NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Robert O'Connell, the executive director of the 13,000 member Tennessee State Employees Association, has announced he plans to retire in May.
O'Connell led the TSEA during four turbulent years. During his tenure, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam and a GOP super-majority in the legislature made extensive changes to state civil service rules. The changes make it easier for executive branch employees to be hired and fired, and allow pay to be raised or lowered based on performance.
O’Connell says he was deeply worried by the implications.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State lawmakers have reconvened the 108th Tennessee General Assembly in a legislative session that is expected to feature debates over creating a school voucher program and whether to allow supermarkets to sell wine.
House and Senate speakers gaveled in around noon on Tuesday for a session they are hoping to wrap up as quickly as possible so lawmakers can focus on their re-election bids. All 99 House seats are up for re-election this year, along with 17 of 33 seats in the Senate.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam says he won't decide about whether to support school voucher legislation until next week.
The Republican governor last year supported a voucher program limited to students from low-income families attending failing schools. Haslam withdrew the measure when Senate Republicans sought to expand the bill to a larger number of children.
Haslam told reporters in Memphis Thursday that he still favors what he calls a "measured approach," to vouchers, which give parents public money to pay for private schools.