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Gov. Bill Haslam says green card holders living in Tennessee should have the same rights as American citizens to travel, including to and from the Middle East and North Africa.

That means he doesn't approve of the restrictions President Trump has placed on travel by permanent residents who come from seven Muslim nations.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Gov. Bill Haslam wants to expand his program to provide free community college to all Tennesseans.

That was the biggest revelation to come out of his annual State of the State address.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

A big part of Gov. Bill Haslam's State of the State address was trying to convince lawmakers not to spend Tennessee's billion-dollar surplus on roads.

Instead, he presented a laundry list of ways the money could be put to better use.

Emily Siner / WPLN

As the ramifications of President Donald Trump's executive order on refugees continue to unfold, one group of Nashvillians is watching particularly closely.

Among the confusion of the fallout is whether permanent U.S. residents — green card holders — are included in the ban. That uncertainty has some people in Nashville's Kurdish community in a panic. 

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

When Gov. Bill Haslam delivers his annual State of the State address, one big theme is likely to be infrastructure — particularly the need for new roads and better broadband.

Why is the Republican governor eager to spend on building? That's what our Capitol Hill reporter, Chas Sisk, is here to talk about. Listen to the conversation with WPLN's Blake Farmer:

Emily Siner / WPLN

It's not just about watching movies and downloading music, says Randy Boyd, Tennessee's commissioner of Economic and Community Development.

Businesses, schools, even health care providers need faster internet speeds these days.

And with about a third of Tennessee's rural residents stuck in the slow lane, it's time to for the state to do something, Boyd says.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

President Donald Trump's planned freeze on refugee resettlement could also put the brakes on a planned lawsuit against the federal government over asylum seekers.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Memphis, has pushed for the lawsuit. He says state officials should have a bigger role in deciding which refugees are allowed in.

But that was before the Trump administration developed a plan to suspend the refugee program. If no refugees are coming in, Norris says attorneys are trying to decide whether the state still has a case.

Intel Free Press via Flickr

A Tennessee lawmaker says police should have the power to inspect drivers' phones at the scene of serious accidents.

Supporters call it a "Textalyzer," like a Breathalyzer for cell phones. The idea is to see whether a driver was texting before the crash — just as police can test sobriety if they think a driver has been drinking.

Emily Siner/WPLN

Nashville's first female mayor, who has made gender equality a central issue of her administration — even creating a gender equity council last July — did not make it to the city's sister event to the march on Washington, D.C.

Mayor Megan Barry makes time in her schedule for many events, some of them relatively small, often on nights and weekends. But when asked why she wasn't at Saturday's march, she said she had been busy.

Read the complete transcript of President Trump's inaugural address, annotated by NPR fact-checkers.

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