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Politics
7:28 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Illinois Senators Concerned About Gambling, Corruption

A key Senate committee is meeting to discuss concerns that expanding gambling would open the door to political corruption and organized crime.

Senate President John Cullerton invited representatives of the Illinois Gaming Board and the Chicago Crime Commission to appear before the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday . Cullerton’s spokesperson Rikeesha Phelon says the Chicago Democrat wants to try to find a way to address the issue. But she says Cullerton has doubts about whether the concerns are legitimate or "hyperbole" intended to derail the measure.

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Politics
7:19 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Obama Budget Suggests Possible Sale of TVA

The Obama administration's 2014 budget is calling for a strategic review of the Tennessee Valley Authority, opening the possibility the federally owned utility could be sold.

TVA officials seem to have been caught off guard by the budget proposal released Wednesday. Board chairman Bill Sansom says the utility doesn't know what options the review will consider. He promises the board will "continue operating TVA in a sound financial manner" in the meantime. 

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:30 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Bill Banning Cameras in Polls Withdrawn

A bill seeking to ban cameras in polling places has died for the year amid concerns that voters wouldn't be able to document problems.

Republican Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver withdrew the bill Tuesday after lengthy debate spanning several meetings of the House State Government Committee. 

State Election Coordinator Mark Goins suggested at an earlier meeting that the bill would prevent people from presenting photographs of their votes for pay. He later acknowledged he had no evidence of such schemes occurring in Tennessee. 

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:26 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Charter Panel Bill Stalls in Tennessee Senate

A proposal that would create a special panel to authorize charter schools in five of the Tennessee's lowest performing counties appears to be struggling in the legislature.

The measure was delayed in the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday after members expressed concerns about the need for a new entity that will pay its executive director more than $100,000.  Currently local school boards decide whether to authorize a charter application.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:22 am
Wed April 10, 2013

School Security Bill Advancing in Tennessee Legislature

Teachers in Tennessee with prior law enforcement experience would be allowed to carry a gun at school under a proposal that's advancing in the state legislature.

The measure passed the House Education Committee Tuesday.  The companion bill was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

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Politics
7:17 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Illinois GOP Leader Mum on Supporting Gay Marriage

The top Republican in the Illinois House won't say how he would vote on a measure allowing same-sex couples to marry.  

House Minority Leader Tom Cross declined to publicly state his position yesterday, a day after Republican Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. came out in favor of the issue. Sullivan said momentum for legalizing gay marriage is building. Cross said House Republicans will vote based on their backgrounds, beliefs and personal experiences. 

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Politics
7:57 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Tea Party Activist Sues Over Kentucky Health Exchange

Credit facebook.com

A tea party activist has filed a lawsuit in Frankfort challenging the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange that Gov. Steve Beshear approved last year by executive order.

David Adams says in the lawsuit filed Monday that Beshear created the exchange without necessary legislative approval. Adams is asking a judge to order work on the exchange to cease.

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Politics
7:37 am
Tue April 9, 2013

McConnell Fundraising Nearing $12 Million for Re-election

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has raised nearly $12 million so far for his re-election bid, giving him an enormous head start over any potential Democratic challengers.

Campaign manager Jesse Benton says McConnell will file a report with the Federal Election Commission later this week showing he has raised another $1.8 million since January and that he has about $8.6 million on hand. Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Steve Robertson says McConnell also raised more than $500,000 since January for the state GOP that will work to support his re-election. 

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Politics
7:33 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Tennessee State Senator Unapologetic in Disposition

Credit http://www.capitol.tn.gov

Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield calls it "laughable" that a former House candidate is suing him in a $750,000 libel lawsuit.

Roger Byrge is suing Campfield, a Republican, for falsely stating on his blog in the weeks before the 2008 general election that Byrge had a criminal record. Byrge, a Democrat, lost the state House race to Republican Chad Faulkner by fewer than 400 votes. 

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:29 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Income Tax Ban to Go Before Tennessee Voters

The Tennessee House has given final approval to a proposed constitutional amendment to ban a state income tax.

The chamber approved the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Glen Casada 88 - 8 Monday. The vote completes a lengthy process for constitutional amendments, which must pass both chambers in consecutive General Assemblies before they can go before the voters in the same year a governor's election is held. 

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