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.

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Chas Sisk / WPLN

NOTE: We will air live coverage of Governor Haslam's address to a special session of the Tennessee General Assembly tonight. The broadcast begins at 6pm on 90.3 WPLN-FM.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Janet Lowe knows firsthand what it’s like to treat people with life-threatening conditions and no money.

The nurse practitioner at the Hope Clinic in Murfreesboro tried to share that perspective with state lawmakers on Thursday, as Governor Bill Haslam wrapped up a tour to promote his Insure Tennessee health care proposal. 

“In some cases, it’s almost like telling my immediate family member, in essence, you are going to die because there’s nothing else that I can do for you," she said.  "So imagine telling that to somebody who you are very close to.”

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to expand Medicaid, known as Insure Tennessee, got a chilly reception during a crucial first hearing at the state legislature.

A Senate panel questioned Tuesday whether the state would be bound forever to the governor's proposal to offer health coverage to 200,000 Tennesseans if it approves the plan at a special session next week.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

A federal lawsuit alleges guards at a privately-run prison in Tennessee strip-searched a visitor simply because she told them she was menstruating.

According to a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, an unidentified woman claims Nashville-based Corrections Corp. of America violated her constitutional rights when it required her to disrobe to prove she was having her period. 

File: NYT via YouTube

An advertising battle has already begun over Governor Bill Haslam’s plan to expand Medicaid. 

Two weeks before lawmakers are scheduled to take up the Republican governor's Insure Tennessee health proposal, a pair of groups are launching competing radio spots centered on the plan.

One group, the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee, began airing ads this week in support of the plan. It argues the proposal will help rural hospitals and the uninsured -- without any cost to the state.

Highway construction near Memphis
Peggydavis66 via Flickr

The future for road funding in Tennessee is bleak, says a new report from the state comptroller. The report might pave the way for lawmakers to look at some interesting alternatives to the state’s 20-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline.

The comptroller's Offices of Research and Education Accountability said Tuesday that although Tennessee still brings in more than $600 million a year from its gas tax, inflation has cut its purchasing power nearly in half since the tax was last raised in 1989.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Gov. Bill Haslam stressed his accomplishments but accused Tennesseans of complacency as he promised a vigorous agenda in his second term.

The Tennessee Republican said the state had made vast improvements in education and job creation over the past four years. But he said the state’s standards have been far too low.

“We haven’t had nearly high enough expectations of ourselves,” he said. “In many ways, we’ve settled and haven’t lived up to our full potential. So, one thing I can guarantee you that we are not going to do in the next four years is coast to the finish line.”

Gov. Bill Haslam will officially be sworn in tomorrow for a second term.

Haslam’s inauguration ceremony takes place at 11 a.m. atop War Memorial Plaza. Streets near the Capitol will be closed for the event.

The day also includes an 8:30 prayer service at Ryman Auditorium and a dinner and ball at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Tickets to those events have been sold out.

Costs of the ceremony and celebrations are being covered through private donations to the Haslam Inaugural Committee. A list of contributors will be released next month.

John Liu via Flickr

A Rutherford County lawmaker says he’s frustrated with the high price of college textbooks and has filed a bill that he hopes will help reduce those costs.

State Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna, introduced a measure this week calling for the creation of a panel of lawmakers to study cheaper ways to educate students.

Photo via Gov. Haslam’s flckr stream

The leader of the state Senate says he wants to replace Common Core education standards, and he thinks state lawmakers are the right people to do it.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey told reporters Wednesday that the Senate Education Committee already has begun work on replacement standards that should be ready by the end of the legislative session.