110th General Assembly | Nashville Public Radio

110th General Assembly

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

Democrats in the Tennessee legislature moved swiftly last week to make health care the first debate of the 2018 session.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

This week hasn't just been the start of the General Assembly's 2018 legislative session. It's also been the unofficial debut of the state legislature's new office building.

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Worries about the safety of children as they travel to and from school has led to two new laws that go into effect Jan. 1 in Tennessee.

But state leaders also fear college students have been overly protected, a situation they've also decided to address with a new law.

They're among the measures that take effect as the calendar turns the page to 2018. Jan. 1 is one of the two dates Tennessee lawmakers typically choose for legislation to take effect.

WPLN (File photo)

Voters east of Nashville will decide tomorrow who's going to replace state Sen. Mae Beavers.

Republican state Rep. Mark Pody faces Democrat Mary Alice Carfi, an attorney, in a special election to replace Beavers. The longtime conservative firebrand resigned recently to run for governor — one of many GOP legislators contributing to a remarkable run of turnover.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

State Rep. Charles Sargent will not seek re-election, after more than two decades in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

TBI Tennessee Bureau of Investigation office
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN (File photo)

Limits on pain medication, more law enforcement officers and expanded use of a drug that blocks the brain's ability to get high are some of the recommendations a team of Tennessee lawmakers has come up with to combat opioid abuse after nine months studying the issue. But no one has figured out yet how much their solutions will cost, and it could be next year before there's a final price tag.

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Tennessee health officials are writing new rules that would give people a way to donate unused drugs to charity. The legislature passed a bill earlier this year modeled after a statute in Iowa.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

New research suggests the Tennessee state legislature is now one of the most politically divided in the South.

Across the 13-state region, only Texas has a legislature that's more polarized, according to a study of all 50 statehouses. 

Researchers say the rise in partisanship appears to be tied to a change in voting patterns in rural areas.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Penalties for cheating the elderly have gotten tougher in Tennessee.

As part of a new law that went into effect over the weekend, people convicted of financial exploitation against senior citizens now face more jail time and higher fines. It's one of several updates to the state's laws protecting older Tennesseans.

TN Photo Services (File)

A measure that would make it easier for gun owners and groups like the National Rifle Association to sue cities over gun bans appears to be on its way to becoming Tennessee law.

Governor Bill Haslam says he's still reviewing the legislation, but his recent comments suggest he has no intention of using a veto on it.

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