Governor Bill Lee tapped former Representative John DeBerry (D-TN-Memphis) to join his Cabinet as a senior advisor. Lee’s announcement came shortly after DeBerry lost his re-election.
The governor appears to hold high regard for the former representative, though their party alignments differ. Read More
Three members of the Tennessee General Assembly co-signed a letter this week calling for the swift confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
This, they said, because of her support for limited government, free markets, and federalism.
The three Tennessee legislators — State Rep. Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville), State Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), and State Sen. Shane Reeves (R-Murfreesboro) — co-signed the letter alongside several other state legislators nationwide. The Arlington, Virginia-based American Legislative Exchange Council published the letter on their website Monday. Read More
University of Tennesse at Knoxville (UTK) Law Professor Glenn Reynolds on Thursday spoke to members of the Tennessee General Assembly about various topics, including a governor’s use of executive orders and the reasoning behind him having such power.
His appearance was before the Legislature’s Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers. Read More
The Tennessee General Assembly Joint Ad Hoc Committee studying emergency powers of the executive branch will include presentations from by retired U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch, Jr.
The meeting to be held at the legislature’s home of the Cordell Hull Building is scheduled for Thursday. Read More
The second session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly wrapped up Wednesday evening after passing the legislation called for in Governor Bill Lee’s proclamation.
Over the course of three legislative days, the state Senate and House passed measures related to COVID-related liability protection, expansion of telemedicine and criminal laws related to protests. Read More
Several bills addressing the issues outlined in Governor Bill Lee’s proclamation for an extraordinary session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly were taken up in Senate and House committee meetings Tuesday.
The call for the special session limited the legislation that could be taken up to COVID-related liability protection for persons and entities, electronic delivery of health-related services, protection of private and public property and personnel as well as the appropriations related to the legislation passed during the special session. Read More
The first day of the Tennessee General Assembly’s special session Monday called by Governor Bill Lee, revealed the legislation related to COVID-19 liability, telemedicine expansion and protesting that will be considered.
Only legislation related to the topics specifically contained in the governor’s proclamation can be considered during the special session, which began at 4 p.m. on Monday with both the House and Senate going into a floor session. Read More
The special session of Tennessee lawmakers scheduled for the week of August 10 will likely cost Tennessee taxpayers more than $100,000.
Legislators were called to the special session by Governor Bill Lee through an August 3 proclamation to address three issues, the first two which could have been addressed during the previous legislative session. Read More
While there were 115 Tennessee General Assembly seats open for Thursday’s primary, most went uncontested. In fact, there was just a fractional 36 primaries yielding some surprising results.
In the Senate, all of the incumbents won their primary bid.
In the House, Representatives Micah Van Huss and Matthew Hill both lost their primaries. Coupled with Representative Timothy Hill leaving the House to run in the U.S. House District 1 Republican primary, which he also lost, the representation of the northeast corner of the state will undergo dramatic changes. Read More
Governor Bill Lee, on the eve of a vote by the State Capitol Commission (SCC) on the fate of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust, said it should be moved from the second floor of the State Capitol to the Tennessee State Museum.
The consideration of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust is the only item up for discussion by the SCC WebEx meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. on July 9, according to the agenda. Read More
Just a few weeks ago, Tennessee looked like a sure bet to become the latest state to protect businesses and other organizations from lawsuits by people impacted by the coronavirus in the push to reopen the economy. Republican Gov. Bill Lee had talked up the change and touted his advocacy on tort reform as a businessman, and he had GOP lawmakers in supermajorities lined up to seal the deal.
That was before negotiations among lawmakers broke down so badly in the hectic waning hours of legislative work that the generally mild-mannered Senate Speaker Randy McNally accused two House leaders of working with “a cabal of Democrats and attorneys to defeat the legislation and place our entire economy in danger.” Read More
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. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee state Senator Jack Johnson in the studio.
At the end of the second hour, Johnson described the primary goal of the Tennessee General Assembly and what may lie ahead in the summer months noting that the budget was the primary issue that has been completed before adjourning. Read More
As Tennessee’s 111th Tennessee General Assembly wound down to adjourn, the House passed a resolution recognizing the need to address legislation passed by one chamber but left unfinished by the other.
When Tennessee’s 111th Tennessee General Assembly came back to their second session after the three-month COVID-19 recess, the Senate only wanted to take up bills that were budget-related, time-sensitive, or COVID-19 related, while the House planned to complete all of their work. Read More
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 Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield).
During the third hour, Roberts weighed in on the recent Fetal Heartbeat Bill surprisingly passed at midnight in the Tennessee General Assembly this week. Roberts discussed the issues with the constitutionality of the COVID-19 Liability bill which would hold businesses harmless should anyone contract the virus after a visit to their establishment. Read More
Tennessee was immediately sued by a cohort of liberal organizations Friday after the General Assembly passed its pro-life heartbeat bill.
The bill passed the Tennessee House in a vote of 69-17 and was then approved by the Tennessee Senate 23-5. Read More
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 Tennessee State Senator Kerry Roberts in the studio.
At the end of the third hour, Leahy and Roberts discussed how the Tennessee State Comptroller’s office may need to step in as Metro Nashville’s un-balanced budget yields a 32 percent property tax increase and an increase in spending. The men agreed that this would not be an ideal situation for the city or comptroller. Read More
Two separate bills that stipulate that the input of either the state or local legislative body is required with regard to the resettlement of refugees have moved through the House State Committee.
In other words, both proposed pieces of legislation prohibit Tennessee’s governor from acting alone in making decisions regarding refugee resettlement.
The proposals came about as the result of a series of events that occurred in late 2019. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – While the Tennessee House of Representatives returned to committee and subcommittee meetings this week, the situation was anything but normal.
The Tennessee General Assembly adjourned on March 19, after passing a limited number of bills and a reduced fiscal 2021 budget, in the interest of slowing the spread of COVID-19. At the time, the General Assembly was to stand in adjournment until June 1. Read More
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 the studio by Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield).
During the second hour, Roberts disclosed that he was still unsure of what the Tennessee General Assembly’s agenda might be once it reopens next week. He added that the predicted models of the coronavirus have not materialized and that the pandemic has truly become a political tool and was in favor of staying and working but not unless the public was allowed. Read More
Nearly 30 GOP officials from throughout Tennessee this week urged Gov. Bill Lee to end all COVID-19-related restrictions, and they also urged that the state’s General Assembly members return from their current recess.
They submitted an open letter this week requesting just that.
In their letter, they told Lee that while he is Tennessee’s chief executive “he is not the representative of the people.” Read More
Crime victim advocates say they want members of the Tennessee General Assembly to consider Marsy’s Law before they adjourn their session for the year.
Supporters said this in an emailed press release this week. Read More
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 on the line during the program’s second hour by Tennessee State Senator Kerry Roberts. Read More
On Tuesday’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. – Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed his weekly regular guest and all-star panelist Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) to the newsmakers line. Read More
A legal motion filed Friday in Davidson County asks the courts to halt the implementation of the Tennessee Education Savings Account (ESA) Program. Read More
In a list released last week from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office of the candidates for the Tennessee General Assembly, the vast majority will have no opponent in their party primary, the general election or both in 2020.
The list includes candidates who filed their nominating petitions as of the qualifying deadline of last Thursday, April 2 at 12 noon.
Candidates have one week, or until Thursday, April 9 at 12 noon, to withdraw. Read More
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed several election-related bills into law last week, which were passed by the General Assembly before it took a two-month recess caused by the coronavirus.
The most controversial bill signed by Lee scales back restrictions on community voter registration efforts that were put in place in 2019 by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The new bill removes “misdemeanor penalties for not completing certain administrative requirements” and eliminates fines for submitting an abundance of incomplete voter registration forms. Read More
A bill passed by the Tennessee General Assembly last week reveals that in fiscal year 2019-2020 the Copeland Cap, at $629 million or 3.6 percent, hit its highest level in more than a decade.
The legislation, which passed as HB2819 in both chambers on March 19 with only one “no” vote by Democrat Representative G. A. Hardaway (D-Memphis), was one of the four bills addressed in an expedited fashion to enact a bare bones budget before lawmakers recessed until June 1 amid the COVID-19 health crisis, The Tennessee Star reported. Read More
Tennessee’s lawmakers worked all day and well into the evening Thursday to approve a budget for fiscal year 2021 before adjourning for a recess that will go until June 1, 2020. Read More
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tennessee General Assembly continued its push Wednesday to wrap-up bills deemed necessary and a bare-bones budget by the end of the week, and possibly as early as end of day Thursday.
In keeping with that, a total of 20 subcommittee and committee meetings were scheduled for Wednesday, 15 for the House and five for the Senate, in addition to a floor session for each chamber. Read More
The Tennessee General Assembly adjusted schedules at the start of the week for Tuesday to address only those procedures and bills deemed necessary to fulfill the constitutional requirement of passing a balanced budget for fiscal year 2021, which runs July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. Read More
In the wake of the developing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent declarations of emergencies by President Trump and Governor Bill Lee, the Tennessee General Assembly experienced its most unprecedented day in its history.
Monday started with access to the Cordell Hull Building limited to elected members, staff and members of the media. Anyone arriving at the home of the legislature would have been greeted to taped signs on the locked doors reading, “This Property is closed to the Public. If you need Assistance Call 741-7860.”
Not surprisingly under the conditions, the hallways, lobby areas, and cafeteria were all but deserted. Read More
Members of the Tennessee General Assembly are considering a bill that would limit wildlife resource officers’ ability to conduct searches and seizures. Read More
A proposed amendment to the Tennessee Constitution that would declare that liberties do not come from government, but from Almighty God failed in the State Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. Read More
On Tuesday’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. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) in the studio to discuss this week’s Tennessee General Assembly agenda. Towards the end of the… Read More
Tennessee State Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) and State Rep. Yusef Hakeem (D-Chattanooga) have filed legislation intended to address the Hamilton County government’s alleged and recent destruction of government records. Read More
In an exclusive interview 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 Michael Patrick Leahy spoke with Tennessee State Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) about his proposed constitutional amendment regarding “right to work.” Read More
The Tennessee House of Representatives is considering a new bill aimed at stopping Gov. Bill Lee from allowing an influx of refugees without legislative approval. Read More
On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report, Leahy and all-star panelist Carol Swain were joined on the newsmakers line by Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton. Read More
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 the studio during the program’s second hour by Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts. Read More
During a specific discussion, Wednesday 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 all-star panelists Crom Carmichael and Carol Swain to the show. Read More
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. Read More
Gov. Bill Lee said Thursday he hasn’t decided if he’ll accept President Donald Trump’s offer to let states refuse to accept refugees, U.S. News reported. The governor added he has not spoken to his team about how he will respond to this executive order. Read More
Although adopted by Tennessee state lawmakers on April 9, 2014, it was not until September 10, 2019 — just this past week — that House Joint Resolution No. 548 by State Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) was formally received by the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. Read More
State officials are challenging Metro Nashville Mayor David Briley’s sanctuary city policy, saying the decision could cause the city to lose a $300,000 federal grant to process ballistic evidence, NewsChannel 5 said. Read More
The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) and Bursch Law PLLC filed a petition for rehearing by the entire Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals bench of a two-judge panel opinion dismissing Tennessee’s challenge to the constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program for lack of standing. Read More
Tennessee Department of Transportation officials did not properly handle complaints about faulty railroad crossings, and that could pose a threat to drivers’ lives, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released this week. Read More
The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected the State of Tennessee’s appeal in which the General Assembly sought to ban the federal government from forcing Tennessee to accept and fund a refugee resettlement program. A copy of the court’s ruling is available here. A federal judge… Read More
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… Read More
The pieces are falling into place for the Tennessee GOP House Caucus to select the new speaker, with a couple of new faces entering the race this week. The caucus will meet July 24 to pick a nominee to replace disgraced outgoing Speaker and Rep. Glen Casada (R-TN-63) of… Read More
Gov. Bill Lee told reporters Saturday night that he plans to call a special session so the Tennessee House can elect a new speaker. Current Speaker of the House Glen Casada (R-Franklin) announced his resignation from the speakership on June 4, saying he would be stepping down effective August… Read More