Articles by: Joe White

Tennessee Health Care Compact Fails as Republicans Sit on Hands

May 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Several Republican members of the Tennessee House refused to vote on a Health Care Compact bill Tuesday night. And without a 50-vote majority, the bill died – after two years of partisan maneuvering to pass it.

House OKs Tennessee Joining a ‘Health Care Compact’

May 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm

The President’s federal health care revamp has led some states to set up a ‘health care compact’ that would allow a group of states to take over public health care within their borders. Now both the Tennessee Senate and the House have approved the idea – but in different versions.

Bill Targeting Vanderbilt University Policy Returns

April 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Vanderbilt University is back in the legislature’s sights over its “all-comers” policy. The state Senate today passed a bill that would to tell Vanderbilt to reconsider its non-discrimination policy – which Christian groups have complained is pushing them off campus.

Bill Would Require Proof of Citizenship to Get State Services

April 30, 2012 at 5:57 am

A bill to require citizenship to be eligible for most state services is still alive in the state legislature. Williamson County Senator Jack Johnson is hoping to pass the measure even if today is the last day of session.

Charging at Windmills, Democrats Plan Minority Reports on Budget

April 30, 2012 at 5:57 am

Democrats plan to argue one last time to beef up that budget with money from a recent increase in tax collections.

Conferring Legislators OK State Budget Over Democratic Opposition

April 30, 2012 at 5:26 am

The Tennessee General Assembly is scheduled to vote on a final budget when it returns to Capitol Hill today. A 12-member conference committee met Friday night to “resolve differences” between the House and the Senate.

Governor’s Tax Bills Headed to His Desk

April 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

The Senate passed two tax bills – lowering the sales tax on food and raising the exemption on the inheritance tax – and sent them to the governor, who proposed them in the first place.

Budget Stalls as Senate Volleys Back to the House

April 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

The House and Senate can’t seem to agree on the state’s $31 billion budget and will likely form a smaller group to work out the differences. The upper chamber passed a spending plan for next year before noon and within 90 minutes, the lower chamber voted not to go along.

Religious Debate in State House Precedes Idling of Anti-All Comers Bill

April 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm

The state House Thursday night debated how to protect Christian groups from having to follow a university rule intended to prevent discrimination. Both sides claimed Jesus Christ was on their side. But the sponsor finally dropped the bill into parliamentary limbo.

Senate OKs Change in Kids Entry Date to Kindergarten

April 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm

The state Senate Thursday night passed a proposed law to change the eligibility date for a child to enter kindergarten.

House Passes Budget After Sparring Over Youth Development Center

April 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm

The cut upset Democrats and rank-and-file Republicans.

Backers of Judge Amendment Expect Last Minute Fight Over Popular Elections

April 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm

House leaders also expect one last try to create a completely different system.

Budget Deadlock Resolved – GOP’s Local Projects Cut Back

April 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm

The state budget is back on track after being put on hold for three hours Wednesday while House Republicans and Democrats negotiated out some “local projects–” sometimes called “pork barrel projects-” that the Senate had slipped in.

House Gives Schools Leeway to Let 4-Year-Olds Start Kindergarten

April 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Thousands of Tennessee parents may be affected by a proposal to require their children to turn five a month earlier in order to start kindergarten. But the measure also includes a “maturity” test that would allow four-year-olds to enroll.

Senate Joins House in Condemning UN’s ‘Agenda 21’

April 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm

The Tennessee Senate added its voice to the state House in condemning the United Nations’ ‘Agenda 21’ on Tuesday. The program is an environmental initiative meant to encourage sustainable development. A majority of Tennessee lawmakers now describe it as destructive.

Senate Nudges Congress to Return to 19th Century View of ‘Commerce Clause’

April 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Tennessee’s Senate is calling for the state to have more control over its own commerce. The legislators passed a bill Tuesday declaring the 20th century view of the federal Commerce Clause to be unfair to Tennessee.

Assault on a Pregnant Woman Would Be Two Charges Under New Law

Assault on a Pregnant Woman Would Be Two Charges Under New Law

April 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

The state Senate passed a bill Monday night to fine-tune the definition of a fetus involved in a homicide. The accused would face two charges of homicide if an embryo dies along with the mother.

Senate OKs Federal-Style Judge Appointment, Requires Constitutional Change

April 23, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Monday night the state Senate signed off on a proposal for selecting judges that would let them grill the nominees live, just like the U.S. Senate does in Washington. The change requires a constitutional amendment.

House Makes It Easier to Cut Unemployment Benefits

April 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm

A laid-off worker could lose his unemployment benefit by refusing to take a job paying less than his previous paycheck, under a bill passed by the state House on Thursday.

General Assembly To State Schools: You Can’t Make Student Groups Take ‘All Comers’

April 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Earlier this spring, student groups at Vanderbilt University fought back against a requirement that they accept “all comers.” The rule upset some Tennessee lawmakers, too, and they can vote on Thursday for a bill to essentially express their disapproval. But one is asking for an opinion on whether the bill passes legal muster.ristian groups said if they couldn’t require potential leaders to be Christian, they’d leave the campus.