Chas Sisk

Enterprise Reporter

Chas joined WPLN in 2015 after eight years with The Tennessean, including more than five years as the newspaper's statehouse reporter. Chas has also covered communities, politics and business in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Chas grew up in South Carolina and attended Columbia University in New York, where he studied economics and journalism. Outside of work, he's a dedicated distance runner, having completed a dozen marathons.

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Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Controlling access to medical marijuana.

That was one big topic of discussion during a hearing Thursday on a proposal to lift the state's ban on marijuana for people with serious illnesses. And while no decision can be made on that plan until next spring, state lawmakers did spend five hours collecting testimony from medical experts and law enforcement.

Many warned of a slippery slope.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is cheering the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while opponents of the measure are scrambling to derail it before the legislation can pass the U.S. Senate.

Haslam joined 14 other Republican governors Wednesday in signing a letter praising a plan to repeal the ACA's individual mandate, to do away with the requirement that individuals purchase insurance and to convert Medicaid to a system of so-called block grants to the states.

In an appearance in Chattanooga, Haslam called the proposal, known as Graham-Cassidy, a "home run for Tennessee" because the state will receive more money than it currently does for Medicaid.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

The question of whether immigrants brought to the United States as children should qualify for in-state tuition has divided Tennessee Republicans in recent years.

But the five major GOP candidates for governor all see it the same way: They're against it.

Brian Turner / Flickr

A Tennessee appeals court says a Williamson County judge was wrong to reject a transgender teen's petition to change his legal name.

The judge had apparently determined that the teen and his parents failed to make the case for the name change. But in a ruling released Tuesday, a three-judge panel declared there was plenty of evidence for it.

Wikipedia

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's administration is re-implementing the work requirement to receive foods stamps in most of Tennessee's 95 counties — one in a series of measures that state officials say are intended to get more Tennesseans back into the workforce.

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has his first Republican challenger next year — if he decides to seek re-election.

Conservative activist Andrew Ogles announced Thursday that he's running for the seat, which Corker has held since 2007. Others might not be far behind.

Emily Siner / WPLN (File photo)

Technical colleges could get a big boost under Tennessee's next governor.

Many of the top candidates are pledging to increase funding for the state's tech schools. They say putting more money into those institutions is the best way to close Tennessee's so-called skills gap.

U.S. Department of Education via Flickr

The two Democrats vying to be Tennessee's next governor made another pitch Tuesday to expand pre-K education.

That's even though recent research from Vanderbilt University has led some communities, including Nashville, to hit pause on expansion plans.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Out in the woods of Perry County, Jim Bruner flips the switch on a stainless-steel pump.

Up flows mineral water, about 52 degrees Fahrenheit, drawn from a mile below.

"So it's natural," he says. "Natural artesian water, with natural alkalinity. It has a pH of about 8.3. The mineral content is in trace amounts. And that makes it a very unique water."

Bruner pumps, treats and bottles it here, in a humble metal shed tucked away amid the loblolly pines of an old tree farm.

U.S. Senate

Gov. Bill Haslam urged Congress Thursday morning to adopt a short-term fix to health insurance markets while continuing to work on bringing down medical costs over the long haul, as he joined four other governors at a hearing before a Senate committee.

Appearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, Haslam said Congress has an obligation to pass legislation that would encourage insurers to keep selling plans on exchanges set up through the Affordable Care Act. If not, millions of Americans would lose coverage.

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