On 8-7 Vote, For-Profit Charter School Operators Approved By House Committee

On 8-7 Vote, For-Profit Charter School Operators Approved By House Committee
Charter schools have to be non-profit entities in order to be authorized, but the bill would let the authorizer also approve contracts with for-profit entities. (Photo: camknows/flickr)

A proposal to let for-profit companies manage Tennessee charter schools is headed for floor votes in both the state House and Senate, after the measure scraped by in a committee Tuesday on an 8 to 7 vote.

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Lawmakers Voice Irritation With Haslam’s New Plan For Budget

Lawmakers Voice Irritation With Haslam’s New Plan For Budget
"Anytime there's a budget shortfall, anytime you don't have money, anytime you make tentative promises about pay raises and they don't come through, of course everyone's frustrated," Casada said. "And I'm sure the governor's frustrated too; we're all frustrated." (Photo via Rep. Glen Casada/Facebook)

Governor Bill Haslam’s latest budget proposal could be in for a rough ride before it gets approval from state lawmakers, if Monday night was any indicator, as representatives voiced frustration with Haslam’s latest plan.

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State Lawmakers Revisit Teacher Salary And Licensure, Say It’s Not A Turf War Or Repudiation

State Lawmakers Revisit Teacher Salary And Licensure, Say It’s Not A Turf War Or Repudiation
Rep. John Forgety (R-Athens) is carrying bills to rework Tennessee teachers' salary schedule and how (if at all) their licenses are tied to student value-added scores. Both take a second look at policies set last year by the State Board Of Education. (Image via YouTube/capitol.tn.gov)

Two policies set last summer by Tennessee’s board of education are now being revisited by state lawmakers: how teachers can keep (or lose) their licenses, and how their salary is determined.

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Lawmakers Would Have To Approve “Obamacare Medicaid Expansion” Under Bill Passed By Senate

Lawmakers Would Have To Approve “Obamacare Medicaid Expansion” Under Bill Passed By Senate
The original proposal was estimated to cost the state more than a billion dollars a year in forgone Medicaid dollars. (Fiscal note via capitol.tn.gov)

Governor Bill Haslam will have to run it by lawmakers, if he settles on a plan to expand Medicaid in Tennessee. That’s the requirement laid out in a bill that has now passed both chambers of the state legislature.

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Haslam’s School Vouchers Bill Lurches Forward, Amid Questions Over Who’s Affected

Haslam’s School Vouchers Bill Lurches Forward, Amid Questions Over Who’s Affected
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris says at issue is whether leftover voucher slots should go to students getting free-and-reduced lunch in districts with schools in the bottom 5 percent statewide, or instead to those zoned for schools in the bottom 10 percent, per the House amendment, which would add in several rural counties. (Photo: WPLN/Daniel Potter)

The governor’s school vouchers proposal is back in gear in the state Senate. The bill had stalled amid confusion over which students it would affect, and where in Tennessee.

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This Meth Bill Isn’t What The TBI Wanted, But It Just Might Pass

This Meth Bill Isn’t What The TBI Wanted, But It Just Might Pass
House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said Wednesday he doubts the governor's initial proposal targeting meth would have enough votes to pass on the House floor. (Photo via flickr / Gov. Bill Haslam's photostream)

State lawmakers congratulated each other Wednesday on a compromise to limit the sale of cold medicine used to make meth. The bill is not as tough as Governor Bill Haslam’s original proposal—itself derided by some as a half-measure.

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For Immigrant Families And In-State Tuition, One Proposal Advances While Another Falls

For Immigrant Families And In-State Tuition, One Proposal Advances While Another Falls
Sen. Todd Gardenhire opted not to push for a vote on Senate Bill 1951, saying he'll try again to pass it, and didn't want to taint it with a negative vote in the meantime. (Photo: Daniel Potter/WPLN)

Tennessee senators drew a line Monday, over the cost of college for students whose parents are undocumented immigrants. The Senate voted to let those born in the U.S. pay in-state rates—but sidelined a proposal to help undocumented students born elsewhere.

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State Legislators Ask: Will You Promise Not To Hijack This Bill?

State Legislators Ask: Will You Promise Not To Hijack This Bill?
Committees in the state legislature have a recurring fear this year: that a bill they sign off on will later shape-shift into something radically different they never would've approved. (Image via Will Carlisle, special to WPLN)

There’s a seeming paranoia in the state legislature this spring: Committee chairmen want reassurances—guarantees, even—before they sign off on proposals.

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Governor’s Weak Veto Power Will Get Even Weaker If Senate Speaker Has His Way

Governor’s Weak Veto Power Will Get Even Weaker If Senate Speaker Has His Way
"I’ve talked about—this is just strictly talk—it should be normal when you adjourn sine die at the end of a two-year session to have a veto override session, just in case. That’s not the governor, I don’t even know if he’s going to veto anything, but we used to do that years ago," Ramsey said. (Photo: Daniel Potter/WPLN)

Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey is looking to keep his options open, in case lawmakers want to override a veto from Governor Bill Haslam. Ramsey wants to schedule a special veto override session, just in case.

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