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Editorial Results (free)

1. Planned Parenthood targets Tennessee state Rep. DeBerry -

MEMPHIS (AP) — Planned Parenthood says it is putting up new billboards criticizing Democratic Tennessee Rep. John DeBerry's stance on abortion.

2. Tennessee Dems mum on letter surrounding accused lawmaker -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Democrats are remaining mum on their involvement in the ousting of a Republican lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct from leading a legislative education panel.

Last week, Republican Rep. David Byrd resigned as chairman of an education subcommittee at the request of House Speaker Glen Casada. Byrd has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct as a high school coach decades ago.

3. Lawmaking 101 – Legislators agree that words matter -

There’s an old saying that laws are like sausages and it’s better not to see them made. That may be so, but Tennessee legislators seem to be taking a little extra care this session.

They’ve been taking a deliberate approach as they sort out the fine print on several administration proposals that could remake K-12 education in Tennessee.

4. Tennessee lawmakers question testing contract vendor -

NASHVILLE(AP) — A handful of Tennessee lawmakers are raising questions about the company that currently administers the state's problem-plagued student assessment testing program.

The Department of Education fielded questions about the TNReady test Wednesday while presenting before the House Education Committee.

5. State Sen. Tate goes a step too far in dance with GOP -

Sen. Reginald Tate ran a campaign ad in the waning days of the Democratic primary race bragging about his service to the city of Memphis.

But voters, apparently tired of Tate’s shenanigans, finally decided he was more concerned about serving himself and opted for political newcomer Katrina Robinson instead.

6. Lawmakers see conspiracy in UT Board alterations, approve anyway -

It’s not that hard to light a fire under some state lawmakers, but the University of Tennessee FOCUS Act raised blood pressure considerably in the House of Representatives before barely passing with 51 votes.

7. Haslam signs bill to increase penalties for targeting police -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill into law that will force people to face stiffer penalties for committing a violent offence against a police officer.

The measure, which passed unanimously in both the House and Senate, applies to any uniformed law enforcement officer, as well as those in the military or national guard, targeted simply because of their status as member of a police or armed service agency.

8. 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.

9. Bill to allow in-state tuition for undocumented students fails -

Karla Meza dreams of enrolling in the University of Tennessee Law School after growing up in Knoxville and watching college students walk along Cumberland Avenue.

But that dream is on hold after a House Education committee refused Tuesday to allow all students, including illegal immigrants, who graduate from Tennessee high schools to pay in-state tuition at school colleges.

10. House committee avoids zombies, approves school voucher bill -

Despite a packed room of Memphis-area people opposed to vouchers for public school students, a House Education Committee advanced a pilot program targeting low-income children in the Shelby County Schools system’s low-performing schools.

11. 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.

12. Pat Summitt latest exception to Tennessee flag lowering rule -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's order for flags to be flown at half-staff following the death of former University of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt is the latest exception to state protocols that normally reserve the honor for members of the military.

13. Free speech bill withdrawn after Islamic State comments -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Republican lawmaker on Thursday defended his comments that free speech rights on Tennessee college campuses should apply to everyone - even recruiters for the Islamic State group.

14. Free speech bill withdrawn after Islamic State comments -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Republican lawmaker is defending his comments that free speech rights on Tennessee college campuses should apply to everyone - even recruiters for the Islamic State group.

On the House floor Thursday, State Rep. Martin Daniel of Knoxville said he supports First Amendment rights for people and groups regardless of whether he agrees with their aims.

15. Frist education group calls for fewer assessment tests -

NASHVILLE (AP) - An education advocacy group founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Wednesday called for fewer but smarter assessment tests and for helping minority students and the underserved bridge the achievement gap.

16. Measure increasing seat belt fines among new Tennessee laws -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Motorists in Tennessee who don't buckle up could face stiffer fines under one of many new Tennessee laws taking effect Friday.

The tougher seat belt law increases the fine for first-time offenders from $10 to $25 and from $20 to $50 for repeat offenders.

17. School choice bills to highlight next legislative session -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Supporters of school choice say they plan to push for proposals that they argue allow parents to play a stronger role in how their children are educated in the legislative session that begins in January.

18. Ethics panel fading to obscurity 10 years after Tennessee Waltz -

NASHVILLE (AP) - In the typical fray of the legislative session, few paid close attention to a seemingly innocuous bill about recycling computer equipment. That was until federal agents started arresting lawmakers.

19. Proposal requiring racial profiling ban headed to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would require all of Tennessee's law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies to ban racial profiling is headed to the governor for his consideration.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis was approved 93-0 in the House on Monday. The Senate passed the proposal 28-0 last month.

20. Bill would require racial profiling ban in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (AP) — All of Tennessee's law enforcement agencies would have to adopt written policies to ban racial profiling, under legislation introduced in the General Assembly.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown and Democratic Rep. John Deberry of Memphis.

21. Bill would require racial profiling ban in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly would require all of the state's law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies to ban racial profiling.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown and Democratic Rep. John Deberry of Memphis. Kelsey said in a release Thursday that the measure comes in response to the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, and the demonstrations that have followed a grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson.

22. New laws on meth, DCS, more take effect -

A law limiting the purchase of cold and allergy medicines used to make illegal methamphetamine is among those that took effect July 1, as are statutes that require more disclosure from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and allow use of the electric chair to execute death row inmates when drugs used for lethal injection executions are not available.

23. Anti-meth law among those taking effect Tuesday -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A law limiting the purchase of cold and allergy medicines used to make illegal methamphetamine is among those taking effect Tuesday, as are statutes that require more disclosure from the Tennessee Department of Children's Services and allow use of the electric chair to execute death row inmates.

24. Top Midstate residential real estate transactions for April 2014 -

Top April 2014 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

25. Parent trigger legislation fails this session -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill seeking to make it easier for parents to convert struggling public schools into charter schools failed in a House subcommittee on Tuesday even though its sponsor says it's another tool to reform education in Tennessee.

26. For-profit charter schools bill fails in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to allow charter schools in Tennessee to be operated by for-profit groups failed in its final committee vote Thursday before reaching the House floor for debate.

The Calendar and Rules Committee voted 10-7 against the bill after House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville raised what she called "grave reservations" about it.

27. For-profit charter schools bill fails in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to allow charter schools in Tennessee to be operated by for-profit entities has failed its last committee vote before reaching the House floor.

The House Calendar and Rules Committee on Thursday voted 10-7 against the bill after Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville spoke out against the measure.

28. Panel advances parent trigger bill in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation that would allow parents to decide the fate of a struggling school is advancing in the House.

The so-called parent trigger legislation sponsored by Democratic Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis was approved 9-4 in the House Education Committee on Wednesday.

29. Bill advances allowing for-profit entities to manage charters -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would allow a charter school to be operated by a for-profit entity narrowly advanced out of the House Education Committee.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis was approved 8-7 on Tuesday.

30. Bill OKs for-profit entities to manage charters -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that would permit a charter school to be operated by a for-profit entity is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis was approved on a voice vote in the House Education Subcommittee on Tuesday. The companion bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

31. Panel advances parent trigger bill in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would allow parents to decide the fate of a struggling school is advancing in the House.

The so-called parent trigger legislation sponsored by Democratic Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis was approved on a voice vote in the House Education Subcommittee on Tuesday.

32. Proposal would silence public school lobbyists -

With hundreds of thousands of dollars flooding in from out-of-state education interests to usher in vouchers and charter schools, some Tennessee school boards have hired contract lobbyists or joined associations that lobby on their behalf.

33. 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.

34. Tennessee voucher plan advances in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A measure to create a school voucher program in Tennessee passed a key House subcommittee Tuesday, touted by supporters as an option for parents trying to provide a better education to children.

35. Haslam proposes capping online school enrollment -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Some Democratic lawmakers say they support a proposal by Gov. Bill Haslam that would place stricter enrollment requirements on online public schools established in Tennessee.

The administration bill would cap student enrollment at a so-called virtual school at 5,000 students, and initial enrollment would be limited to 1,500, depending on the school's performance.

36. Proposed law change would give state final say -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Memphis state representative is proposing a change in the so-called parent trigger education law that would give the state final approval.

A statute updated in 2011 allows parents to force education reforms at their children's public schools, but it requires a 60 percent parent approval and local school boards must sign off on the efforts.

37. Justice Department seeks to reform juvenile system -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday announced measures to overhaul the Memphis and Shelby County juvenile justice system after a complaint several years ago alleged that African-Americans were being treated more harshly than children of other races.

38. Top residential real estate transactions for October 2012 -

October 2012 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

39. DCS commissioner seeking more than $8M from state -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Children's Services requested more than $8 million on Thursday to hire new staff and make other improvements to the agency that has been highly scrutinized over children's deaths.

40. Democratic lawmaker defends DCS commissioner -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Democratic lawmaker who played a role in the formation of the embattled Tennessee Department of Children's Services says the agency's commissioner shouldn't be blamed for deeply rooted problems that she inherited.

41. Dems call for diversity training for lawmakers -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Democratic leaders point to insulting comments made by two Republican lawmakers to the Legislature's black caucus in calling for legislators to undergo diversity and sensitivity training.

42. 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.

43. 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.

44. Critics blast Tennessee's 'no holding-hands bill' -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Spurred by a classroom demonstration involving a sex toy, Tennessee recently enacted a pro-abstinence sex education law that is among the strictest in the nation.

The most debated section of the bill bars educators from promoting "gateway sexual activity." But supporters seemed too squeamish during floor debate to specify what that meant, so critics soon labeled it the "no holding-hands bill."

45. Tenn. House passes 'gateway sexual activity' ban -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has passed a bill to allow parents to sue teachers or outside groups for promoting or condoning "gateway sexual activity" by students.

The chamber voted 68-23 in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim Gotto of Nashville on Friday.

46. 'Don't Say Gay' ban advancing in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal that would ban the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students is once again advancing in the House even though opponents insist it's unnecessary.

The measure, known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, passed the House Education Committee 8-7 on Tuesday. In a confusing sequence of events, the proposal initially failed on a voice vote, but a roll call vote was requested and the measure advanced.

47. Bill does away with early graduation program -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to do away with the state's early graduation program is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Glen Casada of Franklin was approved Tuesday on a voice vote in the House Education Committee. The companion bill unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 last week.

48. Former lawmakers seek to regain Statehouse seats -

NASHVILLE (AP) - At least 10 former state lawmakers are trying to return to the Tennessee General Assembly, while eight Democratic incumbents will be vying for four seats following this year's redistricting process.

49. Tenn.'s 'Don't Say Gay' bill advances in House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that seeks to ban Tennessee public schools from teaching about gay issues advanced in the House on Wednesday despite opponents who say the measure could be harmful to gays.

50. 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.

51. State Rep. Lois DeBerry discusses cancer fight -

NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Lois DeBerry has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season - mainly being alive.

After nearly three years of battling pancreatic cancer, the Memphis Democrat was told by her doctors last month that they couldn't find any trace of the terminal disease.