AP/WMOT

capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The Tennessee lawmaker who introduced a bill seeking to bar the state from following the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling says he is undeterred by a projected loss of $8.5 billion in federal funds if the Legislature enacts the measure.

State Rep. Mark Pody said at a rally at the state Capitol Tuesday that the proposal he’s dubbed the "Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act" is worth any cost, even though the Lebanon Republican disputed the estimated loss of federal funds.

capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Embattled Tennessee Rep. Jeremy Durham has survived an effort to oust him from his leadership role among state House Republicans.

Before discussing Durham’s fate, House Republicans voted to eject the media from Tuesday’s meeting. A secret ballot to remove Durham as majority whip then failed to reach the required two-thirds vote.

Prosecutors in 2013 sought charges against Durham on allegations that he had altered the dates on medical prescriptions, but a grand jury declined to indict him in 2014.

TBR

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Chancellor John Morgan is stepping down as head of the Tennessee Board of Regents following Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's announcement that he wants to grant more autonomy to the six four-year universities in the system.

Haslam surprised Morgan and many others in the higher education community when he announced plans last month to re-focus the Board of Regents on the state's 40 community and technical colleges.

whitehouse.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee’s Republican leadership was quick to pan new gun control measures announced yesterday by President Barack Obama.

Speaking at the White House, Obama defended his executive actions to tighten criminal background checks, saying he’s not plotting to take away everyone’s guns.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes responded with a press statement saying that the president’s actions “could undermine our constitutional rights.

capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers say they continue to get calls from their constituents expressing concern about the vetting process for allowing Syrian refugees in the state.

A joint legislative committee heard testimony yesterday from security officials and refugee advocates.

A highlight of the testimony came from David Shedd, former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, who acknowledged there are some weaknesses in the federal vetting process.

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