The Tennessee Department of Children's Services said it will charge close to $35,000 to produce public records of children who died, or nearly died, in the past 11 months after having some contact with DCS. The agency announced the fee Wednesday after the Tennessean requested files from July 2012 to May 2013.
Neither businesses nor firearms groups are pleased with a bill that passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee late yesterday. The “guns-in-trunks” legislation is headed to a vote of the full state Senate.
The head of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce – Bill Ozier – told the panel that corporations see no need to expand the rights of gun owners. He also admitted businesses realize guns are already being stored in cars on their property.
More gold bars could be headed to Tennessee if one Republican lawmaker from Rutherford County has his way. A bill introduced last week would repeal the state’s sales tax on precious metals.
Gold investors range from savvy stockbrokers to seniors convinced by infomercials that precious metals will keep them safe from economic calamity. If they just receive a certificate and keep the physical gold in a tax-free state, they can avoid the sales tax in Tennessee.
In his third State of the State address last night, Governor Bill Haslam laid out a plan to cut taxes, pay state employees more, and still save money for a rainy day.
“Tennessee is different,” Haslam told members of the Tennessee General Assembly, his cabinet, and the public gathered on the floor of the state Legislature. The governor said that Tennessee is different from other states because of its low cost of living and relatively low unemployment, and different from Washington D.C. because Tennessee has made cuts instead of raising taxes.
Tennessee State government is opening self-service kiosks that will allow drivers to renew or replace their driver licenses and state identification cards that will hopefully reduce lines and wait times.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he will introduce his own proposal to create a school voucher program in the state, though he declined to elaborate about which parents he wants to make eligible to use public money to send their children to private schools.
Tennessee House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner is calling for a special meeting to investigate the Department of Children's Services' refusal to release records related to the abuse and death of children under its care.
Tennesseans suspecting fraud, waste or abuse of public funds in state government can now report their suspicions online. The state Comptroller's office has provided a toll-free telephone hotline for reporting suspected fraud, waste and abuse since 1983. During that time, the hotline has received more than 17,000 calls.