Political news

Tennessee lawmakers work toward winding down session Friday

Apr 22, 2016
Tennessee General Assembly

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State lawmakers got off to a quick start in January by dismissing a bill seeking to have Tennessee opt out of the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling. Then things got complicated.

Legislature votes to strip funding from UT diversity office

Apr 22, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State lawmakers voted to send a message that they don't agree with the sexually open and progressive views of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion on the University of Tennessee campus. So the Legislature on Thursday passed a bill stripping it of state funds — a total of nearly $337,000. The money will be used to fund minority scholarships instead.

Bid to override Haslam veto of Bible as Tennessee book fails

Apr 20, 2016
Tennessee General Assembly

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state House has failed to override Gov. Bill Haslam's veto of a bill to make Tennessee the first state to designate the Bible as its official book.

Forty-three members voted to re-pass the bill, falling short of the 50-vote threshold to turn back to the veto.

The Republican governor last week turned back the bill over constitutional concerns and because of concerns the measure "trivializes" what he considers a sacred text.

GOP leader vows retribution for transgender 'blackmail'

Apr 20, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — House Republican leader Gerald McCormick is vowing retribution for companies that spoke out against a transgender bathroom bill in Tennessee.

While McCormick said he favored a decision to withdraw the bill for the year, the Chattanooga Republican called it counterproductive for businesses to have become involved in lobbying for the measure's defeat.

McCormick received applause on the House floor on Tuesday for suggesting that lawmakers should consider limiting tax incentives and grants to those companies in the future.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state Senate has passed a bill to allow faculty and workers with handgun carry permits to be armed on the campuses of Tennessee public colleges and universities.

The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville passed on a 28-5 vote Tuesday. The House is expected to take up the measure Wednesday.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam raised concerns about the measure for not giving institutions the power to opt out of allowing more guns on campus.