tennessee legislature

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — More than 750,000 Tennesseans will be on the roadways over the holiday period, according to AAA estimates.

To help ease Fourth of July congestion, the Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes from noon today through 6 a.m. Friday.

Tennessee law enforcement is cracking down on drunken driving during this week with the state's first-ever "no refusal" campaign.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (AP/WMOT) — The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees have approved tuition hikes that range from 8 percent at the Knoxville campus to 3.5 percent at the university's College of Law.

UT President Joe DiPietro told reporters after the vote Thursday that nobody wants tuition hikes, but there’s little alternative.

State of Tenn.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis is speaking out on the just completed state legislative session.

Kyle notes that the 107th General Assembly was the first in decades under the control of a Republican House, Senate and Governor.  The Shelby County Democrat says his party was able to do little more than react to a Republican agenda.

State of Tenn.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee legislators recently brought the state’s 107th General Assembly to a close. WMOT is asking news makers for their take on the session’s accomplishments. Today, the views of Rutherford County Republican Representative Joe Carr.

Carr lists as an accomplishment legislation he sponsored that requires applicants to prove they’re in Tennessee legally before receiving state benefits. He also calls the allocation of more than $127 million for a new science building at Middle Tennessee State University welcome, but long overdue.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  -- WMOT News is asking news makers from across the political spectrum to offer their take on the just-completed 107th Tennessee General Assembly. Today the views of Eben Cathey of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.

Cathey says the Coalition counts as a legislative victory the defeat of a bill that would have made harboring or transporting an undocumented person a felony. He says the Council is happy that it’s worst fears for the legislative session were not realized.

Governor Blames Media for "Crazy" Legislation

Apr 9, 2012

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is expressing exasperation at the flood of "crazy" measures flowing through the Tennessee General Assembly. But instead of taking lawmakers to task, the governor points the finger of blame squarely at the news media.

During a panel discussion this week, Haslam argued that an overhaul of standards in schools has failed to gain the proper attention, while reporters have focused on other matters like a measure to ban students from wearing revealing clothing at school

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The AARP will host town hall meetings across the state to give Tennesseans a chance to provide input on the future of Medicare and Social Security.

Meetings are planned for Johnson City, Knoxville, Nashville and Jackson on April 4, and in Memphis on April 5.

According to AARP, a new survey finds that most Americans believe lawmakers in Washington are making too many decisions about Medicare and Social Security behind closed doors and not listening to the public.

Karin Miller is an AARP spokesperson.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WMOT)  --  Franklin Mayor Ken Moore says city and county governments across the state are becoming increasingly concerned about a series of bills under consideration by the Tennessee General Assembly.

The Franklin Board of Alderman recently passed a resolution opposing 14 measures currently working their way through the state legislature. Moore says the bills would strip local governments of the ability to regulate everything from land use to fireworks sales.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — An attempt to move the Occupy Nashville protest from the state Capitol to the city's Public Square was short-lived.

One tent was set up on the lawn of the city government headquarters Monday night. According to an Occupy spokesperson, seven Metro Nashville police cruisers arrived at the site early Tuesday morning and officers told tent dweller Matt Hammill a local ordinance barred camping there.

Hammill packed up his tent and left.

Tennessee General Assembly

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Teachers and lobbyists would be penalized for defaulting on student loans under legislation headed to the governor for his consideration.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Charles Sargent of Franklin passed the House 70-24 last week. The companion bill was approved in the Senate 32-1 last year.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, under the proposal individuals could lose the right to practice their professions if they default.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.  (WMOT)  --  Memphis Mayor A. C. Wharton says two bills introduced in the Tennessee legislature yesterday smack of “racism, classism, and schoolyard bullying.”

The measures would hem the city in by limiting its ability to annex surrounding communities.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal says the bills were introduced by three east Shelby County Republicans.  One of the measures was introduced by Sen. Mark Norris and Rep. Curry Todd, both of Collierville; the other by Norris and Rep. Ron Lollar of Bartlett.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are proposing legislation that could affect Occupy Nashville protesters.

The measure says a person can’t live on publicly owned property that isn't designated or permitted as residential.

Protesters have occupied the plaza across the street from the state Capitol since early October. State troopers raided the encampment in late October and made 55 arrests, but the state has had to back down.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hundreds of Middle Tennessee educators have dropped union memberships since state lawmakers stripped the organizations of collective bargaining rights earlier this year.

The Tennessean reports that membership in the Metro Nashville Education Association is down by about 500. Sumner County reports roughly the same number of educators there have also dropped union memberships.

Rutherford County seems to be an exception with only about 100 teachers dropping their union.

FACT

 

A lobbyist for the conservative Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT) is standing his ground following revelations that he helped orchestrate the passage of a new state law that nullified Nashville’s anti-gay bias regulations.

A string of emails between FACT's David Fowler and state legislators came to light as part of a lawsuit challenging Tennessee’s new Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act, signed into law in May.