tennessee

With Feds Distracted, States Will Have Much to Ponder in 2020 | 11-22-2019

It’s the holiday season, and if most voters are thinking about politics at all they are probably pondering more about how to get through family festivities without a major blowup over differing political philosophies than they are about next year’s...

Governors in Brief - November 11 2019 | 11-08-2019

Stitt Signs Off on Record Number of Commutations Adhering to recommendations from the state Pardon and Parole Board, OKLAHOMA Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed off on the release of over 450 Sooner State prisoners, the largest single-day commutation in history...

Budgets in Brief - November 4 2019 | 11-01-2019

AK Local Governments to Collect Online Sales Taxes ALASKA cities and boroughs that levy sales taxes have initiated a plan to collect those taxes from online retailers. Under the plan, local governments will join a cooperative agreement creating a statewide...

Lee Says TN Medicaid Critics ‘Misinformed’ | 11-01-2019

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) says the overwhelmingly negative public comments the state has received regarding his pending Medicaid proposal – which would convert $7.9 billion in federal funding for TennCare, the state’s $12.1 billion Medicaid...

Trump Administration Sued by Many Mostly Democrat-Led States | 10-18-2019

As of October 17, 68 lawsuits had been initiated against the Trump administration via a complaint or petition filed by multiple states, according to data compiled by Dr. Paul Nolette, an associate professor of political science at Marquette University...

Governors in Brief - October 14 2019 | 10-11-2019

BAKER PUSHES MA IMPAIRED DRIVING BILL Responding to the state Cannabis Control Commission moving closer to allowing social consumption marijuana lounges, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) urged Bay State lawmakers to act on legislation ( HB 71 ...

Budgets in Brief - September 23 2019 | 09-20-2019

TN PROPOSES SWITCH TO MEDICAID BLOCK GRANT FUNDING TENNESSEE unveiled a plan last week that would fund its Medicaid program through a federal block grant, limiting how much is spent on the program instead of paying for whomever enrolls, which is the...

Online Sports Betting | 09-13-2019

There was a time when, if you weren’t in Las Vegas and you wanted to put some money down on a football game – say $100 that the Rams would cover the spread on Sunday – you needed to talk to a bookie. So, you picked up your phone. ...

One Third of States Allow Sports Betting | 09-13-2019

At least 18 states allow sports betting either in-person at casinos and other gambling facilities, or online via computer or mobile phone, according to the website BettingUSA.com. Eleven of those states allow both, while six allow only in-person sports...

Politics in Brief - September 9 2019 | 09-06-2019

UNION MEMBERSHIP WAY DOWN IN WI An annual labor report from the University of WISCONSIN -Madison’s Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) indicates that union membership in the state has declined by 53.9 percent since 2011, three times the 14.9...

Big Tech Quashes State Data Privacy Bills | 08-30-2019

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and executives of other big tech companies have been saying recently that they want a federal data privacy law. But this year the companies and their lobbyists helped kill data privacy bills introduced in at least 13 states...

Voting Machines Could Lack 2020 Paper Trail | 08-15-2019

More than 15 million Americans in eight states will likely vote in 2020 on voting machines without any paper backup, despite calls from elections efforts for auditable paper trails in light of known efforts by foreign governments to tinker with U.S. elections...

Balance Billing Measures Introduced in 32 States in 2019 | 08-09-2019

Legislation dealing with medical balance billing - the charging of patients by healthcare providers for services not fully covered at the providers’ rate by the patients’ insurance - has been introduced in 32 states this year, according to...

The Wrong Bill | 08-09-2019

Legendary singer and songwriter Dolly Parton has always had a profound impact on the people around her. And it didn’t take long at last week’s opening event for the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Summit in Nashville to see...

The Right Dolly | 08-09-2019

As I mentioned already, nobody alive owns a stage more or better than Ms. Dolly Rebecca Parton of Sevier County, Tennessee. Among the gems from her talk with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee: attributing her large family growing up to the folks in her region just...

Medicaid Work Requirements Approved for Nine States | 07-19-2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved waivers allowing the imposition of work requirements for Medicaid enrollees in nine states, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. Approved waivers have been blocked by legal...

TN Gov Will Seek to Change Law Honoring Klan Leader | 07-19-2019

After initially saying he had no plans to try changing a state law that requires the governor to annually issue a proclamation honoring an early Ku Klux Klan leader, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) reversed course and said he would seek to change the law...

Local Governments Shine Light on Public Surveillance | 07-12-2019

In May the Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco approved an ordinance banning the use of facial recognition technology by all city departments. It’s the only major U.S. city to have taken such action against the emerging...

Social Policy - July 8 2019 | 07-08-2019

Federal Court Upholds Kentucky Law A federal court upholds a KENTUCKY law requiring doctors who perform abortions to first complete an ultrasound and attempt to show and describe the image to the patient, as well as to play an audible heartbeat of...

California Bill Highlights Worker Misclassification Debate | 06-28-2019

When San Francisco-based Lyft driver Roosevelt Thomas recently got a message from the company urging him to sign a petition opposing California Assembly Bill 5 – which would turn rideshare drivers from independent contractors into employees –...

Independent Contractor Legislation Active in States | 06-28-2019

At least 189 bills dealing with independent contractors have been introduced in state legislatures this session, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Fifty of those measures have been passed by one or both chambers of...

Most States Considering Drug Price Control Measures | 06-14-2019

At least 40 states have introduced legislation in 2019 aimed at reducing the cost of prescription drugs, according to LexisNexis State Net ’s legislative tracking system. Fifteen of those states have enacted such measures.

State Lawmakers Stepping Up Fight Against Insurance Fraud | 05-10-2019

By some accounts, insurance fraud has reached epidemic proportions, costing insurance companies and their policyholders tens of billions of dollars each year. State lawmakers have taken several measures in recent years to combat the problem, but this...

Governors in Brief - May 13 2019 | 05-10-2019

WHITMER VOWS VETO OF MI INSURANCE OVERHAUL Saying the legislation “creates more problems than it solves,” MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said she would veto a bill (SB 1) approved in the Senate that would fundamentally change auto insurance...

Soda Taxes Stalled in States | 05-03-2019

In his budget address in late February, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) called for a tax increase on sodas and other sugary drinks. Soda tax legislation has also been introduced this year in California, Massachusetts New York, Rhode Island and Vermont...

Lee Will Let Sports Gambling Become TN Law | 05-03-2019

In spite of his personal opposition, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said he would allow a measure legalizing sports betting to become law in the Volunteer State without his signature. “The governor has said he does not believe that the expansion...

Medicaid Work Requirements Approved in Nine States and Counting | 04-19-2019

Nine states have received federal approval for waivers allowing them to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. A federal judge has struck down the requirements in two of those states, Arkansas and Kentucky. But waivers are pending in another...

Governors in Brief - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

MI GOV SIGNS STREAMLINED MEDICAL WEED OVERSIGHT BILL MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed legislation ( SB 203 ) that requires only those with 10 percent or more of an ownership stake in a medical marijuana business to undergo the state’s...

States Consider Bans on Flavored E-Cigarettes | 04-12-2019

As of April 9, at least 10 states had introduced bans on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. Most of the proposals would exempt establishments that prohibit minors. Some would apply only to e-liquids...

The Local Front - April 8 2019 | 04-05-2019

PA Pittsburgh City Council Approves Package of Bills The Pittsburgh City Council approves a package of bills that would ban the use of armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines and allow the authorities to temporarily seize the firearms...

Most 5G Laws Enacted in Red States | 03-15-2019

As of mid-February, 21 states had passed laws streamlining regulations for the deployment of 5G or small-cell technology. In 12 of those states, Republicans controlled both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office when the laws were...

Budgets in Brief - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

CT GOV PROPOSES SODA TAX CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned Lamont (D) unveiled a budget proposal last week calling for a new 1.5 cents per ounce tax on sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks that would generate an estimated $163 million in new revenue next fiscal...

Politics in Brief - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

TN LEGISLATURE CONSIDERING CLOSING PRIMARY ELECTIONS TENNESSEE’s House Elections and Campaign Finance Subcommittee approved a bill ( HB 1273 / SB 1500 ) last week that would require voters to declare a party affiliation in order to vote in the...

Budgets in Brief - February 18 2019 | 02-15-2019

OH FACING $1B ROAD FUNDING SHORTFALL Jack Marchbanks, head of OHIO’s Department of Transportation, told the state House Finance Committee last week that the department is facing a revenue shortfall of $1 billion a year over the next decade. He...

Governors in Brief - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

MILLS REJECTS ME MEDICAID WORK REQUIREMENTS MAINE Gov. Janet Mills (D) sent a letter to federal officials rejecting new work requirements for Medicaid recipients that were requested by former Gov. Paul LePage (R) and approved by the Trump administration...

Most States Prepared for Next Recession | 01-18-2019

It’s been 9 1/2 years since the last U.S. recession - the second-longest period between economic downturns on record. The economy still appears to be going strong. But there are signs trouble may not be far off. The good news for states is that...

More States Ready for Moderate Recession Than Not | 01-18-2019

As of September 2018, 23 states had enough rainy day and other reserve funds to weather a moderate recession, while 17 states lacked such reserves, according to Moody’s Analytics. The other 10 states had reserve balances that were within 5 percentage...

Politics in Brief - January 21 2019 | 01-18-2019

GROUPS, VOTERS CHALLENGE POLITICAL POWER SHIFT IN WI The League of Women Voters, Disability Rights Wisconsin, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities and three WISCONSIN voters have filed a lawsuit seeking the invalidation of new laws passed by the...

Federal Shutdown Impacting States and Cities | 01-11-2019

The partial shutdown of the federal government which began on Dec. 22 is already affecting state and local governments. And that impact could soon grow significantly. According to Governing , mandatory programs that receive federal funding, like...

Governors in Brief - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

CUOMO CALLS FOR NY ABORTION AMENDMENT With Democrats now in control of both legislative chambers, NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called on Empire State lawmakers last week to pass a constitutional amendment codifying a woman’s right to legal...

More States Under Unified One-Party Control in 2019 | 12-14-2018

As a result of the November elections, in 2019 Republicans will control both the legislature and the governor’s office in 23 states, three less than the number of states under unified GOP control this year. Democrats will control the legislative...

Missouri Among Several States With Sports Betting Bills Already Filed | 12-07-2018

Missouri is among a handful of states that will consider becoming the next to legalize betting on sports, with legislation filed this past week considered among those with strong odds for success. Bills to legalize sports bets have also already...

Governors in Brief - December 10 2018 | 12-07-2018

NORTHAM WINS NC GOV BALANCE OF POWER BATTLE A NORTH CAROLINA court ruled last week that the GOP-controlled General Assembly unconstitutionally allowed outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to pick the leadership of the state Industrial Commission before he...

Cybersecurity Hot Issue in Statehouses in 2018 | 11-30-2018

At least 35 states have considered bills or resolutions dealing with cybersecurity in 2018, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net legislative data by the National Conference of State Legislatures . Twenty-two states have enacted such measures...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

Democrats Seem Poised for State Election Gains | 10-19-2018

The pendulum of politics that in many states has swung Republican for the last eight years appears to be heading in a Democratic direction in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Nonpartisan analysts and pollsters give Democrats a solid chance to win nine...

Social Policy - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

TN Federal Court Rules A federal court rules that TENNESSEE may no longer revoke a person’s driver’s license over their inability to pay a traffic ticket. U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger’s ruling included a preliminary injunction...

States Seek to Maintain Net Neutrality | 10-12-2018

At least 32 states have introduced legislation this year that would require internet service providers to uphold net neutrality principles, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Many of those...

Opioid Taxes Not Faring Well This Session | 10-12-2018

Minnesota state Rep. Dave Baker (R) sponsored a bill ( HB 1440 ) this session that would have imposed a “penny a pill” fee on every opioid painkiller pharmaceutical companies sold in the state to provide funding for opioid abuse prevention...

State Lawmakers Taking More Interest in Cryptocurrencies | 10-05-2018

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to buy goods and services, pay bills, gamble online, transfer money internationally and as an investment vehicle, among other things. And that activity is drawing more attention...