Political news

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Not every bill that becomes Tennessee law requires a fight. After the legislative session's lengthy debate over the gas tax and ongoing disputes over abortion and gun laws, it's easy to forget there are some meaningful bipartisan bills that breeze through.

WPLN’s Jason Moon Wilkins and Chas Sisk talk about some issues where state lawmakers seem to be singing from the same songbook.

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

Black lawmakers in the Tennessee legislature are seething over a resolution honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest.

The measure was slipped through the state House of Representatives two weeks ago. Now legislators are saying they're trying to figure out a way to take it back.

The dispute has rekindled a debate over Forrest, a Confederate general and slave trader. One that Republicans and Democrats had thought they'd avoided this year.

Tennessee gay marriage
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN (File photo)

Mother. Father. Husband. Wife.

What do words like that mean in the context of same-sex marriage?

Tennessee lawmakers say they should mean what they have in the past, and that has LGBT rights groups worried.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Plans to set up a school voucher program are dead in the Tennessee state legislature, once again.

The proposal would have created a pilot program for low-income students assigned to struggling schools in Memphis. They would've been able to use the vouchers in private schools.

TN State Library & Archives

Governor Bill Haslam is calling for spending $55 million more next year to jumpstart road construction — as well as millions more for mental health, disability service providers and a new Library & Archives building — as part of a supplemental spending plan released Tuesday morning.

The budget measure is one of the last things state lawmakers consider before adjourning for the year.

Courtesy of Montgomery County Veterans Coalition

The governor's hallmark legislation this year — increasing the gas tax — included a late addition: a provision that cuts property taxes for veterans who are fully disabled. The change comes as veterans are mobilizing more in Tennessee politics.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee officially announced Monday that he's entering the race for governor, hoping to become the first person in 40 years to take the position without ever having held elected office.

Lee kicked off his campaign on Nashville's Bicentennial Mall. The chairman of Lee Company, a Middle Tennessee facilities management and home services company, rolled out a recreational vehicle that he plans to take around the state to introduce himself.

Office of Senator Bob Corker / via Facebook

Touring Tennessee during the congressional recess, Senator Bob Corker has revived a rather lonely mission — to raise the retirement age and stabilize Social Security. The two-term Republican says he believes he can find support, if people will hear him out.

Mike Mozart / via Flickr

Tennessee drivers will soon be paying a little more for a fill-up, if the legislature increases the gas tax, as expected.

But lawmakers are also taking steps that they hope will keep Tennesseans from being shocked at the pump.

Tennessee hasn't raised its gas tax in a generation, and the goal of state lawmakers is to make a hike seem invisible when it eventually goes into effect.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Governor Bill Haslam’s plan to raise the gas tax, the IMPROVE Act, has been one of the major stories of this year’s legislative session.

Lawmakers could close the book on that debate this week. So what else is left to be done?

Nashville Public Radio's Jason Moon Wilkins sat down with statehouse reporter Chas Sisk to talk about that.