Chas Sisk

Chas joined WPLN in 2015 after eight years with The Tennessean, including more than five years as the newspaper's statehouse reporter.Chas has also covered communities, politics and business in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Chas grew up in South Carolina and attended Columbia University in New York, where he studied economics and journalism. Outside of work, he's a dedicated distance runner, having completed a dozen marathons

The leading topic of discussion nationwide continues to be guns in the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. And state capitols around the country are feeling pressure to act and help put an end to the wave of massacres.

Last year's shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas raised the prominence of a particular accessory used in that killing — bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic rifles to fire at rates comparable to machine guns.

Now in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., massacre, Tennessee lawmakers are considering cracking down on them.

Eight years ago, when Republicans were outside the White House, their political advertising in Tennessee largely stuck to a single formula.

"You would take a picture of the Democratic candidate. Put a picture of Barack Obama on one side," says Kent Syler, a professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University. "You know, throw in some Nancy Pelosi. And link them to that national ticket."

It worked. But Democrats are unlikely use the same playbook to turn Tennessee voters against the GOP.

Last week’s shooting at a high school in Florida has reignited the debate over the nation’s gun policies.

That includes Tennessee, where in a terrible coincidence, a panel of state lawmakers happened to be holding their first hearing on new gun bills while the tragedy in Florida was unfolding.

The City of Memphis got a big boost this week when the state comptroller determined officials did not violate Tennessee law by removing monuments to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and President Jefferson Davis.

But Republicans in the state legislature say they're hoping to keep other cities from getting the same idea.

In recent years, one of the biggest debates in Tennessee has been whether to give families vouchers for their children to attend private schools.

But after state lawmakers' failed attempts to get a plan through, interest in the issue among the candidates for governor seems to be diminishing.

The issue of Confederate monument removal has come back to the state legislature this year in the shape of several bills filed, mainly, by East Tennessee Republicans.

The Tennessee House of Representatives will vote on a measure that would require abortion providers to offer women ultrasounds before the procedure. It's a watered-down version of a more controversial proposal that stalled out last year, but it is nonetheless drawing criticism.

Tennessee lawmakers are preparing for another season of debate over gun legislation.

But they're trying to get off on a better foot: by coming together on one measure they can agree on.

This year's race for governor has one less contender.

Mt. Juliet Republican Mae Beavers announced on Facebook Tuesday that she's suspending her campaign. The move follows signs that the former state senator had been lagging far behind the other top Republicans.

Pages