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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A pair of Middle Tennessee lawmakers has filed a bill to let state officials seize property they believe has been used for terrorism.

That has a group that represents Muslims concerned their houses of worship could be targeted.


Cannabis Research Foundation

Tennessee lawmakers are reopening the debate on medical marijuana for the year by taking on a bill that would allow one form – low-potency cannabis oil. Backers say the oil holds promise for treating kids who suffer from devastating seizures.

Gail Grauer’s granddaughter Chloe died shortly before Christmas from a neurological brain disorder. In a life that lasted barely three years, she suffered 75,000 seizures – many of which, Grauer believes, could have been prevented.

“When people say time is of the essence, that’s not just a slogan.”

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Jihadists? Radical Islamists? Violent extremists?

A raucous debate in Washington over how to refer to Middle Eastern terrorist organizations has particular resonance in Middle Tennessee.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Tennessee legislators will spend at least a little time in the coming weeks considering whether the state could use an official book, vaping regulations and paychecks for college athletes.

While lawmakers didn't get much done last week because of the ice and snow, the deadline for filing bills has come and gone.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Updated June 1, 2015, to add former state Sen. John Ford

Nearly a decade after they were punished for bribery, two former Tennessee lawmakers continue to receive health benefits from the state, placing them among the dozens of ex-lawmakers with coverage.

Caveman Chuck Coker via Flickr

Supporters of medical marijuana are planning another push this year in the Tennessee legislature, and they hope to find a few more allies this time around.

A year after a medical marijuana bill got no farther than a committee hearing, Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville) is pursuing legislation once again. Her measure, House Bill 561, would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for a range of conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

What happens when one half of the Tennessee legislature wants to take a snow day? It has to ask the other half’s permission.

That’s exactly what happened Thursday morning, when the Senate was asked to approve a resolution cancelling a House session planned for the day. The idea of dragging House members back to the Capitol clearly appealed to senators who’d made the slog into work.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

The state lawmaker behind an effort to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee doesn’t think the proposal is unconstitutional.

But first-term Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) believes Tennesseans should recognize the Bible’s unique place in the state’s history.

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A Democratic state lawmaker is trying to lessen the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Rep. Harold Love (D-Nashville) has filed a measure, House Bill 873, that would make it a low-level misdemeanor to have as much as an ounce of marijuana.

Love says lower penalties would be more fair and would lead to fewer young people in prison. He makes the comparison to a traffic violation.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

“Can I get an amen on this side?”

On a July night two summers ago, more than 1,400 Republicans turned out at Nashville’s new convention center for a speech by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

Many were still reeling from the GOP’s drubbing in the previous election – a loss largely attributed to the party’s ossifying base.

Scott represented a fresh start. Charismatic, young, African-American. His gospel-inflected message was meant to fire them up.  But only a few muted voices answered his "Amen" call.

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