Here's what caught our eye in Tennessee this week:
Leadership for the 2017 General Assembly
- House Speaker Beth Harwell was re-elected to her leadership position in a 40-30 vote by the Republican caucus.
- Rep. Glen Casada was elected House majority leader by a 42-29 vote.
- Senate Republicans voted unanimously to nominate Oak Ridge senator Randy McNally to be the next Tennessee Senate speaker and lieutenant governor. (Given that Republicans hold 28 of 33 seats in the TN state senate, the nomination virtually assures that he will become the speaker).
- Senator Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, says Obamacare repeal will begin in January but could take years.
- The TN Attorney General says that Memphis and Nashville ordinances decriminalizing marijuana are illegal. (H/T Humphrey on the Hill) Memphis suspended enforcement of the new ordinance while reviewing.
- Nashville Mayor Megan Berry said that local resources should not be used to enforce "federal immigration administration policies… our police officers are not immigration police."
- Tennessee lawmakers are contiuing their suit against the federal government over refugee resettlement.
- President-elect Trump's embrace of school vouchers may reignite the discussion in the 2017 TN General Assembly.
- A "liberal who lives in Tennessee" tells her story in The Week.
- Fires continue to rage acrss the state: 66 fires, more than 17,000 acres, and over 50% caused by arson (state offering $2500 for tips leadin gto arrest).
- Shelby County's malfunctioning $9.7 million computer system is causing people to stay in jail after posting bond, prompting a class action lawsuit.
- Former state rep Joe Armstrong will still get his state pension, despite resigning from office after his felony conviction for filing a false income tax return.
- Truth: if people drive better, there will be less traffic.
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