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2013 TN General Assembly
7:30 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Welfare Penalty for Tennessee Parents Dead This Session

A proposal that would dock welfare payments of Tennessee parents whose children fail school is dead.

After a debate on the state Senate floor Thursday, Republican senator and bill sponsor Stacey Campfield decided to pull the bill so it can be studied over the summer.

Both Republicans and Democrats expressed concern about the legislation, which sought to cut Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits by 30 percent if a child fails to advance to the next grade.

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Politics
7:22 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Lamar Alexander Raises $1M for Senate Re-election

Credit wikipedia

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has raised more than $1 million for his 2014 re-election campaign in the first quarter of the year.

Alexander's priorities include reducing the nation's debt by controlling spending on entitlements. He also says he wants to move more decisions out of Washington and back to states and communities.

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2013 TN General Assembly
6:59 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Tennessee House Adds to Drone Ban Bill

Credit NOAA

The Tennessee House has passed a bill banning most warrantless surveillance by unmanned drones, but added a last-minute exemption for events featuring large crowds.

The chamber voted 91-0 Thursday in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. James "Micah" Van Huss, who is a former Marine with experience piloting drones.

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Government
6:56 am
Fri April 12, 2013

State Gives $250K to Recycled Rubber Mulch Projects

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is providing $250,000 in grants for rubber mulch in 18 playgrounds, a landscaping project and a walking trail. 

Gov. Steve Beshear says using the recycled scrap tire mulch is environmentally beneficial. The grants come from the state's Waste Tire Trust Fund, which receives a $1 fee from each new tire sold.

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Politics
6:47 am
Fri April 12, 2013

McConnell Campaign Switches Focus to Grimes

Actress Ashley Judd isn't the only one who has been in the political crosshairs of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

His campaign has collected thousands of documents pertaining to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Kentucky Democrat considering running against McConnell now that Judd is not. The documents obtained by The Associated Press include travel invoices for Grimes and her staff, even reams of letters from people wanting to be Kentucky Colonels, an honorary designation handled by her office.

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Education
8:06 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Kentucky School Boards Offered $10K to Adopt New Dropout Age

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky education commissioner Terry Holliday says the first 57 school districts that raise their dropout age from 16 to 18 will be given a $10,000 state grant.

Holliday made the announcement Wednesday during a state Board of Education meeting in Frankfort. Just before the announcement, board members voted unanimously to adopt a resolution urging Kentucky's 174 school districts to raise the dropout age as soon as possible.

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Government
8:04 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Kentucky on Track to Meeting Revenue Goals

Kentucky's General Fund is on pace to meet its tax revenue goals for this fiscal year despite Kentuckians' cautious spending habits says a state official.

State Budget Director Jane Driskell says overall tax receipts are 2.6 percent higher than they were this time last year. The uptick is partially attributed to an increase in revenue from corporate and individual income taxes, which jumped 12.7 percent and 5.7 percent respectively. The fiscal year ends June 30.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:57 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Tennessee Senate Votes to Block Access to Gun Carry Records

Before last year's elections, the executive director of the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus obtained a copy of the entire database of handgun carry permit holders in the state.

On Wednesday, the GOP-controlled chamber voted to block public access to those records.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:51 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Tennessee Beer Tax Bill Headed to Haslam

A proposal to freeze Tennessee's beer tax is headed to Gov. Bill Haslam for his consideration.

The measure was approved in the House Wednesday. The Senate passed it earlier this week.

Tennessee's beer taxes outstrip any other state's because the bulk of the levy is based on price rather than volume. The more a beer costs, the higher the taxes that must be paid to buy it.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:30 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Charter Panel Bill Advances in Tennessee House

A proposal that would create a special panel to authorize charter schools in several Tennessee counties is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark White was approved on a voice vote in the House Finance Committee Wednesday and will now be scheduled for a vote by the full House. 

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