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.
Lawmakers at the state Capitol are eager to go home—so much so they’re going to try to wrap everything up this week. That means the gears of government turn a little faster. The House and Senate will kick into overdrive, likely passing reams of legislation in a few days. It’s a strange time—where controversial proposals come out of nowhere and legislation thought long dead suddenly rises from the grave.
Big business pushed back against a bill up for debate in the Tennessee legislature that would allow gun owners to keep their firearms in their cars at work, as long as they have a permit and keep the guns locked up.
Governor Bill Haslam wants to open the door for larger classes in Tennessee’s schools. The governor says with bigger classes, local school boards will need fewer teachers, and be able to pay the remaining teachers more.