Political news

Tenn. Senators pan TVA's renewable energy plan

May 20, 2015

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee's Republican U.S. senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, are questioning why the Tennessee Valley Authority is placing greater emphasis on renewable energy as part of its long-term plans.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the senators insisted during a recent meeting that renewable sources of energy add costs and uncertainty.

In a speech before the Senate, Alexander claimed Germany’s renewable energy experiment had failed. He recounted a conversation with a German minister of energy.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A well-known attorney facing his own terminal illness has filed a lawsuit challenging a Tennessee law that prohibits assisted suicide.

The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/1HfTbNn ) attorney, businessman and political candidate John Jay Hooker filed the complaint Tuesday in Davidson County Chancery Court against a law which makes it a felony for a doctor or another person to assist in someone's death.

Hooker says the law violates the state constitution, which says "power is inherent in the people."

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — A newly formed coalition says Tennessee has more than $8 billion in unfunded transportation needs, but they're getting little encouragement from legislators at either the state or federal level.

The Transportation Coalition of Tennessee is pushing lawmakers to appropriate more money for highway construction and maintenance, even if that means raising taxes.

Lawmakers have been reluctant to increase Tennessee's gas tax, the source of most state highway funds. The 21 cent a gallon tax hasn’t been raised since 1989.

WASHINGTON (AP/WMOT) — Congress is sending President Barack Obama a bill -- championed by Tennessee Senator Bob Corker -- that would give lawmakers the power to review any nuclear deal made with Iran.

The House overwhelmingly passed the bill on a 400 to 25 vote Thursday. The Senate approved the bill last week.

The legislation, which Obama says he will sign, gives Congress a chance to weigh in on what could be a significant international accord aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee records show that there are more former lawmakers enrolled in the health insurance plan for state employees than current lawmakers.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1EGB2Ye) cited records from the state office of benefits administration in reporting that 148 former lawmakers are enrolled compared to 116 current lawmakers.

The newspaper reports that state law allows those elected to the state Legislature to remain on the taxpayer-subsidized state employee health plan for life, though they are required to pay premiums.