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Tennessee lawmakers are planning to reauthorize the state Department of Correction for four more years, despite lingering concerns about for-profit prisons and problems at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center.

Reversing a threat made late last year, members of the House Government Operations Committee are moving toward giving the Department of Correction a full extension of its mandate. Under Tennessee law, all state agencies receive a periodic review, during which time the state comptroller conducts an audit and legislators consider whether to change its mission.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

A measure that would require sheriff's departments in Tennessee to hold people suspected of being in the country illegally — even when sheriffs have evidence that they're not — is making its way through the state legislature.

It's being described as a tightening up of a 2009 Tennessee law that banned so-called "sanctuary cities," municipalities that refuse to comply with federal immigration law. But some groups, including those representing immigrants and law enforcement, say the proposal could lead to citizens and legal residents being held unnecessarily.

Greg Pye via Flickr

The Tennessee House has approved a measure that would let consumers buy a bottle of wine or liquor on Sundays.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Tennessee lawmakers have voted to begin the process of moving President James K. Polk's body, after all.

The state House approved a resolution Monday night authorizing the relocation of the tomb of the nation's 11th president and his wife, Sarah, reversing a vote taken last month that appeared to decide that the Polks would stay put.

University of Tennessee

If Gov. Bill Haslam gets his way, three former athletes will soon be part of the University of Tennessee's new 12-person board.

Acting just days after state legislators approved the governor's proposal to reorganize UT's Board of Trustees, Haslam released his slate of nominees Monday. 

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Over the past week, there's been a flurry of bills passing or failing or simply being shelved for review by the Tennessee General Assembly. Lawmakers are rushing toward the end of the legislative session as most are preparing for campaign season.

It can be confusing to keep up with the fate of the would-be laws that have been making headlines this year.

Nashville Public Radio's Jason Moon Wilkins and statehouse reporter Chas Sisk sort it out in this week's edition of The Tri-Star State.

Airbnb

Nashville and other cities trying to curb the spread of short-term rentals owned by investors got a bit of a break Thursday.

The state Senate approved a measure that would let them ban non-owner occupied units. But there are some catches.

TN Photo Services

A new poll by Middle Tennessee State University suggests that Governor Phil Bredesen holds a fairly substantial lead over Congressman Marsha Blackburn in the early stages of the race for the U.S. Senate.

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.

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