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Editorial Results (free)

1. Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for October 2018 -

Top residential real estate sales, October 2018, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

2. GoFundMe campaign aims to replace $250K for Memphis -

A GoFundMe page has been started on Facebook to raise funds to make up a $250,000 budget cut the Tennessee Legislature levied against the city of Memphis for removing Confederate monuments from two city parks late last year.

3. House spanks Memphis for statue removal, pulls $250K for celebration -

Amid contentious debate Tuesday, the House of Representatives pulled $250,000 for Memphis’ bicentennial celebration from the state’s $37.5 billion budget plan as retribution for the removal of Confederate monuments from city parks.

4. Committee revives bill that would charge local officials -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee bill that would allow local officials to be charged with a felony for passing sanctuary city ordinances or measures that would illegally remove Confederate statues has gotten new life.

5. Davy Crockett’s fine, but let’s not get carried away -

The Tennessee General Assembly is making some monumental decisions these days – literally. Not only is the Legislature prepared to put a statue of Tennessee folk hero Davy Crockett in front of the State Capitol, replacing obscure Nashville politician Edward Carmack, it’s also likely to erect a monument, or memorial, to unborn children in the ongoing battle against abortion.

6. Jack Daniel’s squeezed between barrel tax, threat of trade war -

NASHVILLE – Jack Daniel’s is over a barrel – literally – regarding a tax assessment, an attorney general’s opinion and the potential impact of President Donald Trump’s trade tariff.

7. Bill to criminalize voting to remove monuments fails -

One of several bills considered retribution against the city of Memphis for the removal of Confederate statues died in a House committee today amid questions about its constitutionality.

The House Criminal Justice Committee sent to “summer study” a piece of legislation enabling the state to charge local elected officials with a felony for “knowingly” casting votes in conflict with state law on historical monuments and sanctuary cities. The move effectively defeats the legislation for this session.

8. Legislators file 4 bills to protect Civil War monuments -

Legislative battles are looming over a spate of bills designed to hammer Memphis and any other cities accused of violating the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act.

Lawmakers filed several pieces of legislation aimed at punishing local governments in the wake of the Memphis City Council move to topple the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Health Sciences Park and two other Confederate monuments in another park by selling the property to a newly-created nonprofit organization.

9. Bill pushes prosecution for improper transcript changes -

With a grade-changing scandal at Trezevant High rocking Shelby County Schools, Rep. Antonio Parkinson is pushing legislation designed to put a harsh “deterrent” on illicit transcript changes: criminal prosecution.

10. Shot fired from Memphis ignites Civil War rematch -

Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest died in 1877, but 140 years later some people just can’t let their hero or the Old South go away.

In fact, the state Legislature is set to reignite the Civil War – to some degree – in 2018. We hope no gunshots are fired.

11. Opioid crisis and juvenile justice -

With the state’s budget projected to be tight and lawmakers lining up to run for re-election in 2018, the coming legislative session isn’t expected to yield many surprises.

But the 110th General Assembly still has a long row to hoe as the session starts Jan. 9 with new legislative offices and committee rooms in the renovated Cordell Hull Building in downtown Nashville.

12. Are Achievement Schools a problem or the solution? -

Forgiveness or farewell: What should be the fate of the Achievement School District? Among Memphis legislators, it just depends.

State Rep. Mark White calls the task to pull Shelby County’s poorest performing schools out of the state’s bottom 5 percent a “heavy lift.”

13. A new life made possible by a $170 discount -

A harassment conviction lingered on the record of Memphis resident Brenda A. for 10 years, the high cost of expungement making it difficult to erase the past.

Like many people convicted of misdemeanors and felonies, she paid her court fees and fines, along with probation costs, years ago, but had trouble cobbling together the money to expunge her record, making it hard to land a good job and make a fresh start.

14. Senate punts on Nashville-only short-term rentals bill -

A day after the House targeted Nashville with a tough bill on short-term rentals, the Senate deferred action on legislation blocking the Metro Council from enacting any prohibitions.

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee postponed a bill by Sen. John Stevens until January 2018, ending the debate this year on a measure singling out Davidson County efforts to restrict short-term rentals such as Airbnb.

15. Thursday's acrimony is Friday lovefest: House passes $37B budget -

Putting a day of acrimony behind it, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $37 billion budget plan, stripping away nearly $320 million in amendments placed on it the previous day.

Compared to the previous day of arguments and overspending, Friday’s debate was a veritable lovefest.

16. Forrest kerfuffle might be sign of bigger problem -

Legislation that slipped through the House of Representatives honoring an unknown author who penned a Nathan Bedford Forrest apologist biography was enabled by the climate within the Republican-controlled body, a Memphis legislator says.

17. Pilot voucher program for Shelby postponed in House until next year -

Questions about student testing within a proposed pilot voucher bill affecting Shelby County Schools forced the bill’s sponsor to postpone it until next year.

Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville, sent the bill to the first calendar of the 2018 House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee on Wednesday morning, telling lawmakers he needs more time to work out details in the legislation. One of those questions dealt with the effective date of the voucher program and the other with an amendment enabling private schools that would accept public students to opt out of state-required testing, the TNReady.

18. Tennessee lawmakers give final approval to Haslam's roads bill -

Wrapping up wide-ranging legislation that dominated the opening year of the 110th General Assembly, the House concurred Monday with the Senate’s IMPROVE Act, inserting a $7 million measure to increase property tax breaks for veterans.

19. State Rep. rips Achievement School District for hiring felon -

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson is renewing his call for an end to the Achievement School District amid revelations a charter school operator hired a convicted felon to run Lester Prep in Memphis.

20. Letter urges more legislative oversight of outsourcing -

Forty-one state lawmakers signed a letter requesting the state put a hold on its outsourcing plans until the General Assembly can scrutinize its effect on state workers and services.

The state is set to sign a contract April 28 with Chicago-based JLL for facilities management work that could be used by universities and departments statewide. Even local government jobs could be doled out to the contractor.

21. Bill to reduce marijuana possession penalties fails -

Rep. Antonio Parkinson’s bill designed to cut felony charges for possession of small amounts of marijuana didn’t exactly light up the House Monday evening.

It fell 44-45-5 and was sent back to the Calendar and Rules Committee after some House members questioned the amount of marijuana the bill would allow people to carry, up to an ounce, without getting a harsher charge than a misdemeanor. The bill did not receive the 50 votes required for passage or the 50 in opposition to kill it and could be renewed with a two-thirds vote.

22. A disjointed stash of marijuana bills -

This year’s marijuana bills are a mixed bag. Rep. Jeremy Faison is sending his medical marijuana legislation to a task force, as opposed to “summer study,” typically considered the trash heap for unwanted bills.

23. Norris: Vouchers bill 'problematic' -

NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris expressed reservations today about legislation allowing tax dollars to be used to send low-income students in struggling public schools to private schools.

24. Trump event gets mixed reviews from legislators -

NASHVILLE – While state lawmakers recognized the historical significance of President Donald Trump visiting the home of President Andrew Jackson in Hermitage Wednesday, the review is mixed on comparisons between the two as well as the Jackson legacy.

25. Legislators continue to pick away at Haslam’s road plan -

Rep. Barbara Coopers says she is inviting Gov. Bill Haslam to “sell” his proposal to raise gas taxes and reduce business taxes to her Memphis constituents.

“His explanation and all seemed somewhat reasonable. Other than that, it will be another regressive tax on the poor and the middle class,” says Cooper, a Memphis Democrat.

26. Marijuana bill seeks to save money, keep users out of jail -

Rep. Antonio Parkinson says his legislation dealing with marijuana isn’t designed to decriminalize pot but to reduce felony possession charges – and the stumbling blocks attached to them – in addition to saving the state money.

27. Tax hikes, cuts both eyed as Legislature reconvenes -

The 110th General Assembly is set to convene on Jan. 10 with unfinished business from previous sessions likely to dominate debate. Here’s a look at some of the hottest topics expected to arise.

28. Democrat state representative learns to work with majority -

Bipartisanship forms the backbone of state Rep. Karen Camper’s legislative philosophy. The Memphis Democrat from Whitehaven recently received the honor as one of the 2016 Elected Women of Excellence, an award established by the National Foundation for Women Legislators to recognize hard work and legislative efforts.

29. An (expensive) toast to the Achievement School District -

Somebody forgot to tell the Achievement School District it had to follow a few simple rules when the Legislature formed it a few years ago to save failing schools: Primarily, don’t party with the money.

30. Did ‘people back home’ really sway no votes on Bible? -

I thought about skipping church Sunday and playing golf. After listening to the House of Representatives’ debate on the Bible bill, I could probably skip church for a month and still be in good standing.

31. Parkinson: It's OK to ‘go a little bit extreme’ to get job done -

With U.S. Marine Corps training, Rep. Antonio Parkinson knows how to grab people’s attention.

He did that earlier this year when he sponsored legislation to kill the Achievement School District, Tennessee’s solution for turning around struggling schools.

32. Marijuana referendum bill dies -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would have allowed Tennesseans to weigh in on whether to decriminalize possession of low-level amounts of marijuana has failed in the Legislature.

The Senate Judiciary Committee killed the proposal on Tuesday.

33. Senate poised to do real damage via de-annexation -

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland makes a persuasive argument against de-annexation legislation now being considered by the state Legislature, providing a long list of figures to show it would devastate the Bluff City.

34. Minority leader Harris confident even on wrong side of supermajority -

Lee Harris says he ran for state Senate because he felt Memphis could do better on Capitol Hill, defeating Ophelia Ford in 2014.

In his second legislative session, the Senate Minority leader says Democrats, though small in number, are making “inroads” while he continues to focus on improving neighborhoods from downtown Memphis to Millington.

35. Black Caucus demanding changes to Achievement School District -

NASHVILLE – The Legislature’s Black Caucus – led by Memphis members – has its sights set squarely on the Achievement School District, either eliminating it or putting it on hold until major improvements are made.

36. Is state takeover of troubled schools a $100M failure? -

Armed with a Vanderbilt University study showing Shelby County schools that were taken over by the state’s Achievement School District are showing little to no improvement, Memphis legislators are nearly ready to kill the experiment.

37. Tennessee AG cites comma usage in investigative records case -

NASHVILLE (AP) - In the end, the Tennessee Attorney General says the argument all comes down to the lack of a comma.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued an Aug. 25 opinion that says a city council cannot request the results of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report because of a law that says such records should be released "only in compliance with a subpoena or an order of a court of record," The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/1N7oFeI).

38. Governor signs Tennessee 'Neighborhood Protection Act' -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that helps homeowner associations or neighborhood watch groups keep repeat offenders out of their communities.

The measure, called the "Neighborhood Protection Act," was signed by the Republican governor earlier this week. It passed the House 75-16 and was approved 31-1 in the Senate during the recent session.

39. 'Neighborhood Protection Act' headed to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal that would help homeowner associations or neighborhood watch groups keep repeat offenders out of their communities is headed to the governor for his consideration.

The measure, called the "Neighborhood Protection Act," was approved 75-16 in the House on Monday. The Senate passed the proposal 31-1 last week.

40. AG gives opinion for District 30 seat replacement -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's attorney general has released an opinion on the legal mechanism for filling the District 30 seat held by Democratic state Sen. Jim Kyle.

41. Senators press to allow student IDs for voting -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Senate sponsor of a bill to allow people to display student IDs to vote said Monday he plans to press ahead with the matter even through the version approved by the House would not allow the practice.

42. Governor signs parent grading bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a proposal that allows parents to grade themselves on how involved they are in their children's schooling.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis and Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown was approved 94-2 in the House and unanimously passed the Senate 27-0.

43. Governor signs parent grading bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a proposal that allows parents to grade themselves on how involved they are in their children's schooling.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis and Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown was approved 94-2 in the House and unanimously passed the Senate 27-0.

44. Tattoo bill headed for House floor vote -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that seeks to crack down on the tattooing of minors is headed for a vote on the House floor.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis was unanimously approved in the House Finance Committee on Tuesday. The companion bill is awaiting a vote by the full Senate.

45. Tenn. bills encourage parental involvement -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Charles Widener and his wife believe being personally involved in their children's academics is essential to the youngsters succeeding - not just in school but in life.

"It's very important for us to be involved with our children," said Widener, whose 9-year-old and 5-year-old attend a Nashville magnet school. "You have to show them that education is important."

46. Saggy pants bill headed to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Supporters of a proposal that would prohibit students from dressing in an "indecent manner" at school say they would like to revisit the measure should it become law and make it stricter.

47. Tenn. House approves GOP redistricting plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state House on Thursday approved a Republican plan to redraw the chamber's 99 districts, overriding Democrats' objections that it placed five African-American incumbents into three seats, ensuring that at least two of them would be forced out of office.

48. House redistricting plan draws 5 black lawmakers into 3 seats -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican plans for Tennessee legislative redistricting released Wednesday would draw five black House members into three seats and place the top Senate Democrat into the same district as a GOP incumbent.