In a late-night, last-minute vote, the Tennessee Senate passed what would become one of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills in the country. The measure (SB2196/HB2263) had been championed by Gov. Bill Lee, although he said it was not a priority once the coronavirus pandemic struck in the state.
There’s a renewed, bipartisan effort to allow college athletes in Tennessee to get endorsement deals. The legislative package would also provide funds for those who have graduated but haven’t gone pro.
A proposal giving businesses such as wedding photographers a legal way to refuse service to gay couples has been shelved for the year in the Tennessee legislature. The sponsor says it may be redundant.
Moderate Republicans may have kept Tennessee’s Governor from having his hands tied regarding Medicaid expansion. They voted with Democrats Tuesday on the powerful Senate Finance Committee to leave the state’s options open.
Governor Bill Haslam vaguely referenced school vouchers in his State of the State speech last month, and now his limited proposal is up for debate in the legislature. Committees begin their work on the bill this week.
The state’s hospitals are playing out the “what if’s” as lawmakers consider whether to expand Medicaid as part of the federal health care overhaul. Their study says 90,000 Tennessee jobs could be lost if the expansion does not occur.
After an opening gavel, the General Assembly is back to work. Whether or not to expand TennCare could be the most costly decision the body makes this year, and the first bill out of the gate would prevent Tennessee from expanding its Medicaid program as envisioned under the Affordable Care Act.