EXCLUSIVE: Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton on Upcoming Legislative Session and Hot Topics

Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton

As the 111th Tennessee General Assembly is set to enter its second session, newly elected Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton gave an exclusive interview to The Tennessee Star to discuss legislative priorities and current issues.

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Former Wilson County GOP Chair Terri Nicholson Asks County Commission to Pass Resolution Opposing Gov. Lee’s Decision to Bring More Refugees to Tennessee

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The 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. – Leahy was joined in studio by former Wilson County GOP chairwoman Terri Nicholson.

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Concerned Citizens: Leahy Takes Listener Calls and Breaks Down the Consequences of Governor Lee’s Refugee Stance

“So what the governor’s letter is going to do is make Tennessee a magnet. Tennessee will be a magnet for refugees,” host Michael Patrick Leahy told listeners Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am.

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Gov. Bill Lee Offers Incoherent Defense of His Refugee Decision in Interview with Brian Wilson

  Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee hemmed, hawed, and waffled Friday as he tried to defend his controversial decision to allow more refugees to resettle in Tennessee. This happened when he appeared on Nashville’s Morning News with Brian Wilson, broadcast weekday mornings on 99.7 FM WWTN. Lee was incoherent while…

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Cameron Sexton Weighs in on Governor Lee’s Decision to Allow Refugees into Tennessee

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on the 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. – Leahy and all-star panelist Carol Swain were joined on the newsmakers line by Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton.

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TDOT Reports Timing for Completion of 962 Road Projects Included in the Fuel-Tax-Increasing IMPROVE Act Going from 10 to 20-Plus Years

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) officials reported last week that the timing for the completion of the 962 projects totaling $10.5 billion included in the fuel tax increasing IMPROVE Act will now take 20 plus years instead of the 10 years originally estimated.

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Tennessee Has Surplus Revenue of $28.8 Million in August, First Month of 2020 Fiscal Year and Governor Bill Lee’s Budget

Commissioner of the Department of Finance Administration, Stuart McWhorter, reported last week that Tennessee revenues for August were $28.8 million more than the budgeted estimates.

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Men of Valor Holds All-Day Criminal Justice Reform and Addiction Conference, Featuring Governor Bill Lee as the Keynote Speaker

Featuring Governor Bill Lee as the keynote speaker, Men of Valor, the men’s Christian prison ministry, held an all-day criminal justice reform conference Wednesday at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in downtown Nashville.

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Tennessee Leads the Way by Being the First State to Propose Receiving Federal Medicaid Funding Through a Block Grant

Tennessee became the first state in the nation Tuesday to propose that $7.9 billion in federal funding for the state’s Medicaid program, known as TennCare, would be provided through a block grant.

The release of the 34-page proposal, TennCare II Demonstration Amendment 42, begins a 30-day public comment period, which will end on October 18, 2019.

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Litigator for the Unborn, Andy Schlafly, Issues Statement in Support of Tennessee’s Heartbeat Bill and Calling Out Phony Pro-Lifers

As the Summer Study of the Tennessee Heartbeat Bill approaches, litigator for the unborn, Andy Schlafly, issued a statement to The Tennessee Star stating his support of the Heartbeat Bill and calling out pretend and phony pro-lifers.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Ohio’s Right To Life Organization Supported a ‘Heartbeat Bill,’ While Tennessee’s Opposed It

Ohio’s Right to Life organization supported and celebrated the state becoming the seventh to pass a “Heartbeat Bill” banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. In contrast, Tennessee’s Right to Life organization opposed the “Heartbeat Bill” introduced in this session’s Tennessee General Assembly, and cheered when a State Senate…

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Senator Dolores Gresham Champions Governor Lee’s Education Savings Accounts Bill Through Education Committee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Governor Bill Lee’s most significant education initiative, Education Savings Accounts, made it through another major hurdle as it passed the Senate Education Committee Wednesday by a vote of 6 to 3. Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), who is also the Chair of the Education Committee, carried the bill…

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‘Christians Rising’ Day On Capitol Hill in Nashville Announced For April 17

Layman Lessons Church Ministries has announced a “Christians Rising” Day on Capitol Hill in Nashville on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The organizer of the event – Layman Lessons Church Ministries, based in Nashville and founded in 2001 – procures and provides $8 million annually in donated food, bottled water, and…

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The Tennessee Star Report: Senior Reporter Laura Baigert on Why The Education Savings Account Bill Cleared a Big Hurdle in Committee This Week

On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – guest host and Nashville Tea Party Activist Ben Cunningham spoke with The Tennessee Star’s own senior reporter Laura Baigert, co-guest host…

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Tennessee Republican Party Issues Statewide Call For Support of Governor Lee’s Education Savings Account

As Governor Bill Lee’s legislation on Education Savings Accounts is set to be voted on by the full House Education Committee on Wednesday, March 27, the Tennessee Republican Party calls for support of his education plan. The Tennessee Republican Party (TRP) sent a personalized email Friday saying, “We need your…

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Governor Bill Lee’s Proposal for Education Savings Accounts Passes Its First Hurdle in Tennessee House Subcommittee

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…

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The Tennessee Star Report: Gill and Leahy Discuss WCS Video Series and the Forced Education of Global Citizenship

On Monday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill and Leahy talked in depth about the Williamson County school districts “Cultural Competency” video training series that have been…

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Civics and School Choice Elements of Governor Bill Lee’s Education Agenda Make Their Way Through the State House

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Elements of Governor Bill Lee’s focus on education, which he talked about on the campaign trail, his inaugural address and more recently in his first state of the state address, including an emphasis on parents having more school choice as well as civics education and “unapologetic American…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Strike Out in Tennessee

In education, strikes are detrimental to children, parents, the community, and the profession. A strike is a throwback to an archaic factory model of governance. Public education in Tennessee wins when we all work together through civil discourse to address our considerable issues, not with outworn strategies from the industrial age.

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A Proclamation In Support of Israel, Initiated by Senator Mark Pody, Signed by Governor Bill Lee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In a ceremony held in the former Supreme Court chambers of the State Capitol, Governor Bill Lee signed a Proclamation honoring and commending the Nation of Israel, which was initiated by Senator Mark Pody. The Proclamation was originated by Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) through Senate Resolution SJR…

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Governor Bill Lee’s First State of the State Address Strikes a Positive Tone, Receiving 20 Standing Ovations

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In his first State of the State Address, Governor Bill Lee struck an uplifting tone while laying out the four priorities of his legislative and budget agenda in an hour-long speech that received about 20 standing ovations. In a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly held…

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JC Bowman Commentary: State of the State Expectations 2019

The State of the State will signal to the state the administration’s priorities for the immediate future. It is where campaign promises, either become realities or go to die.

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OFF THE RECORD: Governor Stud Muffin???

When Butch Eley, Governor Bill Lee’s Chief Operating Officer, made an embarrassing, and telling, donation of $1,350 in February 2018 to Democrat Senate candidate Phil Bredesen it showed poor judgement at the very least. (And it didn’t win any points with now-Senator Marsha Blackburn, Bredesen’s opponent in the November general…

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Tennessee Star EXCLUSIVE: Governor Bill Lee Makes Special Guest Appearance At Conservative Grassroots Gathering

LEBANON, Tennessee – As conservative grassroots leaders gathered from across the state for a bi-annual meeting, Governor Bill Lee took time between speaking engagements to attend as an unannounced special guest. The all-day Tennessee Alliance of Liberty Groups’ summit was an invitation-only, no-media event, but this reporter from The Tennessee…

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Bill Lee Joins ‘Career Technical Education Day’ Celebration in Sumner County

GALLATIN, Tennessee – Governor Bill Lee came to Sumner County to celebrate Career Technical Education Day, part of the larger recognition of the national CTE month of February. The event was held at the Bagsby Ranch, where Lee held a town hall on July 25, 2018, when there were still…

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New Poll Shows Tennesseans Overwhelmingly Support Education Savings Accounts

A new statewide poll released Thursday by the Tennessee Federation for Children shows that when voters receive information about Education Savings Accounts, they are overwhelmingly supportive of a program being passed by the Tennessee Legislature. The poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of 625 registered Tennessee voters was conducted…

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OFF THE RECORD: Lee Administration Waves the White Flag?

Governor Bill Lee’s Legislative Director Brent Easley has advised Tennessee legislators that the Administration will abandon the practice of previous Governor’s in “flagging” bills they didn’t like. In a letter dated February 1, Easley advised legislators that: “In the past, you have received “flag letters” from the Governor’s Office or…

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Governor Bill Lee: Request For Budget Cuts Means Finding Efficiencies So Funding Can Be Redirected Towards Things That Are Really Important

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In the second of four days of cabinet budget meetings for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, Governor Bill Lee explained that his request for budget cuts  is a signal that what they are looking in his new administration is ways to find efficiencies, so that funding can be…

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Gov.-Elect Lee Names Former State Rep. Courtney Rogers to Head Department of Veterans Services

Governor-elect Bill Lee on Thursday announced that former State Rep. Courtney Rogers will head up the Department of Veterans Services for when his new administration begins next month. Rogers was one of two appointments Lee announced to his cabinet on Thursday- one for the Department of Veterans Services and one for …

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JC Bowman Commentary: Open Enrollment is a Choice

As the focus on education choice is elevated by Governor-elect Bill Lee, maybe the easiest place to find initial consensus is with open enrollment. We must expand open enrollment policies in our public school districts.

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Newly Elected Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Talks with The Tennessee Star Report

On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy and special guest co-host, Harriet Wallace of Fox 17 – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am –spoke to newly elected official Senate Majority Leader, Jack Johnson of Williamson…

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