Associated Press


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A voucher bill that would let parents use taxpayer money to spend on private schools has failed to get enough votes to move forward in the state Senate.

The measure, sponsored by Republican Sen. Todd Gardenhire of Chattanooga, would have let students in failing school districts use the vouchers.

There weren't enough votes in a Senate Education Committee to move the bill forward Wednesday. The bill could potentially be revived if Gardenhire could persuade lawmakers to change their mind.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bill to require students at public schools and colleges in Tennessee to use restrooms and locker rooms matching the gender listed their birth certificates failed in a Senate committee on Wednesday without debate.

Sen. Mae Beavers, a Mt. Juliet Republican who announced this week that she is exploring a bid for governor in 2018, failed to a receive a motion from any member of the Senate Education Committee. The lack of a motion effectively kills the bill.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a former East Tennessee State University student who police said disrupted an on-campus Black Lives Matter rally while wearing a gorilla mask and carrying a rope and bananas.

Assistant District Attorney Erin McArdle confirmed this week to news outlets that a Washington County grand jury indicted Tristan Rettke of Hendersonville on two counts of civil rights intimidation, two counts of disorderly conduct and disrupting a meeting.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to boost transportation funding through Tennessee's first gas tax hike since 1989 has survived a key House committee.

The House Transportation Committee voted 11-7 for the bill that would also cut sales taxes on groceries, corporate taxes on manufacturers and taxes on earnings from stocks and bonds.

Republican Rep. Jerry Sexton of Bean Station voted against the bill because it raises drivers' taxes. In his words: "When you go to the pump, Republicans did it to you. Don't blame the Democrats."


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The conservative group Americans for Tax Reform is informing Tennessee lawmakers that a vote for Gov. Bill Haslam's road funding proposals will not violate their pledges to not raise taxes.

The Republican governor's plan would include the state's first gas tax hike since 1989, but would also make a variety of tax cuts in other areas.