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Editorial Results (free)

1. Special action on same-sex nuptials a waste of time -

With Republican lawmakers scrambling for a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay-marriage ruling, Tennesseans on both sides of the issue say they are seeking “equality.”

Immediately after the court’s decision on Obergefell v. Hodges, Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville says, “Love and equality won. I’m glad the Supreme Court ruled on the right side of history.”

2. Southern heritage defined differently across Tennessee -

Tennessee’s loyalty was divided in the Civil War, and 150 years later, little is changed as the debate over Confederate symbols arises in the wake of the racist-fueled South Carolina church massacre.

3. Tenn. reactions to the US Supreme Court's health care ruling -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold health insurance subsidies in states that do not operate their own insurance exchanges means the more than 155,000 Tennesseans who use the subsidies will not lose their health insurance. Here's a look at who is getting subsidies in Tennessee and what Tennesseans are saying about the ruling:

4. Tennessee reactions to the US Supreme Court's health care ruling -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold health insurance subsidies in states that do not operate their own insurance exchanges means the more than 155,000 Tennesseans who use the subsidies will not lose their health insurance. Here's a look at who is getting subsidies in Tennessee and what Tennesseans are saying about the ruling:

5. Capitol Commission to review which historical figures should be honored -

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell are encouraging the Tennessee Capitol Commission to evaluate the characteristics of Tennesseans honored in the Capitol Complex.

“From time to time, it is appropriate for the State of Tennessee to review which Tennesseans are honored and in what location and manner,” states a letter from Ramsey and Harwell, both Republicans, to the commission.

6. Capitol Commission to review which historical figures should be honored -

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell are encouraging the Tennessee Capitol Commission to evaluate the characteristics of Tennesseans honored in the Capitol Complex.

“From time to time, it is appropriate for the State of Tennessee to review which Tennesseans are honored and in what location and manner,” states a letter from Ramsey and Harwell, both Republicans, to the commission.

7. Feds charge state Rep. Joe Armstrong with fraud, tax evasion -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Democratic state Rep. Joe Armstrong of Knoxville has been indicted on federal fraud and tax evasion charges connected to an increase in the state's cigarette tax in 2007.

8. State employment policies not great recruiting tools -

If job security is your goal, working for the state might not be such a good idea.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration offered a voluntary buyout recently to more than 2,000 state employees, a proposal workers had known about since February.

9. Tennessee’s most powerful politician -

Senate Speaker and Lieutenant Gov. Ron Ramsey laughs at the notion he’s changed since being elected to the Legislature 23 years ago, that he’s lost touch with the common man or become “arrogant” as lieutenant governor of Tennessee.

10. Democrats seek return to relevance in Tennessee politics -

NASHVILLE (AP) - For a party once accustomed to dominating state politics, the outlook for Tennessee Democrats is bleak.

Over the past decade, Democrats went from controlling all three branches of state government to giving up GOP supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature, losing two governor's races by wide margins and watching as the state Supreme Court appointed the first Republican attorney general since Reconstruction.

11. Hooker files lawsuit challenging Tennessee euthanasia law -

NASHVILLE (AP) - John Jay Hooker has worked for Robert F. Kennedy, run for Tennessee governor and now, while facing terminal cancer, hopes to reverse Tennessee's approach to assisted suicides.

The 84-year-old Nashville attorney, businessman and political candidate filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Davidson County Chancery Court against a law that makes it a felony for a doctor or another person to assist in someone's death, The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/1HfTbNn).

12. Too much Mr. Nice Guy? Haslam struggles to exert influence -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was riding high. He swept all 95 counties in his re-election bid, then his peers picked him to be chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

But that momentum came to a crashing halt just days into a special legislative session he called in February, when lawmakers unceremoniously rejected Haslam's signature proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans.

13. Haslam to decide this week on Tennessee guns-in-parks bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday that he will decide this week whether to sign a bill to allow people with handgun carry permits to be armed in city parks near schools.

The bill would allow permit holders to be armed in any state park - including greenways, playgrounds and sports fields.

14. Tennessee school voucher proposal fails again -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would let parents move a child from a failing public school in Tennessee to a private school with funding from the state has failed this year - for the third consecutive Tennessee General Assembly session.

15. Tennessee school voucher bill approaching key committee -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A state school voucher proposal that failed in the last two Tennessee General Assembly sessions is gaining support as it approaches a key committee in the final days of this year's legislative session.

16. Fitzhugh honored by Tenn. Development District Association -

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley has received the "Legislator of the Year" award from the Tennessee Development District Association.

17. GOP leader: 1-time school use enough to ban guns in parks -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A top Republican supporter of a bill to strip local governments of the power to bar handgun carry permit holders from being armed in parks, playgrounds and ball fields said Thursday that even if a school uses a park, playground or ball field for just one event per year, that would enable the school to ban guns there.

18. Is ‘getting rid of public schools’ Legislature’s goal? -

Are Tennessee’s public schools headed for extinction? Not if it’s up to Memphis teachers.

A group from Shelby County recently packed a House committee meeting room at the Legislative Plaza in an effort to turn back bills they consider damaging to their profession and the future of public education.

19. Bill seeks to strengthen academic standards review process -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation that seeks to strengthen the governor's review process of the state's academic standards is raising questions about whether an additional recommendation committee is necessary, and who will be on it.

20. Tennessee school voucher bill headed for full Senate vote -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House sponsor of a proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee says he's taking his time moving it through the legislative process after it failed in the last two legislative sessions.

21. Eliminating Hall income tax raises new problems -

Republican lawmakers are lining up legislation to reduce or phase out Tennessee’s Hall income tax on investments, even though Gov. Bill Haslam is concerned about losing revenue amid the state’s economic ups and downs.

22. Bid to block health exchange in Tennessee seen as 'overkill' -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Some Republican lawmakers still reveling in the recent defeat of a proposal to expand Medicaid coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans are now setting their sights on 230,000 people enrolled through the federal health insurance exchange.

23. Kelsey’s new voucher plan looks a lot like Haslam’s -

Momentum is building this session for voucher legislation that would allow state dollars to follow students from struggling public schools to private and religious institutions.

But it is hardly etched in stone.

24. Haslam wary of gas tax hike after ‘Insure’ loss -

Despite low gas prices, a backlog on road projects and prevailing winds for fuel-tax reform, Gov. Bill Haslam is pulling back from a gas-tax increase this session.

After floating the possibility of raising the tax in December, the Republican governor appears to be changing course, in part because of his loss in a Senate committee on Insure Tennessee, the Medicaid expansion alternative that failed to make debate in the full House or Senate.

25. Common Core is working – so let's kill it -

Common Core determines what Tennessee’s K-12 students should know and when they should learn it, yet like many other issues it has become a political pariah, especially for the state’s Republican leaders.

26. Reaction to the defeat of Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Reactions to the defeat of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income residents:

___

"We still have health care cost issues that haven't gone away, so I don't know what the next step looks like. But I think people elected us to answer problems and to come here to make a difference. And we've got to figure out a way to do that." - Gov. Bill Haslam.

27. 5 lawmakers to watch in Insure Tennessee special session -

NASHVILLE (AP) — As Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal to cover 280,000 low-income people heads into a special legislative session Monday, here are five lawmakers who are playing key roles in the debate.

28. Both sides dig in for Insure Tennessee special session -

Battle lines have been drawn for a Feb. 2 special session of the state Legislature to determine the fate of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal, which would use federal funds to catch some 280,000 working people falling through a health insurance coverage gap.

29. A country drowning in student loan debt -

Three and a-half years after graduating from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Yasameen Hoffman is still trying to land the kind of full-time job that will help her start paying off her student loan.

30. House, Senate at odds over who goes first on Medicaid plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican leaders in the state House and Senate are at odds about who should go first on taking up Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans.

31. Haslam: All Dems will be needed to pass Tennessee Medicaid deal -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says long-awaited details on his Medicaid expansion proposal should be released "within 24 hours" and that he expects to need the votes of all Democrats in the GOP-controlled Legislature to give the deal a chance of passage.

32. New Tennessee laws include insulin training for school staff -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A new Tennessee law will allow trained school personnel to administer insulin. It's just one of many new laws taking effect on Thursday.

Tennessee is now one of more than 20 states and the District of Columbia that have passed laws adding insulin to medications that school staff may volunteer to be trained to administer, according to the American Diabetes Association.

33. Haslam names Lipscomb's McQueen new education commissioner -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday named a top education official at Lipscomb University to be the next Education Department commissioner.

The Republican governor announced Wednesday that Candice McQueen will replace Kevin Huffman, who was heavily criticized during an overhaul of the state's education system. He announced last month that he was leaving for the private sector.

34. Response to Gov. Haslam's proposed Medicaid deal -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Reaction to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee:

"When a state has an opportunity to take power away from the federal government and institute real conservative reform, that is an opportunity that must be taken seriously. Governor Haslam has negotiated a deal which returns tax dollars back to Tennessee while using conservative principles to bring health insurance to more Tennesseans." - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville.

35. House Dems elect Fitzhugh, Stewart to leadership -

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Democrats have re-elected Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley as minority leader and named Rep. Mike Stewart of Nashville as caucus chairman.

36. Haslam questions high jobless rate in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is questioning why Tennessee's unemployment rate remains well above the national level when other statistics indicate the state's jobs picture should be improving.

37. New chief justice echoes Haslam mantra on review -

NASHVILLE (AP) - First, the state Supreme Court hired Gov. Bill Haslam's top legal adviser as Tennessee's next attorney general. Now the high court's new chief justice is also adopting the Republican governor's rhetoric.

38. Tennessee Supreme Court names Slatery as attorney general -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Supreme Court on Monday named Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's top legal adviser, Herbert Slatery, as Tennessee's next attorney general.

The announcement came in the aftermath of a failed campaign led by Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey to oust three Democratic justices who make up a majority on the five-member court. That effort focused heavily on incumbent Attorney General Bob Cooper's refusal to take part in a multistate lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama's health care law.

39. Coverage gap leaves Tennessee hospitals on life support -

Four rural hospitals have closed and dozens are at risk of shuttering: That’s the fallout, some say, from Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision not to join the Affordable Care Act in 2013 and tap into millions in promised federal funds for Tennessee’s financially-strapped health care institutions.

40. Democrat Ball names Senate campaign leadership -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Gordon Ball has named the leadership of his campaign team for his challenge to Republican incumbent Lamar Alexander.

41. Haslam signs bill seeking to end book shredding -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill into law to ban the shredding of Imagine Library books delivered to the incorrect addresses.

The governor's office announced Tuesday that Haslam signed the measure sponsored by Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley and fellow Democratic Sen. Lowe Finney of Jackson last week.

42. Democrats bemoan lack of Medicaid expansion -

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Democratic leaders said Tuesday that Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's decision not to expand Medicaid in Tennessee eclipses his signature plan to cover tuition at two-year colleges.

43. Lawmakers pass Haslam free tuition plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is headed to his desk after passing the House on Tuesday.

44. Lawmakers approve $32.4B spending plan -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers on Thursday approved the state's $32.4 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning in July after failed attempts to increase the pay of teachers and state employees.

45. $300M for VW union fight, nothing for teachers -

In February, Gov. Bill Haslam stood in front of a joint session of the General Assembly to deliver his annual State of the State address, proclaiming the state has “set a goal to be the fastest-growing state in the country when it comes to paying our teachers, so more than $63 million is included [in the budget] for teacher salaries.”

46. State employees, teachers won't get pay increase -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that he won't be able to give state employees and teachers a pay increase next year mainly because of reductions due to an ongoing decline in revenue collections, which state officials are looking into.

47. Democrat Fitzhugh won't run for Tennessee governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh has announced he will run for re-election to his House seat this year rather than making a bid for governor.

48. Tennessee House votes to delay Common Core standards -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to delay further implementation of the state's Common Core standards was approved in the House on Thursday, even though Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has called them key to Tennessee students' improvement.

49. Turner talks retirement, possible mayoral run -

State Representative and Nashville Democrat Mike Turner is retiring from the General Assembly and considering a run for mayor.

He served for 14 years, representing District 51, including parts of Old Hickory, Madison, East Nashville, downtown Nashville and Germantown.

50. School voucher bill advances in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee is advancing in the House despite concerns from some lawmakers that the legislation would be detrimental to public schools.

51. State Rep. Mike Turner retiring after 14 years -

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner said Thursday that he will not seek re-election because he wants to spend more time with his family and explore a run for Nashville mayor.

52. Haslam asks feds for Medicaid counterproposal -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday he has asked U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to make a counterproposal to Tennessee's efforts to carve out a special deal for Medicaid expansion.

53. Lawmakers seek compromise on school voucher bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Lawmakers trying to decide on a limited school voucher program in Tennessee or a broader one say they're close to reaching an agreement on legislation.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville is carrying a proposal for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam that's limited to students from low-income families attending the bottom 5 percent of failing schools. He had that measure withdrawn last year when Senate Republicans sought to expand to a larger number of children.

54. Haslam to bring back school voucher bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday he will support a school voucher bill this legislative session that's similar to a limited measure he proposed last year, even though other GOP lawmakers say they'd like to see something a little broader.

55. VU poll: Majority in Tennessee want Medicaid expansion -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Three in five Tennesseans support expanding Medicaid, though nearly half also have a negative view of the federal health care law, according to a Vanderbilt University poll released Wednesday.

56. State Rep. Charles Curtiss not seeking re-election -

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Charles Curtiss says he will not seek re-election. The 66-year-old Sparta Democrat didn't give a specific reason for his decision but said Wednesday he wanted to give candidates considering running for his District 43 seat plenty of time to plan.

57. Haslam pledges to increase Tennessee teacher salaries -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam pledged Thursday to improve the salaries of the state's teachers amid criticism of his education commissioner who has proposed changes that include tying teacher licenses to student test data.

58. Longtime Tennessee lawmaker Lois DeBerry remembered -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Rep. Lois DeBerry, one of the longest serving female lawmakers in the nation and a powerful influence in state politics, died Sunday after a nearly five-year bout with pancreatic cancer. She was 68.

59. Tennessee lawmaker to propose tuition freeze -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Republican state lawmaker says he wants to freeze tuition at Tennessee's colleges and universities despite criticism from education officials that such a proposal would eliminate funds needed to sustain essential programs and basic operation.

60. Haslam defends education commissioner under fire -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday reiterated his support for the state's education commissioner, who has come under fire for changes to how teachers are paid.

At least two Facebook pages have been created calling for Kevin Huffman's ouster as well as an online petition that has garnered hundreds of signatures.

61. Tennessee's new teacher salary plan raises ire -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A decision by the state Board of Education to change how teachers are paid has led to a social media push to remove Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.

62. New labor chief says job searches should be easier -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state labor chief says cutting services at state jobless service centers shouldn't make it harder for out-of-work Tennesseans to find jobs.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/13NyR50), Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips told the legislative Fiscal Review Committee last week that coming changes should make it easier to search for jobs.

63. Wins, losses despite GOP supermajority -

Smaller government and lower taxes were the watchwords of Republican leaders as they began this session of the state legislature in January.

With lopsided majorities in both the state House and Senate, the Republicans could do pretty much whatever they wanted.

64. Measure to let cities form school systems advances -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would clear the way for cities to begin forming municipal school systems is needed to continue education reform in Tennessee, proponents of the measure said Monday.

65. House approves changes to injured workers' claims -

NASHVILLE (AP) — After defeating several attempts by Democrats to dial back the proposal, the House on Thursday approved Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's bill to change the way the state considers injured workers' claims.

66. House approves changes to injured workers' claims -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has approved Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's bill to change the way the state considers injured workers' claims after defeating several attempts by Democrats to dial back the proposal.

67. Legislature’s legacy: Fixing things that ‘aren’t broken’ -

As the state legislature moves toward completion, state Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) offers his assessment:

“This is no way to govern.”

Fitzhugh, the House minority leader, says the Republican-controlled legislature has needlessly rushed through its business without due deliberation.

68. Haslam voucher bill dead this session -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Republican leader carrying Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create school vouchers in Tennessee said he's decided to let it die this session because he's tired of the "gamesmanship."

69. Senate to vote on changes to injured workers fund -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Opponents of a proposal that seeks to change the way injured workers' claims are considered in Tennessee say it would reduce benefits and remove impartiality from the judgment process.

70. House OKs bill to require proof of immunization -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The mother of a Middle Tennessee State University freshman who died after contracting meningitis says she hopes legislation headed to the governor for his likely signature will prevent the deaths of other college students.

71. House OKs bill to require proof of immunization -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The mother of a Middle Tennessee State University freshman who died after contracting meningitis says she hopes legislation headed to the governor will prevent the deaths of other college students.

72. Haslam begs off Medicaid expansion millions -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday that a breakdown in negotiations with the federal government means that he won't expand the state's Medicaid program, a decision that will cost Tennessee billions of dollars in federal money and keep 140,000 uninsured Tennesseans from obtaining free coverage.

73. Echoes of TennCare feed state Medicaid misgivings -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Proponents of expanding Medicaid in Tennessee say the financial support from Washington is a deal too good to pass up — federal funding for 100 percent of the expansion costs for three years and at least a 90 percent match after that.

74. Youth concussion policy bill headed to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Coaches and school athletic directors would be required to complete a concussion safety education course under legislation that's headed to the governor for his consideration.

The measure, which would require schools and other organizations with youth athletic programs to adopt concussion policies, was overwhelmingly approved 93-3 in the House on Thursday. The companion bill unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 last month.

75. Concussion policy bill headed to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Coaches and school athletic directors would be required to complete a concussion safety education course under legislation that's headed to the governor for his consideration

The measure, which would require schools and other organizations with youth athletic programs to adopt concussion policies, was overwhelmingly approved 93-3 in the House on Thursday. The companion bill unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 last month.

76. Bill to require proof of immunization advancing -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof of immunization against meningitis is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Democratic House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Jackson passed the House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday and is headed to the House floor. The companion bill unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 earlier this month.

77. Haslam 'likely' to sign parking lot guns bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is likely to sign into law a bill to allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their cars no matter where they are parked, a spokesman said Thursday.

78. House sends parking-lot guns bill to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The House on Thursday voted to send to the governor a contentious bill that would allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.

79. Bill to require proof of immunization -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof of immunization against meningitis is expected to be on the Senate floor Thursday.

80. Concussion policy bill to be heard in Senate -

NASHVILLE (AP) - As the nation continues to debate increasing safety in contact sports, Tennessee lawmakers are looking at legislation that would require schools and other organizations conducting youth athletic programs to adopt concussion policies.

81. Voucher plan is gearing up in Tennessee Legislature -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tiffany Clay says she wants to give her sons the best education possible, and that's why the Memphis mother favors a proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee.

82. Analysis: Gun bill is 1 GOP wishes would go away -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The guns bill that Tennessee lawmakers wish would just go away is up for its first floor vote today.

The measure to allow people with state-issued handgun carry permits to store loaded firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked is once again putting the squeeze on Republicans torn between their allegiances to gun advocates and businesses interests.

83. Haslam may not be given choice on Medicaid growth -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam wants more answers from the federal government before he decides whether Tennessee should expand its Medicaid rolls as part of the national health care overhaul. But his Republican colleagues in the Legislature may not let him get to that point.

84. Haslam budget proposal includes DCS staff shake-up -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday presented a $32.7 billion annual spending plan to lawmakers that includes a staffing shake-up at the troubled Department of Children's Services, a heavy investment in construction projects around the state and a large deposit into the state's cash savings fund.

85. Fitzhugh mulls longshot gubernatorial bid -

NASHVILLE (AP) - House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh is mulling a gubernatorial bid in 2014, but the Ripley Democrat says it's not because he believes he can defeat Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

86. House Democrats keep top leadership in place -

NASHVILLE (AP) — House Democrats and Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to keep their top leadership in place.

Democratic Rep. Mike Turner of Nashville overcame a challenge from Rep. Johnny Shaw of Bolivar to maintain his chairman seat, and Rep. Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley was re-elected as minority leader without opposition.

87. Haslam says no to state health insurance exchange -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that Tennessee will not create a state-run health insurance exchange, but the Republican governor said he remains undecided about whether to expand Medicaid.

88. Democrats want to see pre-K expansion -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Democratic leaders said Wednesday that they plan to talk with Gov. Bill Haslam about expanding pre-kindergarten classes after the state's education commissioner said he doesn't plan to request funding for an expansion.

89. Maggart loses state House GOP primary to NRA pick -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart lost her state House primary Thursday to a retired Air Force officer backed by the National Rifle Association.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting Thursday night, Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers had 3,392 votes, or 58 percent, compared with Maggart's 2,421 votes, or 42 percent.

90. Tennessee Democrats hoping to win some seats in Legislature -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee Democrats are looking at Thursday's primary as a critical step in the rebuilding urged by an internal analysis last year.

Since 2006, Democrats have lost 19 seats in the House and three seats in the Senate, placing them firmly in the minority of the two chambers. Another nine Democratic incumbents announced earlier this year they weren't running again.

91. Ramsey: State revenue surplus should stay in bank -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Thursday that the state's revenue surplus of more than a half-billion dollars should stay in the bank despite calls from Democrats to use it to offset tuition costs and provide tax relief.

92. Bill to overhaul TRA passes House 60-28 -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to overhaul the Tennessee Regulatory Authority passed the House on Tuesday despite criticism that it's unnecessary.

The measure carried by Republican Rep. Pat Marsh of Shelbyville was approved 60-28 on Tuesday. Voting for the bill were 58 Republicans, one Democrat and one independent. Twenty-five Democrats and three Republicans voted against the proposal, including Rep. Matthew Hill, son of TRA Chairman Kenneth Hill.

93. Lawmakers send budget compromise to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state's more than $31 billion annual spending plan is headed to the governor after Republicans rejected Democratic efforts to make further changes to the compromise legislation.

94. Lottery scholarship bill likely dead this session -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would make cutting some students' lottery scholarships in half contingent on lottery revenues was withdrawn from consideration on Monday because the House sponsor said he didn't have the votes for passage.

95. Lawmakers reach agreement on governor's budget -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A panel of Republican and Democratic lawmakers reached an agreement late Friday that will restore funding for key projects in Gov. Bill Haslam's more than $31 billion spending plan.

96. Tenn. lawmakers hope to adjourn session this week -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are preparing for what they hope is the last week of the 107th General Assembly, though issues that still need to be worked out include the state's annual spending plan, proposals to change the way the state selects Supreme Court justices and a resilient effort to ban teaching about gay issues in schools.

97. 'No Sex Bill' headed for House floor vote -

NASHVILLE (AP) — An outside vendor that promotes sexual activity in "family life education" curricula taught in schools could be sued by a parent under legislation that has advanced in the House.

98. House votes to boost penalties for domestic abuse -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The House passed Gov. Bill Haslam's bill to require mandatory jail time for people with repeat domestic violence convictions.

The chamber voted 98-1 Wednesday to approve the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim Coley of Bartlett, despite objections from some lawmakers that the measure could be seen as an unfunded mandate for local governments.

99. House votes to allow governor to name THEC chief - NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The House has voted to give the governor the power to appoint — or fire — the head of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The chamber voted 66-26 on Thursday to cede more control over THEC and other commissions to the executive branch.

100. Tenn. House passes tax cuts on groceries, estates -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House voted on Thursday to begin phasing out Tennessee's inheritance tax and to lower the state's sales tax on groceries.

The chamber voted 88-8 on the estate tax measure, and 96-0 to cut the food tax from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent.