The Tennessee Supreme Court has agreed to the state’s appeal on the constitutionality of its education savings account program (ESA). The pilot school voucher program has been tied up in a legal battle for all of 2020 after its passage by the General Assembly in 2019, thereby preventing any planned advancement of the program.
The program was previously ruled unconstitutional by Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Anne Martin. She assessed it would disproportionately impact two counties: Shelby County Schools (SCS) and Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). Those districts reportedly contain about 90 percent of the state’s failing schools list. The Court of Appeals upheld Martin’s decision last September. Read More
Tennessee’s Hall Tax, as of this coming Friday, will cease to exist.
Experts say that will bring new opportunities to Tennessee and make the state’s economy more competitive.
The Hall Tax, instituted in 1929, applies a 6 percent tax to Tennesseans’ interest and dividend income. In 2016 members of the Tennessee General Assembly phased out the Hall Income Tax over years of scheduled reductions. Read More
Nashville’s 34 percent property tax increase is the “Pork of the Year,” according to the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s annual Pork Report, which the organization released Tuesday. Staff at the Beacon Center of Tennessee say that their annual Tennessee Pork Report reveals millions of dollars in government waste, fraud, and abuse. Read More
Nashville Mayor John Cooper has placed new limits on gatherings just in time for Thanksgiving, leading one conservative watchdog to liken all the mayor’s decrees to a “game of duck duck goose.”
With the dramatically named “Rule of 8,” Cooper announced a limit of eight for public and private gatherings. The limits start Monday. Read More
Shelby County Schools would save more than $2,000 for each student who chooses to utilize Education Savings Accounts, and Metro Nashville Schools would save more than $500 for each student who uses them.
This, according to a new research report that staff at the Beacon Center of Tennessee published Thursday. Read More
State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) wants to add Tennessee’s Right to Work law to the state constitution.
Kelsey this week filed a Senate Joint Resolution for the 112th General Assembly to consider to add the Right to Work law to the constitution for its second required passage by the legislature. This, before officials send it to voters on the ballot. Read More
Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle on Tuesday gave members of the Davidson County Election Commission what they wanted and ruled against arguments in favor of the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.
The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum, if approved, would roll back Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s 34 to 37 percent tax increase. Read More
Members of the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee this week filed a lawsuit against the city of Nashville on behalf of two homeowners that Metro officials forced to pay for public sidewalks.
Beacon officials said in an emailed press release that they are filing the case to prevent Metro officials from holding building permits hostage until individual property owners agree to pay for public infrastructure like sidewalks. Read More
Dennis Ferrier of Fox News 17 continues his reporting on Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s overreach in closing restaurants and bars, which account for only a fraction of coronavirus cases even as that industry continues to suffer.
Ferrier has been digging into the story for some time to gain the actual number of cases. Read More
The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled Governor Bill Lee’s educational savings account (ESA) program “unconstitutional” on Tuesday. The court’s decision upheld a lower court’s ruling on the school voucher program. Read More
The court of appeals ruled that the unconstitutionality of the ESA program is because “is local in effect, and applicable to Davidson and Shelby counties in their governmental capacity.” This decision references article XI, section 9, paragraph 2 of the Tennessee Constitution.
When Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference that he was shutting down all the city’s bars for 14 days, reducing restaurant capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent, and temporarily closing event venues and entertainment venues, all due to “record” cases of COVID-19 traceable to restaurants and bars, he apparently knew that his own Metro Health Department said less than two dozen cases of COVID-19 could be traced to those establishments. But he failed to disclose that the “record” of bar and restaurant traceable cases to which he referred to was about one tenth of one percent of Davidson County’s 20,000 cases of COVID-19. Read More
The president of a Nashville-based center-right think tank said members of the Nashville Metro Council refuse to make the kinds of sacrifices that they ask their own constituents to make.
Beacon Center President Justin Owen said as much in a column on the organization’s website. Read More
Nashville Mayor John Cooper and members of his administration weren’t straightforward enough with their COVID-19 data and, in effect, hurt local businesses and justified fears that government officials would abuse their power during this long emergency.
This, according to Beacon Center of Tennessee spokesman Mark Cunningham. Cunningham responded to a FOX 17 of Nashville report that suggested Cooper and his staff members kept secret the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases coming out of the bars and restaurants in the city’s lower Broadway area. Read More
Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) this week announced that members of the group and other concerned citizens would turn in roughly 20,000 signatures to the Metro Clerk’s office in support of the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.
This, according to a press release that AFP-TN members published on their website. Members of the group helped gather the requisite number of signatures for the initiative for the December 5 ballot. Read More
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said this week that protecting public safety while also protecting the state’s small businesses during COVID-19 is his administration’s primary “balancing act” and it was “heartbreaking” to watch small businesses close.
Lee also said he and other state officials used stimulus money to help the state’s business owners. Read More
A Memphis man has won a lawsuit against the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners for denying him the right to work.
As The Tennessee Star reported in 2018, state officials denied that man, Elias Zarate, a barber’s license because he did not have a high school diploma.
A press release that the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee emailed Monday updated Zarate’s case. Beacon, a right-of-center think tank, represented him. Read More
Cancel culture and higher taxes during COVID-19 have burdened at least one Nashville business owner, so much so he worries about his personal and professional well-being.
Carey Bringle, who owns Nashville’s Pork Leg Porker restaurant, said this on a new episode of the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s Over-Caffeinated podcast. Read More
Members of the taxpayer-funded Tennessee School Boards Association may not like it, but public records laws apply to their organization and they must provide their information to the public.
This, according to a ruling that 20th Judicial District Chancellor Patricia Head Moskal filed this month.
As reported last year, the legal arm of the Beacon Center of Tennessee filed a lawsuit against the TSBA demanding access to the group’s records. Read More
Nashville Mayor John Cooper shows double standards and enforces bad COVID-19 policies upon the city, staff at the Beacon Center of Tennessee said Thursday.
Beacon is a right-of-center think tank. Staff criticized Cooper in an emailed press release. Read More
The City of La Vergne is the “Freest City” in all of Tennessee.
This, according to a study that Beacon Center of Tennessee staff call the City Freedom Index. Beacon staff published the study Wednesday. Beacon, based in Nashville, is a right-of-center think tank.
“The Beacon Center says the reason La Vergne ranked in the number one spot is credit to its strong showing Free Enterprise (ranked 1 out of 30) and Cost of Government (ranked 3 out of 30),” La Vergne officials said in a press release. Read More
Officials with a Nashville-based right-of-center think tank on Wednesday harshly criticized members of the Metro Nashville Council for jacking up property taxes by 34 percent.
Members of that think tank, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, said this in a press release. Read More
Tennessee’s highest court declined Thursday to take up an appeal of a lawsuit challenging the legality of a school voucher program that would let parents use public tax dollars for private school tuition.
Voucher supporters had hoped the Tennessee Supreme Court would reach down and take up the case after an appellate court set an Aug. 5 hearing to review the case. Read More
The Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee released a new solutions guide for Gov. Bill Lee and the state legislature on Friday that focused on making some of the deregulation done by executive order during the COVID-19 pandemic permanent.
This, according to an emailed press release Beacon put out Friday. Read More
A judge ruled that the Tennessee Education Savings Account (ESA) Pilot Program is unconstitutional, and a nonpartisan think tank says that could harm children. Read More
The Beacon Center of Tennessee released a set of 20 policy solutions focused on what policies the state should and shouldn’t enact moving forward when it deals with COVID-19. Read More
On Thursday the Beacon Center of Tennessee filed a motion to intervene in Nashville Democratic Mayor John Cooper’s lawsuit to strike down Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). Read More
On Wednesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed Beacon Center of Tennessee’s Ron Shultis to the newsmakers line. Read More
Members of the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee passed a resolution to add Tennessee’s Right to Work law to the state constitution. Read More
The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance announced this week that its Division of Regulatory Boards licensed more than 129,000 professionals in fiscal year 2019 while decreasing the average processing time required for the approval of new applications for those seeking professional licensure. Read More
Tennessee’s economy is flourishing. Read More
The legal arm of the Beacon Center of Tennessee filed a lawsuit this week against the taxpayer-funded Tennessee School Boards Association demanding access to public records. Read More
Government officials throughout the Volunteer State wasted millions of taxpayer dollars this past year through fraud, abuse, and incompetence, according to the 2019 Tennessee Pork Report, released Wednesday. Read More
Rather than use taxpayer dollars to expand broadband into Tennessee’s rural areas, the people holding the government purse strings are better off giving local libraries enough money to purchase mobile hotspots. Read More
Good government and free market policies — and not government programs that hand out incentives using taxpayer dollars — are the best way to help Tennessee’s rural communities get ahead. Read More
Bluff City Law, which films on location in Memphis in exchange for taxpayer money, isn’t getting the ratings it hoped for, and the show will stop filming for a time because of it. Read More
Nashville officials are demanding scooter companies turn over GPS and route information that would allow the government to track people who ride scooters in real-time. Read More
The Memphis-based FOX 13 has uncovered what it says are major discrepancies between how many people listen to city’s taxpayer-funded podcasts versus how many people officials involved with it say listen. Read More
The new NBC series Bluff City Law takes taxpayer money from the state and local governments to film on location in Memphis, but one government subsidies expert said evidence shows they aren’t worth Tennessee’s investment. Read More
Nashville’s Chancery Court of Davidson County this week dismissed a lawsuit that a Grammy-winning producer and a hairstylist filed against the city’s regulations restricting home-based businesses. The Nashville-based free market think tank the Beacon Center of Tennessee assisted these two individuals, Lij Shaw and Pat Raynor. Beacon Vice President… Read More
Outgoing Nashville Mayor David Briley was a disaster for Nashville, according to a new column on the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s website. Read More
Shelby County commissioners recently voted to spend more than $100,000 of taxpayer money to create their own podcasts, according to various news outlets. Read More
The Beacon Center of Tennessee says that Sumner County is just another example of lawmakers balancing their fiscal irresponsibility on the backs of the taxpayers. Read More
A federal judge has halted enforcement of a new state law that state legislators passed earlier this year that forces online auctioneers to get a state license. This, according to Braden Boucek, vice president of legal affairs for the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee. Beacon is a free-market think… Read More
Legislators in other states likely want to duplicate a new Tennessee law that’s currently under a temporary restraining order, per a U.S. federal judge, said someone involved in the legal proceedings. As The Tennessee Star reported this week, U.S. District Court Judge Eli Richardson of the Middle District of… Read More
Conservative think tank Beacon Center of Tennessee has placed the 30 largest Volunteer State cities on notice: On Independence Day 2020, it will call them out on how free their citizens are – or are not. The Beacon Center of Tennessee announced Tuesday it will release a City Freedom… Read More
The Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee has filed suit against a new law that state legislators passed earlier this year that forces online auctioneers to get a state license. This, according to a press release Beacon officials released Thursday. The same press release said the state exempts big online… Read More
The NBC drama Bluff City Law will reportedly film on location in Memphis, and it’s also presumed Tennessee officials will hand out corporate welfare in exchange. This, according to Monday’s Memphis Commercial Appeal. The show stars Jimmy Smits. But Tennessee taxpayers may lose out, said Ron Shultis, policy coordinator… Read More
Online auctioneers will suffer, as will Tennessee’s economy, if state officials require them to get a license, which certain members of the Tennessee General Assembly hope will happen this legislative session. This, according to an official with the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a Nashville-based free market think tank. As The… Read More
A bill going through the Tennessee General Assembly would, for the first time, require a license for certain types of online auctions, according to a legal expert with the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee. Beacon’s Vice President of Legal Affairs told The Tennessee Star Thursday that people who do these… Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The bill that lays out the details of Governor Bill Lee’s proposal for Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) passed its first hurdle in the House Curriculum, Testing & Innovation Subcommittee. The 16-page amendment that “makes the bill” was presented by Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), who is… Read More