Cameron Sexton Chosen House Republican Caucus Speaker Select

  NASHVILLE, Tennessee — After four rounds of voting, State Representative Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) won the battle to become the House Republican Caucus Speaker Select late Wednesday morning. Sexton came out the leader, after a process of elimination of the other five candidates, with 41 votes. Sexton is set to…

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Senate Judiciary Committee Members Comment on the Heartbeat Bill Summer Study

  With the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Summer Study on the Heartbeat Bill just three weeks out, every committee member was contacted by The Tennessee Star, confirming their attendance and offering an opportunity for them to comment on their expectations of the two-day meeting. The Judiciary Committee, a standing committee of…

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COUNTDOWN: Three Weeks Until the Heartbeat Bill Summer Study

  In three weeks, the State Senate Judiciary Committee will undertake the much anticipated two-day Summer Study on the legislation known as the Heartbeat Bill. The Heartbeat Bill seeks to protect the life of unborn children from the point that their heartbeat is detected, usually at about six weeks after…

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With One Month Remaining in the Fiscal Year, Tennessee’s Budget Surplus Is Now Up To $649 Million

  Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Stuart McWhorter announced Wednesday that Tennessee’s June revenues were $92.5 million more than the state budgeted for the month, resulting in a total budget surplus of $649.2 million with just one month remaining in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The state’s revenue collections of…

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GAME ON: State Rep. Mark Hall Announces Bid for Majority Whip Held by Rick Tillis

  In an email sent to his fellow Republicans in the State House, Rep. Mark Hall (R-Cleveland) announced his bid for Majority Whip, a position currently held by Rep. Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg). Hall, who was a Bradley County Commissioner for 12 years and had an impressive outing during the 2018…

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‘Hands-Free’ Driving, Gas Tax Increase and Other Tennessee Laws That Go Into Effect Today

  The state legislature passed 513 Public Acts in the first half of the 111th General Assembly, many of which go into effect on July 1, 2019, and impact the general public like the “hands-free” driving law. The new “hands-free” law, as previously reported by The Tennessee Star, defines what…

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Dr. Alan Keyes and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Meet to Discuss Their Shared Pro-Life Agenda

  FRANKFORT, Kentucky – Dr. Alan Keyes, a man of numerous political distinctions, met with Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin at the governor’s mansion in Frankfort, Kentucky, where their shared pro-life agenda dominated the discussion. Dr. Keyes, who holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard and wrote his dissertation on constitutional…

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Governor Bill Lee Calls a Special Session for August 23 to Elect a New Speaker of the House

Bill Lee

  The day following the House Republican Caucus set a meeting to select a new Speaker, Governor Bill Lee issued a Proclamation calling for a special session of the General Assembly on Friday, August 23 at 10 a.m. On Thursday, Governor Lee issued a statement regarding the signing of the…

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Tennessee House Republicans to Select a New Speaker on July 24

  A meeting of the Tennessee House Republican Caucus has been scheduled for Wednesday, July 24, to select a Republican nominee for Speaker of the House. The meeting was called by House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland). In a statement issued by Leader Lamberth Wednesday, he said his call for…

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Sumner County School Director Ridicules Citizens and County Commissioners Opposing Eminent Domain Land Grab for New School Campus

  At a Sumner County School Board meeting on June 18, one day after Sumner County citizens overflowed the County Commission chambers of the legislative body to criticize a plan for a new Sumner County school campus that requires a paved greenway and sewer line cutting through landowners’ properties by…

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Ten Months Into the Fiscal Year, Tennessee’s Revenues Exceed Estimates by $556.7 Million

  A press release issued Friday by Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Stuart McWhorter announced that Tennessee’s May revenues were $46.3 million more than the state budgeted for the month. Also reported was that total tax collections by the state so far this year exceeded the estimates by more…

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Super Bowl Champion Burgess Owens Blasts Rep. Steve Cohen’s Slavery Reparation Hearings: The Democrat Party Should Pay Restitution

  At the hearings held by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis (D-TN-09), one of the testifying witnesses took a different tack from all the others when he suggested that it is the Democrat Party that should pay restitution for the misery it has brought to his race. The hearing…

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee Actively Targeting the LGBTQ Community to Recruit Mentors

  A new marketing campaign by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee (BBBSMT) is actively targeting members of the LGBTQ community for its recruiting efforts of mentors for young people. The Facebook page of BBBSMT got a new look on June 7, when the organization updated their profile picture…

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Sumner County Citizens React to ‘Eminent Domain’ Sewer Line and Tax-Increasing Budgets at County Commission Meeting

  GALLATIN, Tennessee – More than 200 citizens turned out for the regularly scheduled meeting of the Sumner County Board of Commissioners Monday night to have their say on a planned greenway and sewer line as well as a property tax increase included in the budgets proposed for fiscal year…

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Sumner County Proposed Budgets Will Require a Property Tax Increase

  As budgets for the operation of Sumner County government and schools are set to be approved by the Board of County Commissioners at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, June 17, the proposed spending plan will require an increase in the property tax rate. While the amount of…

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Andy Schlafly: It’s Terrible to See Such a Misuse of the ‘Right To Life’ Name

  “It’s terrible to see such a misuse of the Right To Life name,” says conservative activist Andy Schlafly, attorney and son of Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, in regards to organizations that, instead of being strongly pro-life, interfere with strong pro-life legislation. Andy Schlafly is the fifth child of John…

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National Public Radio Style Guide: Do Not Use ‘Pro-Life’

  As states such as Georgia and Alabama recently passed Fetal Heartbeat Bills, National Public Radio (NPR) issued a “Guidance Reminder: On Abortion Procedures, Terminology & Rights,” which specifically states, do not use ‘pro-life’ in copy except when used in the name of a group. The Guidance Reminder was issued…

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State House Republican Leader William Lamberth Will Not Run for Speaker

  As the chief officer of the Republican Party in the House, Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) told The Tennessee Star that he will not run for the role of Speaker after Glen Casada (R-Franklin) steps down. Casada, who was elected into the role of Speaker of the House in…

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Fetal Heartbeat Bill Summer Study Schedule Set

  The schedule for the Senate Judiciary Committee summer study of the Heartbeat Bill was announced Thursday via email to committee members and staff. The scheduled dates just announced – Monday and Tuesday, August 12 and 13 – are changed from the original dates set during the Senate Judiciary Committee…

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Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Reacts to House Caucus Vote of No Confidence, Tells Speaker Casada It Is Time to Step Down

  Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden issued a statement following the conclusion of the House Republican Caucus meeting discussing Glen Casada (R-Franklin) as Speaker of the State House of Representatives, saying it is time for him to step down. Within about thirty minutes of the end of the House…

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As Casada Says He’ll Work to Regain Confidence, House Republican Leadership Calls for Casada to Step Down and Governor Lee to Call Special Session

  In response to the State House Republican Caucus meeting which delivered a 45-24 vote of no confidence in Glen Casada (R-Franklin) continuing as Speaker, Casada and House Republican leadership issued divergent statements. Casada, who has been under tremendous public scrutiny as the first year of the 111th Tennessee General…

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State House GOP Caucus Votes 45-24 No Confidence in Speaker Glen Casada

  NASHVILLE, Tennessee – After approximately three hours, House Republican Caucus members emerged from a closed meeting and announced that a secret ballot resulted in a 45-24 vote of no confidence in Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin). The meeting was held at the 21cMuseum Hotel on 2nd Avenue in downtown Nashville,…

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House Speaker Glen Casada on Claims He Attempted to Rig and Predetermine Ethics Opinion: ‘Most Maddening Allegation Made to Date’

  House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) came out swinging against claims that he tried to “rig and predetermine” the outcome of his request for an advisory opinion by the House Ethics Committee, calling it the “most maddening allegation made to date.” The charge was made by House Ethics Committee member…

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House Ethics Committee Member Calls for Resignation of House Speaker Casada Despite Confidentiality of Advisory Opinion

  A member of the House Ethics Committee, Representative Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) issued a statement calling for the resignation of Glen Casada as House Speaker after participating in a confidential advisory opinion process. All aspects of a House Ethics Committee advisory opinion are confidential, according to Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough),…

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Tennessee House Republican Caucus Schedules Meeting on Monday to Discuss Speaker Glen Casada, Possible Secret Ballot on Whether He Maintains Support

Tennessee House Republican Caucus Chairman Cameron Sexton (R-Cookeville) has scheduled a meeting of the 73 member House Republican Caucus for Monday, May 20 at 2:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at a location yet to be announced and will reportedly be closed to the media. Caucus Chairman Sexton scheduled…

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No Clear Legal Path for Forced Removal of Tennessee House Speaker Casada, Despite Partisan Drumbeat from Local Mainstream Media

  Despite the controversies that have surrounded Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada the last two weeks and the relentless partisan drumbeat of the local mainstream media, the legal path to force his removal as Speaker by his political opponents remains unclear. The controversies erupted a little more than…

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No Verifiable Evidence So Far Confirms NewsChannel 5 Report ‘FBI Investigates Controversial Voucher Vote’

  There is no verifiable evidence so far that will confirm the recent NewsChannel 5 report that claimed the “FBI investigates controversial voucher vote.” The news report last Thursday by Phil Williams at NewsChannel 5 boldly claimed that “FBI agents have begun interviewing Tennessee lawmakers about whether any improper incentives were…

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State Rep. Jason Zachary: ‘I Have Not Been Contacted by the FBI’ Regarding Education Savings Account Vote

  State Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) told The Tennessee Star Friday that he has not been contacted by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) regarding the passage of Governor Bill Lee’s Education Savings Accounts (ESA) legislation. As a follow-up to a news report on Thursday by Phil Williams at NewsChannel 5…

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State Reps. Hawk, Tillis and Whitson Silent on Whether They Invited The Tennessean to Participate in Private GOP Conference Call

  Three State Representatives who have called on Speaker Glen Casada to resign following the release of sexually explicit text messages are silent on whether they invited reporters from The Tennessean to participate in a confidential conference call of the House Republican Caucus on Wednesday. As was reported Wednesday, “The…

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Anonymous Twitter Account Disparaging State House Members Reportedly Operated by State Representative Rick Tillis

  An anonymous Twitter account that has been active for nearly three months disparaging Tennessee State House members and staff was outed Wednesday as an account secretly operated by State Representative Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg). The big reveal came at the hands of fellow State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) via Twitter.…

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State House Democrats Split on Next Steps for Speaker Glen Casada

  NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Following the resignation of his Chief of Staff, Tennessee House Democrats are split on what Speaker Glen Casada should do next. In a press conference held at the Cordell Hull Building Tuesday morning, Chairman of the Tennessee Black Caucus Representative G. A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) reading from…

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New Law Will Make Tennessee Completely ‘Hands-Free’ While Driving Effective July 1

  Both houses of the General Assembly have passed a bill that will allow only hands-free usage of a mobile telephone or personal digital assistant on any road or highway in the state of Tennessee. HB 0165 sponsored by Representative John Holsclaw (R-Elizabethton) and SB 0173 sponsored by Senator Swann…

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Democrats Violated the State Constitution and House Rules When They Walked out of the House Chambers

Despite media reports suggesting otherwise, when Democrats left the House floor and walked out of the chambers during session, it was they who were in violation of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee and House Rules of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly, not House Speaker Glen Casada. News Channel…

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Mike Looney Leaving Williamson County Schools Post for Job as Superintendent of Fulton County, Georgia Schools

  In a special-called meeting of the Fulton County Schools Board of Education, it was a unanimous decision of the seven-member board for current Williamson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael “Mike” Looney to assume the position of Superintendent of Fulton County Schools. It was announced by Fulton County Schools (FCS)…

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An Unusual Day Marks the State Legislature’s Adjournment from the 2019 Session of the 111th General Assembly

After two very long days of Floor sessions, the State Senate and House of Representatives completed their business and adjourned from the 2019 session of the 111th General Assembly Thursday. The Speaker of each House appointed two committees to inform the other House and the Governor that their business had…

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Victory for Governor Bill Lee’s Education Savings Accounts

  NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Victory has finally been achieved for Governor Bill Lee’s Education Savings Accounts program, as both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly finally adopted the same version of proposed legislation by narrow margins. The final adoption of the Governor’s most significant education initiative, the Tennessee Education Savings…

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Bill to Permanently Establish Daylight Saving Time in Tennessee Heads to the Governor for Signature

A bill that establishes Daylight Saving Time as the standard time for the entire state, having passed the state Senate on Tuesday, will go to Governor Bill Lee for his consideration. By a vote of 29 to 1, the Senate passed the House version of the bill, HB 0247. The…

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Education Savings Accounts Bill Appears Headed to Conference Committee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Gov. Bill Lee’s  Education Savings Account legislation appears headed to a conference committee, as the Tennessee House and State Senate both refused on Monday to move from their respective versions of the bill. The House passed HB 0939 last Tuesday by one vote after a dramatic 40-minute…

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Aryan Burns of Lincoln County Wins 2019 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee Individual Championship

  GOODLETTSVILLE, Tennessee –Aryan Burns, a senior at Lincoln County High School, won the 2019 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee Individual Grand Championship on Saturday. It was the second consecutive year that a student from Lincoln County High School won the Tennessee Star Constitution Bee individual championship. The third annual Tennessee…

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Tennessee House Approves Authorization and Regulation of On-Line Sports Betting 58-37-2

Sports Book Betting

  NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A bill to authorize and regulate on-line sports betting in Tennessee  was approved by the Tennessee General Assembly on  Wednesday with a vote of 58 Ayes, 37 Noes and 2 Present and Not Voting. HB0001, filed on November 7, 2018, was sponsored by Knoxville Democrat Rick…

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High Drama as State House Eventually Passes Governor Bill Lee’s Education Savings Account Initiative

  NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A much-anticipated vote by the full Tennessee House of Representatives on Governor Bill Lee’s Education Savings Account (ESA) initiative ended in high drama on Tuesday, after it was moved from the second item on the agenda of the Regular Calendar to the end. From the outset…

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State Senate Fails to Recall Heartbeat Bill

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A majority of Tennessee State Senate voted to table the motion to reconsider the Heartbeat Bill through a recall, putting an end to any further action on the measure during this legislative session. The Senate version of the Heartbeat Bill, SB1236 sponsored by Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon)…

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SHOCKER: 150 Tennessee So-Called ‘Faith Leaders’ Tell Governor Bill Lee They Support Unrestricted Abortion Access

In a letter addressed to The Honorable Governor Bill Lee, more than 150 self-proclaimed people of faith said they oppose all attempts to criminalize and restrict abortion access. While the correspondence is not dated, it appears by the mention of “HB77 and SB1236” in the letter, that the legislature’s consideration…

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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Joins Governor Bill Lee for Criminal Justice Reform Symposium in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A symposium on criminal justice reform held in Nashville featured an hour-long conversation between Governors Bill Lee of Tennessee and Matt Bevin of Kentucky. The symposium was held in the “appellate courtroom” at the Randall and Sadie Baskin Center of the College of Law, located on the…

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Layman Lessons Provides Inspirational Christian Day on Capitol Hill Featuring Governor Bill Lee as the Keynote Speaker and Congressman Mark Green

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In an inaugural event, Layman Lessons provided Christians across Tennessee with an inspirational day on Capitol Hill Wednesday that featured Governor Bill Lee as the keynote speaker and U.S. Congressman Mark Green. The theme of the event was “standing, serving, leading, together,” with an emphasis on serving.…

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After Failing and Then Being Recalled, Post Roe v. Wade Abortion Banning Bill Passes House Committee

A bill that would ban abortions in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court passed out of the House Health Committee where it was recalled to after failing in a House Subcommittee. The proposed legislation, officially named the Human Life Protection Act, has been dubbed…

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