2013 TN General Assembly

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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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Bill Banning Cameras in Polls Withdrawn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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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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2013 TN General Assembly
7:23 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Tennessee Cock Fighting Bill Dead This Session

Legislation that makes cock fighting a felony in Tennessee is dead this session after failing to pass the Senate. Under the bill, a first offense for cock fighting would have remained a misdemeanor. But a second offense would be considered a felony punishable by six years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:44 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Most Top Issues Decided as Tennessee Session Hits Final Lap

Republican legislative leaders in Tennessee are glad the most contentious issues of this session are largely decided as they enter the final weeks.

Gov. Bill Haslam's decision last week to withdraw his limited school voucher proposal highlights the sometimes contentious nature of his relationship with fellow Republicans in the Legislature, who now hold a supermajority. The governor was unable to persuade a faction led by Sen. Brian Kelsey to refrain from trying to expand the bill to more families.

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2013 TN General Assembly
6:51 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Tennessee Bill Linking Welfare to School Progress Advances

A House committee has approved a measure linking a family's welfare benefits to student performance a day after Gov. Bill Haslam expressed serious reservations about the measure. The House Health Committee voted 10-8 Wednesday to advance the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Vance Dennis.

The measure would cut monthly benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program if a child fails to "maintain satisfactory academic progress." Supporters say that those cuts could be avoided if parents attend conferences with teachers, take parenting classes or enroll their children in tutoring programs or summer school.

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Politics
4:49 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

TN House Keeps Primary Picks in Hands of Voters

Credit Wikimedia Commons

While the state Senate flirted with the idea of giving itself authority to pick nominees for U.S. Senate, the House has dumped the plan. A bill that would end primary elections made it to the floor of the state senate this week. But it was scuttled by the House before it even came to a committee vote.

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