemic in renewing the program for a […]

Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives mill about in House Chambers. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Schwinn-anigans abound

BY: - March 26, 2021

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn does not disappoint when it comes to getting a tad off track, incidents increasingly becoming known as Schwinn-anigans, in the halls of power. Not only did the General Assembly change its textbook approval process in 2020 to keep her out of the loop because of concerns about favoritism, legislators put an […]

The landfill operated by Waste Management in northwest Davidson County. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Elected officials add voices to debate over Nashville landfill in Black neighborhood

BY: - March 24, 2021

A public oversight board will meet Wednesday to weigh the future of a landfill in northwest Nashville that takes in 90 percent of all construction waste generated in the city but will reach capacity within the next three years.  For decades, the Southern Services landfill has been the final destination for debris from commercial and […]

nthony Eubanks,68, and wife Anna Eubanks, 68, were going to vote by but decided to vote in person on the first day of early voting. The couple, who have been married for 46 years, said they didn’t trust the mail so decided to risk voting In person. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Slatery, Hargett oppose federal voting rights bill

BY: - March 9, 2021

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery and Secretary of State Tre Hargett have signed letters written by their Republican colleagues criticizing a Democrat-backed federal voting rights bill. One letter, obtained by the Tennessee Journal, shows Slatery is joining 19 Republican attorneys general in a letter written by the Indiana attorney general and others contending the act […]