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Andy Sher

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NASHVILLE — As Tennessee's legislative session winds down in coming weeks, time also may be running out for the General Assembly to approve an incentive package to spur more production at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant.

NASHVILLE — Stung by criticism from the state's teachers union, Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday defended his record on education spending, saying teacher pay and education spending have increased well above national rates since he took office.

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam today rejected assertions he was threatening Volkswagen over a proposed $300 million incentive package by tying the offer to "satisfaction" of state officials about company plans to set up a works council at its Chattanooga plant.

NASHVILLE — Stung by criticism from the state's teachers union, Gov. Bill Haslam today defended his record on education spending, saying teacher pay and education spending have increased well above national rates since he took office.

NASHVILLE — The state House today overwhelmingly voted to end a nearly 60-year-old law allowing cities' to annex territory without consent, sending the bill to Gov. Bill Haslam for his consideration.

Volkswagen was offered about $300 million in financial incentives by Tennessee economic development officials to attract a new vehicle line to the Chattanooga plant and a new American VW headquarters that could bring 1,350 jobs, documents show.

NASHVILLE — Planned state worker and teacher pay raises in July disappeared Monday into a revenue sinkhole with Gov. Bill Haslam announcing he will disrupt his own plans on salaries and make other cuts to address shortfalls largely in business tax collections.

With state revenues lagging behind projections, Gov. Bill Haslam today announced $160 million in cuts to his proposed 2014-2015 budget and another $150 million in reductions in the current budget.

NASHVILLE — After two local legislators began moving a "sledgehammer" of a bill in the General Assembly as an attention-getter, officials say Tennessee American Water Co. now is working closely with Hamilton County officials on resolving issues over local sewer fee billing.

State senators on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the most far-reaching change ever in Tennessee's nearly 60-year-old annexation laws, teeing up the bill for final passage next week on the House floor.

NASHVILLE — State senators on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to bar automatic teller machines (ATMs) located near businesses providing bail bonds, tattoos and body piercing from dispensing cash to people with welfare benefit cards.

NASHVILLE — The Senate today approved legislation barring automatic teller machines (ATMs) in or near businesses that provide bail bonds, tattoos and body piercing from dispensing cash to people with welfare benefit cards.

NASHVILLE — Republican state senators took final action today on a bill requiring Gov. Bill Haslam to obtain legislative approval for any deal he makes with the federal government to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.

NASHVILLE — Tennessee cities would be stripped of their legal ability to annex by ordinance on May 15, 2015 under a bill approved today by the state Senate.

NASHVILLE — With the Haslam administration’s approval, a House panel on Wednesday passed a weaker version of Gov. Bill Haslam’s bill limiting sales of pseudophedrine-based cold medicines used to “cook” illegal meth.

NASHVILLE — A new legislative strategy in the eight-year fight to get tough on cock fighting in Tennessee is ruffling feathers.

NASHVILLE — U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., made his re-election bid for a third term official Wednesday with the embattled physician from South Pittsburg filing papers with the state State Division of Elections.

NASHVILLE -- While a bill legalizing medical marijuana died in the House on Tuesday, a bill by Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, creating a limited study of the effectiveness of cannabis oil on intractable seizures cleared its first hurdle.

NASHVILLE — After weeks of pushing its own bill limiting non-prescription sales of cold medicines used to make meth, the Haslam administration today warmed up to a House version less restrictive than one proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam.

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam says his task force studying Tennessee's school funding formula will focus primarily on whether the money is distributed fairly under prior court rulings and not whether an injection of new cash is needed.

NASHVILLE — Sen. Todd Gardenhire's now 1-1 on his two bills delving into the controversial issue of in-state college tuition rates and illegal immigration.

NASHVILLE — The state Senate today approved legislation by Sen. Todd Gardenhire to grant in-state tuition rates to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants provided they've lived at least a year in Tennessee and graduated from a high school here.

Gov. Bill Haslam's task force studying Tennessee's school funding formula will focus primarily on how the money is distributed and not whether it needs a large infusion of new money, officials say.

Senate Education Committee members today shelved Sen. Todd Gardenhire's "tuition equality bill" that would have granted in-state college tuition rates to undocumented students who've spent five years in Tennessee schools and graduated from high school here.

NASHVILLE — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says efforts by fellow Republicans to put off Tennessee's Common Core standards face problems because of money: a two-year delay is estimated to cost $10 million, atop a looming budget shortfall that could hit $275 million.

NASHVILLE — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Thursday that GOP majority lawmakers should consider holding their first veto override session in 13 years in the event fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam vetoes any bills.

NASHVILLE — Like a teacher punishing the entire class after one student acts up, Tennessee lawmakers edged a step closer Thursday to creating a statewide "authorizer" for some public charter schools in five school systems, including Hamilton County.

NASHVILLE — The state Senate today approved a statewide "authorizer" for public charter schools that would affect Hamilton County and four other school systems that have schools falling into the state's bottom 5 percent.

NASHVILLE — The Senate sponsor of a House-passed bill that would impose a two-year delay on Tennessee's Common Core education standards says he's worried about "shenanigans" on a fiscal analysis that will send the measure to the Senate Finance Committee.

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Republicans will get a first-hand look at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, widely considered as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, with the blunt-speaking governor designated as the keynote speaker at the state GOP's annual Statesmen's Dinner on May 30, officials announced today.

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam's "Tennessee Promise" plan offering a free community college program for all high school graduates cleared a major Senate panel today.

Bill seeks to ban picketing in Tennessee

Attorney general says bill is unconstitutional

NASHVILLE - A bill moving in the state House that bans "mass picketing" by unions is unconstitutional, Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper says in a legal opinion.

NASHVILLE — The Senate sponsor of a bill that would impose a two-year delay on Tennessee's Common Core education standards say he believes he can pass the measure if he can get a vote on the Senate floor.

As Gov. Bill Haslam traveled across the state Tuesday trying to preserve the suddenly endangered Common Core State Standards as Tennessee's educational program of choice, a House-passed bill that would delay Common Core for two years appeared to be headed for trouble in the Senate.

NASHVILLE — A straight up vote to repeal Tennessee's Common Core education standards failed in a House panel late this afternoon.

NASHVILLE -- Gov. Bill Haslam says there's "still a lot of game to be played" as he scrambles to shore up support for Tennessee's Common Core teaching and testing standards in the General Assembly.

NASHVILLE — This was supposed to be an easy year for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, with a relatively light legislative agenda and no major opponent yet in sight in his bid for re-election.

NASHVILLE — University of Tennessee system President Joe DiPietro says he plans to present university trustees with recommended policy changes similar to those contained in a just-passed Senate resolution condemning the Knoxville campus' student-led Sex Week program.

NASHVILLE — One-hundred-and-eighty-four years after the fact, the Tennessee House today approved a resolution expressing regret for the 1830 Indian Removal Act.

NASHVILLE — State senators today overwhelmingly approved a resolution directing University of Tennessee officials to create a policy requiring parents to opt in and approve student fees used to pay for events like the Knoxville campus' Sex Week.

NASHVILLE — Efforts to roll back implementation of Tennessee's Common Core standards and testing failed in the Senate Wednesday night.

NASHVILLE — Hamilton County lawmakers are delaying a bill to modernize Erlanger Health Systems' governance structure after consulting with executives from the public hospital.

NASHVILLE — A legislative revolt over the Haslam administration's attempt last year to tie teachers' licenses to student achievement spread to the Senate on Wednesday.

NASHVILLE — Hamilton County lawmakers say they are delaying a bill modernizing Erlanger Health Systems' governance structure after consulting with officials from the public hospital.

NASHVILLE — Democratic attorney Gordon Ball of Knoxville today formally kicked off his bid for U.S. Senate, saying that "poor and middle class Tennessee families have been victimized far too long by professional politicians and Washington insiders."

NASHVILLE — Tuesday proved to be an unlucky day for state Sen. Janice Bowling's bill that sought to keep the names of Tennessee Lottery winners secret.

Republican state Sen. Todd Gardenhire's bill granting in-state college tuition rates to U.S.-born children of parents living here illegally cleared a key hurdle Tuesday.

NASHVILLE -- A bill aimed at reducing crossover voting in Tennessee primary elections failed by voice vote in the state House Local Government Committee today.

NASHVILLE -- Sen. Todd Gardenhire's bill granting in-state college tuition rates to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants cleared a key hurdle today.

NASHVILLE — An effort to conceal the names of Tennessee Lottery winners failed today on a 4-2 vote in the Senate State and Local Government Committee after a lottery official and open-government advocates warned it would undermine players' trust in the games.

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