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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx held a press conference on Charlotte Ave near a bridge that has required emergency repairs. Foxx was previously the Mayor of Charlotte and says he knows how important infrastructure is in a city the size of Nashville. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Problem Bridge Near Downtown Nashville Makes Case For Replenishing Highway Trust Fund

by / on April 15, 2014

The Obama Administration is using a patched-up bridge in Nashville to make it’s case for putting more money into the federal Highway Trust Fund.

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Americans for Prosperity Tennessee collected the signatures of 92 lawmakers of the 132 members in the General Assembly. Credit: AFPTN via Facebook

Haslam Says Cutting Hall Tax Still Not Top Priority

by / on April 15, 2014

Despite being targeted with a critical radio ad from Americans for Prosperity, Governor Bill Haslam says cutting the Hall income tax is not priority number one.

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Governor Haslam's original proposal for a school vouchers program would have capped the number of vouchers at 5,000 for the first year. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Bill Haslam’s Voucher Bill Pulled Again

by / on April 15, 2014

The bill’s failure comes in the face of heavy lobbying from national education reform groups like StudentsFirst and the American Federation for Children.

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House Democratic Leader Craigh Fitzhugh (center) and Caucus Chairman Mike Turner (right) say to gain ground they have to capitalize on rifts in the GOP supermajority. (Photo courtesy Sean Braisted)

Amid GOP Rifts Over Guns And Vouchers, Democrats Claim Small Victories

by / on April 15, 2014

Democrats are claiming victory for a series of legislative misfires over the last two days, pointing to the demise of a pair of controversial gun bills as well as a hard-fought school vouchers plan. But the bills’ failures may have as much to do with Republican infighting.

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If Haslam Won’t Give Teachers a Raise, Schools Want Nashville Mayor To Cover It

If Haslam Won’t Give Teachers a Raise, Schools Want Nashville Mayor To Cover It

by / on April 15, 2014

Metro Schools will ask Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to foot the bill on a pay raise for both teachers and support staff. Their request comes after Governor Bill Haslam cancelled his plan for a statewide increase in teacher salaries due to flagging tax revenues.

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House Shoots Down Senate Bill To Allow Open Carrying Of Guns Without A License

House Shoots Down Senate Bill To Allow Open Carrying Of Guns Without A License

by / on April 14, 2014

A bill to let Tennesseans carry guns in the open without a permit was voted down Monday night in committee. The House sponsor had been poised to try to circumvent the usual process of vetting bills, but now it seems that won’t be happening.

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Will A License Help Distinguish Hemp from Weed?

Will A License Help Distinguish Hemp from Weed?

by / on April 14, 2014

Under a proposal, growers will have to get certified seeds and a growing permit from the state’s Department of Agriculture.

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State Charter Authorizer Legislation Sent To Governor

State Charter Authorizer Legislation Sent To Governor

by / on April 14, 2014

Charter schools trying to open in Tennessee could soon get permission directly from the state school board, if their local school district refuses. Legislation letting the state function as a so-called “charter authorizer” is on its way to the governor.

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Coach Bobby Trotz meeting with fans in 2009. Credit: David Cintron via Flickr

The Nashville Predators Fire The Only Coach They’ve Ever Had

by / on April 14, 2014

Team management says Barry Trotz has been off his game for the last two years. After being hired in 1997, he spent 15 seasons in Nashville (the lock out year doesn’t count), which made him the NHL’s longest-serving coach with a single team – until now.

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Lawmaker Hopes To Force Decisive Vote On Openly Carrying Guns Without A Permit

Lawmaker Hopes To Force Decisive Vote On Openly Carrying Guns Without A Permit

by / on April 14, 2014

Lawmakers could be within just a few votes of letting Tennesseans carry a gun in the open without a permit. The proposal passed the state Senate last week, and its House sponsor is taking an unusual step to try and force immediate action.

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High Gravity Beer Just Needs House Approval To Be Sold In Tennessee Grocery Stores

High Gravity Beer Just Needs House Approval To Be Sold In Tennessee Grocery Stores

by / on April 14, 2014

When lawmakers agreed this spring to let grocery stores sell wine, many thought they were done for the year legislating which stores can sell what alcohol. Maybe not, though. A bill to also let grocery stores sell high gravity beer is close to passing.

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Tennessee's state budget includes cuts to higher education funding, payments to TennCare providers, and contribution's to the state's rainy day fund. Governor Haslam amended his proposed budget, following months of lower than expected tax collections.

Few Lawmakers Try To Change It, So Governor Haslam Gets The Budget He Wants

by / on April 14, 2014

It took lawmakers just 11 days to pass Governor Bill Haslam’s updated budget. It includes no pay raises for teachers or state employees, as the Governor originally promised. Although they considered changes, lawmakers passed the budget as-is.

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The red cities are those currently being considered for Google Fiber. Green cities either already have it or are in the process of getting it. Image: Google

Google Fiber Starts To Examine Nashville’s Utility Poles

by / on April 14, 2014

One of the things the city has to show is that Google will have access to existing utility poles.

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Lawmakers Have Two Words For Retiring Doug Henry: Gentleman, Statesman

Lawmakers Have Two Words For Retiring Doug Henry: Gentleman, Statesman

by / on April 11, 2014

Lawmakers wiped away tears Thursday as they honored retiring state Senator Doug Henry – the longest-serving legislator in Tennessee history.

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"We have the (Common Core) standards, but the implementation and the testing are still concerns," Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris told reporters Thursday. "A lot has been passed this year that deals with concerns we had about Common Core - not the standards, but curriculum, and data mining, and all those issues - and I think when the dust settles and people have a chance to look back and focus on some of these pretty voluminous bills, they'll see that we addressed a lot of the concerns that the public had about 'Common Core,' quote unquote, in general." (Photo: Daniel Potter/WPLN)

Scratch One For Common Core Skeptics: Deal May Delay Statewide Test

by / on April 11, 2014

A push to delay the test, known as the PARCC, set to start next school year, has been a flashpoint in the state legislature this spring.

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Plan To Give Teachers, State Employees More Pay Dies In The House

Plan To Give Teachers, State Employees More Pay Dies In The House

by / on April 10, 2014

After giving a heartfelt eight-minute pitch on the House floor, Rep. Hill withdrew his plan.

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Supporters of the Amp BRT line held signs behind Mayor Karl Dean at the Metro Courthouse as he thanked President Obama for federal funding. Credit: Dean Administration

Fate Of Nashville’s Amp May Hinge On Small Panel Of State Lawmakers

by / on April 10, 2014

With the two chambers split, the bill will likely end up in the hands of a conference committee – with three members from the Senate and three from the House.

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Lincoln County is larger than Davidson (Metro Nashville), but it has just 33,000 people. And considering it's unemployment rate is hovering around five percent, that means fewer than 900 people are considered jobless. Credit: Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Why Does This Rural Tennessee County Have Such Low Unemployment? Luck?

by / on April 10, 2014

Just two counties in Tennessee have had unemployment dip below five percent in recent months: Williamson, which you might expect, and Lincoln. Why Lincoln?

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Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at VW in May of 2011. He has now been subpoenaed along with 19 others to testify during NLRB hearings in April. Credit: TN Photo Services

Haslam And Corker Subpoenaed To Testify On VW Union Vote

by / on April 9, 2014

Attorneys for the United Auto Workers are trying to make U.S. Senator Bob Corker and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam testify later this month. The National Labor Relations Board is investigating whether there was a coordinated effort to prevent unionization at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant.

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Top House GOP officials spoke to members at a caucus meeting Wednesday, with some warning it's unlikely the state will find enough money for raises or bonuses this year. (Photo: Daniel Potter/WPLN)

Republican Floats Compromise To Salvage Teacher Pay Raises

by / on April 9, 2014

In a meeting with his fellow GOP lawmakers, Rep. Matthew Hill proposed to do a combination of things to boost pay, including re-allocated some money and counting on additional tax revenue next year.

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