Tennessee Senate Approves Bill to Allow School Districts, Governor to Reopen Classes

The Tennessee Legislature is looking into giving local education districts more leeway to open or shut schools during public emergencies — or the governor the power to send students back to campus.

On Monday, Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) presented Senate Bill 103 to the full Senate. The bill passed the Senate as amended, 27-5.

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Tennessee Legislature Re-Elects Randy McNally, Cameron Sexton as Speakers of Senate, House

Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) on Tuesday was re-elected for his third term as Speaker of the Senate, while State Representative Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) returned as House Speaker.

The Tennessee House Republican Caucus tweeted, “The 112th General Assembly convened today in Nashville! Congratulations to our re-elected Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, newly elected Speaker Pro Tem Pat Marsh, and all our members as they were sworn into office. @CSexton25 @marsh4tn”.

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Tennessee Democratic House Caucus Chairman Questions Need for Legislature to Hold Special Session on Education Challenges

One Democratic leader in the Tennessee House is questioning the need for a special session to address education topics.

State Representative Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville), chairman of the Democratic House Caucus, is skeptical, Fox 17 News reported.

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Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Describes His Role in Government and Reflects on 2020 and the Year Ahead

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee state Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson to the studio to discuss his role in government and the enthusiasm for Trump.

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Lee Says Tennessee Legislature Should Not Limit Executive Emergency Powers

Gov. Bill Lee believes the Tennessee Legislature should not limit the existing executive emergency powers of the governor, Lee’s staff told a committee reviewing executive emergency powers.

The ad hoc study committee, co-chaired by Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, and Rep. Jason Zachary, R-Knoxville, met for a second time Thursday to hear testimony from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, members of the governor’s executive staff and others.

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Tennessee State Senate Hurriedly Approves Major Abortion Bill Just Before Legislature Adjourns, Gov. Lee Says He Will Sign into Law

Major pro-life legislation was approved by the Tennessee Legislature in Friday’s early morning hours just before legislators wrapped up their year.

Passage — and the end of the session — came as a surprise because Senate leaders had said they would not take the abortion measure up in this condensed year, according to a story by The Tennessee Journal: On the Hill. The publication also reported the Senate did this to persuade the House to back off of making changes to the budget proposal the Senate had approved.

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Right-to-Work Constitutional Amendment Clears Tennessee Legislature in First Go Around

A resolution that would enshrine right-to-work protections in the Tennessee Constitution has passed the state House after already clearing the Senate.

“Since 1947, Tennessee has valued the right to work because we understand that it is truly a right,” Rep. Robin Smith, R-Hixson, said on the House floor Wednesday evening before the resolution passed, 67-23.

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Rep. Carter Promises House Chairs to Retain Them and Not Retaliate if Elected Speaker

  State Rep. Mike Carter (R-TN-29) of Ooltewah reportedly wrote to all House chairmen and vice chairmen in his bid to become the next Speaker, multiple media outlets report. Carter promises fair treatment to all members without retribution, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. A meeting of the Tennessee…

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House Speaker Casada’s Former Chief of Staff Accused of Bugging Legislative Committee Rooms, The Tennessean Says

  A newspaper claims that House Speaker Glen Casada’s former chief of staff once bragged to a reporter that he had bugged legislative committee meeting rooms and now a Democratic leader is calling for an investigation. Joel Ebert of The Tennessean reported last week that the ex-chief of staff, Cade…

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Tennessee House Speaker Casada Pledges Cooperation with District Attorney General’s Conference Investigation

  Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada is moving to handle the continued fallout over revelations that include allegedly inappropriate text messages involving him and former chief of staff Cade Cothren. Casada said he directed the Speaker’s office to cooperate with a District Attorney General’s Conference investigation of an email from…

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Bill Strengthening Protections Against Female Genital Mutilation Awaits Gov. Lee’s Signature

  A bill that strengthens Tennessee’s protections against female genital mutilation (FGM) is headed to Gov. Bill Lee for his signature after the Legislature approved the measure. The national EndFGMToday campaign issued a press release congratulating Tennessee lawmakers. The advocacy organization said the bill will provide additional protections for women…

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Jeff Hartline Commentary: Legislative ‘Hide the Ball’

by Jeff Hartline   Today, while millions of Tennessee voters are busy at work taking care of their families and contributing to the vibrant economy of the Great State of Tennessee, their elected Representatives and Senators are huddled in various offices and in their respective Chambers doing the business of…

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