Chas Sisk | Nashville Public Radio

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.

Ways to Connect

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

A plan to legalize medical cannabis in Tennessee is dead for the year after stalling out Tuesday in the state Senate.

Supporters of the measure had hoped to win over conservatives by stressing evidence that suggests using marijuana might cut opioid abuse. But the idea ran into a headwind of conservatives.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

State lawmakers voted down a measure Tuesday that would've allowed teachers in schools across Tennessee to go armed.

The proposal had picked up steam after February's mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. But even some pro-gun rights legislators seemed to doubt it made much practical sense.

Congressman Diane Black
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Congressman Diane Black says she stands by her decision to intervene in a dispute between an East Tennessee trucking company and the Environmental Protection Agency.

That's even though Tennessee Tech University has walked back a study that it did — and that Black cited — supporting the company.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Tennessee lawmakers are starting to wind up business for the year, but there are still several big debates left to resolve.

School security. Medical marijuana. And marriage laws, to name a few.

WPLN's Emily Siner talked to our statehouse reporter Chas Sisk about what’s at stake in those debates.

Martin Alonso / via Flickr

A measure that would shield users of medical marijuana from criminal prosecution is advancing in the state legislature.

The House Criminal Justice Committee set aside opposition from law enforcement, doctors and Governor Bill Haslam's administration Wednesday and overwhelmingly approved a measure that both sides see as a step toward legalizing medical cannabis.

David Byrd
Stephen Jerkins/WPLN

The Middle Tennessee lawmaker accused of sexually abusing girls he coached in the 1980s says he'll stay in the state legislature.

State Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro, issued the statement a day after three women told Nashville TV station WSMV that he kissed, groped or propositioned them when they were in their teens.

MyDoorSign.com / Flickr

Tennessee lawmakers are again getting involved in the fight over transgender access to school facilities, even though President Donald Trump's administration has dropped its investigations into civil rights complaints from transgender students.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Updated at 8:45 p.m.

The leader of the state House of Representatives is calling on a Middle Tennessee lawmaker to step down amid allegations that he made sexual advances toward three teenage girls while working as a basketball coach thirty years ago.

Courtesy of Ironman

Peter Pressman, a fixture among Middle Tennessee runners, died over the weekend from apparent cardiac arrest.

He was the president of the Nashville Striders running club and one of the sport's leading advocates locally. 

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Later this week, Tennessee lawmakers will again take up the question of how old people need to be to get married. It's an issue that has perplexed legislators during this year's session.

Advocates for a measure banning underage marriage point to a particular case: In 2000, a Kentucky woman took her 14-year-old daughter across state lines to marry her off to a 37-year-old.

Pages