The Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care left Governor Bill Haslam with a big decision—expand Medicaid to include more low-income Tennesseans, or don’t. If the governor chooses to expand coverage, the federal government will foot the entire bill for three years. Then, after three years, the federal government will pay for 90 percent of the expanded coverage.
When the Tennessee General Assembly convenes this week, they’ll be many fresh faces in the crowd in Nashville, especially among the majority party. Half of Tennessee’s House Republicans have fewer than two years of experience. Among the new lawmakers, there are lawyers, military veterans, and even a preacher, but many describe themselves as small business owners. “That’s on both sides of the aisle,” said Blake Farmer who is covering the state Legislature for WPLN in Nashville.
An effort by the Haslam administration to close records regarding cash grants to private companies is being reworked after hitting a snag in the Tennessee Senate last week. Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey repeated what started as an argument from a few Democrats, that the state should at least make public who owns a company seeking state incentives.
The Tennessee Economic and Community Development Department says it needs this confidentiality bill to compete for business with other states.