Majority Whip Johnny Garrett Explains Tennessee House Roles and 2024 Legislative Agenda

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Tennessee House of Representatives Majority Whip Johnny Garrett to the newsmaker line to describe the roles of legislators and the 2024 legislative agenda.

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State Representative Chris Todd Weighs In on Tennessee Red Wave, ‘Super-Super-Majority’ in General Assembly

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed (TN-R-73) State Representative Chris Todd to the newsmaker line to weigh in on the red wave Tennessee’s midterms produced as House reaches super super majority.

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State Senator Jack Johnson Describes the Job of Majority Leader in Tennessee Senate and Upcoming Agenda

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Senator Jack Johnson in studio to describe the senate majority duties, relationships and upcoming agenda in the Tennessee state senate.

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Shelby County Mayor Calls for $15 Minimum Wage

Amid historic inflation that has eaten away at Americans’ paychecks, the mayor of Shelby County is calling for Tennessee’s General Assembly to pass a law increasing the minimum wage. 

“Today, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris released his administration’s recommendations for the upcoming session of the Tennessee General Assembly,” said a release from Harris’s office. “Mayor Harris’ priorities center around legislative actions that support youth and families, increase public safety, improve access to healthcare, and strengthen our democracy. One of Mayor Harris’ top legislative priorities is the adoption of a state-wide minimum wage of at least $15.”

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Exclusive: Tennessee Club for Growth Releases Lawmaker Scorecards

The Club For Growth Foundation will release a scorecard based on voting records of elected officials from 2021, the contents of which were exclusively shared with The Tennessee Star Thursday. 

“The Foundation conducted a comprehensive examination of each lawmaker’s record on votes related to pro-growth policies and computed an Economic Growth Score on a scale of 0 to 100. A score of 100 indicates the highest support for pro-growth policies,” according to the scorecard provided to The Star. “The Foundation’s study examined over 4,400 floor votes and, in the end, included 20 Tennessee House votes and 20 Tennessee Senate votes.”   

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Proposed Constitutional Amendment Could Change Tennessee Governor’s Succession Line

A ballot initiative that will be voted upon this November could change the way Tennessee’s gubernatorial line of succession is structured. 

” On the November 8 ballot, Tennessee voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on a proposed amendment to the state constitution that establishes a framework for a temporary transition of power for the highest elected official in the state,” said a press release from the Tennessee General Assembly. “If approved, the amendment would be invoked if the governor is temporarily incapacitated and unable to perform his or her duties, most likely due to a medical emergency. Tennessee is the only state that does not have a provision in its state constitution to address this issue.”

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New Coffee County Mayor Judd Matheny Discusses the County’s Population Growth

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the newly elected mayor of Coffee County, Tennessee, Judd Matheny to the newsmaker line to talk about their growth and how he intends to manage it.

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Retiring State Senator Mike Bell Looks Forward to Serving Tennessee with Wildlife Resources Agency

Senator Mike Bell

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed retiring State Senator Mike Bell (R-TN-09) to the newsmaker line to discuss retiring from the Tennessee General Assembly and his new role at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

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Tennessee Department of Education Invites School Districts to Apply for ‘Innovative School Models’ Grants

School districts in Tennessee can now apply for Innovative School Model Grants that focus on job training for students. 

“Through reimagining the middle or high school experience, students will have a variety of opportunities to gain real-world experience, explore various industries and available jobs, and choose a pathway best suited to their skillset,” said Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “I thank Governor Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly who passed this historic opportunity, all districts interested in applying for this funding, and those who helped us celebrate throughout the month.” 

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Tennessee Firearms Association Founder Commits to Looking into Tennessee Attorney General’s Application Process

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Nashville attorney of 36 years, John Harris in studio to discuss whether he would consider applying for Tennessee Attorney General and the process in which one is selected.

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Chorus of Tennessee Legislators Calling on Governor Lee to Help National Guard Members Continues to Grow

The chorus of Tennessee legislators calling on Governor Bill Lee to take action to help save the jobs of Tennessee National Guard members continues to grow.

Several additional Tennessee legislators have come forward to The Tennessee Star, issuing statements in solidarity with the Tennessee National Guardsmen who are about to lose their jobs due to noncompliance with the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

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Host Leahy and All-Star Panelist Carmichael Roundtable Speculates on the Aftermath of Roe v. Wade Decision in the State of Tennessee

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist in studio to speculate what the aftermath of the Roe v Wade decision would mean for the state of Tennessee and the proper course of action by the attorney general.

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Tennessee Board of Education Solicits Parent Feedback on School Social Studies Programs

The Tennessee State Board of Education is asking parents for feedback about the state’s social studies programs, and will update those programs accordingly.

“The Tennessee Academic Standards are the grade- or course-level expectations for what students should know and be able to do,” according to the board’s website. “The State Board of Education (SBE) is charge in law with conducting a review of math, science, English language arts, and social studies standards on a rotating, six-year cycle.”

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GOP State House Candidate for Dickson County, Jody Barrett: ‘We Don’t Need Their Money and We’ll Handle Ourselves Down Here Just Fine’

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. – host Leahy welcomed GOP candidate for Tennessee State House District 69, attorney Jody Barrett, in-studio to talk about his background and how he’ll say no to federal education dollars.

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Gov Bill Lee Awaits Late-Session Bills from the Tennessee Legislature

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee didn’t waste time signing a new public school funding formula bill just four days after it was passed on the floor of the Tennessee Legislature.

But the process for other bills passed in the waning days of session has taken longer. Several key late-session bills have not been sent to Lee yet for his signature.

After bills are passed by the Legislature, they are enrolled and then signed by the speakers of the House and Senate before heading to the governor’s desk. Lee can then sign the bill, allow it to pass without signing or veto the bill. He also can reduce or veto an appropriation in a bill, but vetoes can be overridden by a majority vote in the Legislature.

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Executive Director & CEO of Professional Educators of Tennessee J.C. Bowman Makes Predictions on TISA Passage in House and Senate

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the Executive Director & CEO of Professional Educators of Tennessee, JC Bowman in studio to give his predictions on the passage of the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement act scheduled for a vote in both the House and Senate.

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Silicon Valley Billionaire Larry Ellison Donated the $1 Million That Funds SuperPAC Backing TN-5 Carpetbagger Candidate Morgan Ortagus

Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, the executive chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle, donated $1 million on March 21 to the recently-formed SuperPAC supporting TN-5 carpetbagger candidate Morgan Ortagus, according to Federal Election Commission records obtained by The Tennessee Star on Friday.

That SuperPAC, the Tennessee Conservatives PAC, has already begun running a $100,000 radio ad buy in the district in support of Ortagus.

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Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office Provides Partial Clarification on Applicability of Law to Carpetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck, but Leaves Out Key State Code

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office provided partial clarification on the applicability of the newly enacted three-year residency law to carpetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck, but left out a reference to a key part of state code.

The Tennessee Star previously reported that mere hours after the enactment of the new three-year residency law for federal candidates in primaries, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office offered conflicting comments about whether he intends to enforce the new law and remove “carpetbagger” candidates from the August 4 Republican primary ballot.

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TN Secretary of State Offers Conflicting Comments on Whether He Will Enforce Residency Law and Remove Carpetbaggers from the TN-5 Ballot

Within hours of the enactment of a new law on Wednesday that requires candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in Tennessee to be residents of the state for three years prior to their placement on a primary ballot, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office offered conflicting comments about whether he intends to enforce the new law and remove “carpetbagger” candidates from the August 4 Republican primary ballot.

Reaction from Tennessee state legislators to the comments from the Secretary of State’s office  were swift and pointed.

Sources tell The Tennessee Star that if the Tennessee Secretary of State refuses to enforce the newly enacted law and remove any candidate from the ballot for the U.S. House who fails to meet the three-year residency requirement he will be sued to require him to enforce the law.

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Bill Requiring Three Year Residency in Tennessee for Candidates in Federal Primaries Has Become State Law Without Governor Lee’s Signature

The three-year residency requirement legislation for Tennessee candidates for federal office in primaries is now law – effective immediately – without Governor Lee’s signature.

The Tennessee General Assembly sent the legislation, which it overwhelmingly approved, over to Governor Lee’s office on April 1. Governor Lee had the option to sign the legislation into law, veto it, or allow ten days to pass where it would be enacted into law without his signature. Lee chose the third option.

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Tennessee Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Requiring High School Students to Learn Virtues of Capitalism

The Tennessee State Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill, 25-6, that requires high school students to be taught the virtues of capitalism and the constitutional republic form of government in comparison to other economic systems and governmental systems.

The Tennessee State House of Representatives approved the House version of the bill on March 28, 68-21. Prior to the final vote, the Senate voted to substitute and conform to the House-approved version.

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Tennessee Senate Scheduled to Vote on Bill Requiring High School Students to Learn Virtues of Capitalism

The full Tennessee State Senate will vote on Tuesday, April 12, considering a bill that requires high school students to be taught the virtues of capitalism and the constitutional republic form of government in comparison to other economic systems and governmental systems.

The Tennessee State House of Representatives previously approved the House version of the bill on March 28, 68-21.

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Dark Money Carpetbagger PAC Spends $100,000 on Radio Supporting Morgan Ortagus in TN-5

A new dark money super PAC spent $100,000 in radio ads on Wednesday in support of carpetbagger Morgan Ortagus in the race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional district seat, according to Federal Election Commission records released on Friday.

The PAC’s name is Tennessee Conservatives PAC and the expenditure was made on April 6. Saturation-level radio ads – at least 20 spots per day – began running on Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC in Nashville and 99.7 WTN in Nashville beginning on Wednesday.

The PAC, which was organized on February 22, 2022 according to FEC records, has yet to release its funding sources. The group’s report for the period ending March 31 will not be made filed with the FEC until April 15. It is common practice for dark money PACs to hide their sources of funding until the latest possible date.

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Full Senate to Vote on Bill Requiring High School Students to Learn Virtues of Capitalism and the U.S. Constitutional Republic

The full Tennessee State Senate will consider a bill that requires high school students to be taught the virtues of capitalism and the constitutional republic form of government.

The Tennessee State House of Representatives passed the House version of the bill on March 28, 68-21.

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Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin Appointed as Interim State Representative for House District 26 Seat

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin was appointed as the new interim State Representative for District 26 by the Hamilton County Commissioners Wednesday evening. Immediately following the vote confirming him as interim state representative, Martin resigned from the Commission.

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Report: New Dark Money Group with Possible Connections to Morgan Ortagus Targeting Tennessee Residency Legislation

Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News and MSNBC is reporting that a well-funded new super PAC named Tennessee Conservative PAC says they intend to file a lawsuit challenging the General Assembly-passed three-year residency requirement legislation for candidates in federal primaries.

The legislation has yet to be transmitted to Governor Lee for his signature.

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Tennessee General Assembly Overwhelmingly Passes Three-Year Residency Bill for Federal Candidates in Primaries

The Tennessee General Assembly approved legislation establishing a three-year residency requirement for federal candidates in primaries.

The legislation has now passed both the House and the Senate, with the House approving the Senate version on Monday by a vote of 70 to 18. One House member voted present, not voting.

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Report: Governor Bill Lee to Ask General Assembly for $500 Million in Bonds for New Titans Stadium

Governor Bill Lee is said to be asking the Tennessee General Assembly to issue $500 million in bonds to help fund a new Tennessee Titans stadium.

First reported by Axios, Governor Lee wants the General Assembly to approve $500 million in bonds, which would be issued by the state and likely repaid by revenue from the new stadium.

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Tennessee Bill Would Excuse Teachers from Using Students’ Gender Pronouns

A bill making its way through the Tennessee General Assembly would protect teachers who do not use specific gender pronouns preferred by their students. 

SB 2777 “specifies that a teacher or other employee of a public school or [Local Education Association] is not required to refer to a student using the student’s preferred pronoun if the pronoun does not align with the student’s biological sex” and “insulates a teacher or other employee of a public school or LEA from civil liability and adverse employment action for referring to a student using the pronoun aligned with the student’s biological sex instead of the student’s preferred pronoun.”

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General Assembly Three-Year Residency Requirement Legislation for Federal Candidates in Primaries on March 28 House Message Calendar

Tennessee Senate Chamber

Tennessee legislation establishing three-year residency requirements for candidates in federal primaries is on the House message calendar for floor consideration on Monday, March 28.

According to Tennessee state House staff, the House message calendar is for bills that went over to the Senate, were non-concurred, and came back.

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Senate Noncurs with House on Residency Bill for Primary Eligibility

The Tennessee Senate has non-concurred, essentially rejecting the House-passed version of the three-year residency requirement bill for federal candidates in primary.

The bill now goes back to the House, where they have the option to conform to the Senate version, or else the legislation goes to conference committee. The state House is expected to consider the legislation again this week.

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Democrat-Sponsored Legislation Creating Firearm Buyback Program Scheduled for Committee Hearings

Democrat-sponsored legislation which contains creation of firearm buyback program and refers to gun violence as a public health issue is scheduled for Tennessee General Assembly Committee consideration over the coming days.

The legislation requires the Tennessee Department of Safety to develop a firearm buyback program “in
collaboration with local community groups.”

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Tennessee House Overwhelmingly Approves Legislation Creating Three-Year Residency Requirement for Federal Candidates in Primaries

Tennessee Capitol building

The Tennessee House has approved legislation creating a three-year residency requirement for federal candidates in primaries. The final vote was 86 to 0 to approve HB2764, as 6 members voted “present” on the legislation.

The companion bill, SB2616, had already passed the Tennessee Senate. The bills were originally markedly different in terms of the effective date, but that conflict was resolved.

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All-Star Panelist and Senior Editor-at-Large for The Epoch Times Roger Simon Visits Cordell Hull to Watch How the Sausage Is Made

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Senior Editor at Large for The Epoch Times, Roger Simon in-studio to describe his recent visit to the Tennessee State Capitol.

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Legislation Establishing Residency Requirements for Federal Candidates Scheduled for House Floor Vote

Dave Wright

Tennessee House legislation establishing residency requirements for federal candidates is scheduled for a floor vote on Monday, March 14.

The companion bill, SB2616, has already passed the Tennessee Senate and is sitting on the House desk. The bills are currently markedly different in terms of effective date, but that conflict is expected to change when HB2764 comes to the floor.

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Tennessee State Rep. Wants to Criminalize COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Bruce Griffey

A member of the Tennessee General Assembly Tuesday filed a bill that would criminalize COVID-19 mandates in the state, saying that he doesn’t think Tennessee has done enough to combat such mandates.

“I don’t feel that the legislature went far enough during October’s special legislative session on this issue. This is about protecting an individual’s freedom to make their own medical decisions and the freedom of parents to make healthcare decisions for their children,” State Rep. Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) in a press release. “Those individuals who want to get vaccinated should be able to do so.  However, those individuals, who have concerns about the vaccine, should not have to live in fear that they may lose their jobs or their children may not be able to attend school or they may not be able to enter a business to purchase groceries if they don’t get vaccinated.”

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Tennessee Stands’ Gary Humble Recaps Tuesday Night Shutdown of Patient Rights Act by General Assembly

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands to explain and recap Tuesday nights Tennessee General Assembly miss on a hearing for the Patient’s Rights Act bill in the House.

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State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver Talks 2022 Goals and Says No to Federal Education Dollars

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver to the newsmaker line to talk about her priorities for 2022 and a Yes vote to refuse federal education money.

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Tennessee’s Redistricting Changes Illustrated in New Online Dashboard

Tennessee residents can now go online to see how the 2021-2022 redistricting process impacts them.

Members of the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office have created a new online dashboard called Tennessee District Lookup that shows which addresses in the state are now assigned to which legislative district.

The new dashboard updates the public on legislative district information for county commissions, the U.S. Congress, and both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly.

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Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody on State of the State: ‘I Did Not Like that Budget at All’

Mark Pody

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Senator Mark Pody to the newsmakers line to discuss the new state budget, his personal agenda, and focusing on patients’ rights.

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Tennessee Stands Says State Residents Need to Focus on 12 General Assembly Bills

Tennessee Senate Chamber

The Williamson County-based Tennessee Stands this week published its top four priorities for the 2022 session of the Tennessee General Assembly. Tennessee Stands, according to its website, calls on state and local officials “to restore our constitutional republic.”

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Tennessee State Rep Files Resolution That Says an AP Article That Accuses the U.S. Military of a ‘Culture of Racism’ Is False

Bud Husley

A new resolution was introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly this week to claim an Associated Press (AP) article on racism in the U.S. Military as untrue. Representative Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) sponsored the resolution, which was explained as “Expresses sense of General Assembly that May 2021 Associated Press article alleging “deep-seated racism” and “culture of discrimination” in U.S. military is untrue.”

The resolution claimed the authors of the article did not use proper statistics in their study, and instead “of evidencing a culture of racism, this data, provided by the military, actually makes the opposite case that racism in the U.S. military is uncommon and not a largescale problem.”

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State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Comments on Education Funding and Giving Surpluses Back to the Taxpayers

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson to the newsmakers line to discuss education focus and appropriating fiscal surplus back to the taxpayers.

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Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton Talks Upcoming Priorities and Redistricting

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton to the newsmakers line to discuss top priorities and redistricting.

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Commentary: Tennessee Republicans Will Work to Keep Communities and Schools Safe in 2022

School bus

Tennessee voters spoke loud and clear last November when they overwhelmingly elected Republicans to represent them at every level. I’m extremely proud that Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly have delivered on the promise to uphold conservative values, increase economic opportunities, improve public safety and strengthen education. We still have much work to do and we will continue to work to address these priorities during this upcoming legislative session. 

Our state budget is probably the most significant component of public policy our governor and General Assembly tackle each year. Unlike the federal government, Tennessee’s constitution requires us to balance our budget. The federal government’s debt has amassed to almost $30 trillion, something we should all be concerned about for future generations to come.

Our primary goal each year is always the same: to pass a balanced budget. From top to bottom, Tennessee’s $42.6 billion zero-debt budget is a spending plan that addresses the priorities and needs of all Tennesseans. 

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Tennessee Legislature Session Opens with Focus on Congressional Maps, Proposed Voting Integrity Laws

The Tennessee General Assembly begins its legislative session Tuesday with two essential priorities: redistricting maps and a new K-12 public education funding model.

The assembly will also consider two bills that attempt to enhance voting integrity.

Proposed state Senate maps and Congressional maps are scheduled to be released Wednesday by the assembly’s Select Committee on Redistricting. The new education funding formula is expected to be announced in the next week as well.

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Tennessee Legislature Opens Session with Focus on Maps, School Funding

The Tennessee General Assembly begins its legislative session at noon Tuesday with two essential priorities: redistricting maps and a new K-12 public education funding model.

Proposed state Senate maps and Congressional maps are scheduled to be revealed by the Select Committee on Redistricting during its meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The new education funding formula is expected to be announced in the next week as well.

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Tennessee Legislators Likely to Split Up Nashville’s 5th Congressional District

Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly will reportedly create multiple congressional districts to represent Nashville, and this move will likely benefit the GOP. This, as state legislators redraw new Congressional maps to comply with required redistricting.

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