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State & Local Government


AP NEWs

An embattled state law establishing legal requirements to market spirits as “Tennessee Whiskey” could run afoul of both the U.S. and state constitutions for carving out a special exemption for a single distiller, according to a new legal opinion from state Attorney General Herbert Slatery. The state Legislature in 2013 excluded Kelso-based Pritchard’s Distillery from …

AP NEWs

House Speaker Beth Harwell is calling for an end to secrecy in legislative ‘pre-meetings.’ According to a memo obtained by The Associated Press, the Nashville Republican urged committee chairs to establish an “open door policy” to the meetings about pending legislation. Harwell’s memo comes a day after the AP and the state’s four largest newspapers …

AP NEWs

The Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus on Monday renewed its call for action to be taken against a Republican state lawmaker who they say made a racist Facebook post. The group wants Rep. Sheila Butt of Columbia to apologize and for GOP leaders to remove Butt from her leadership position as House majority floor leader. Butt, however, has …

A bill that would modify the highly anticipated Tennessee Promise scholarship to benefit students entering the military passed swiftly and without objection through the state Senate Monday afternoon. Senate Bill 56, by state Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, “really cleans up some language for folks in the military,” allowing high school students who opt to enter …

AP NEWs

Republican lawmakers still seething about the release about their enrollment in the state’s health care plan want to keep further coverage information from being made public. Connie Ridley, the director of legislative administration, has warned members that more details about their taxpayer-subsidized insurance could come to light even though she argues the information should be …

New legislation could let underage college students interested in beer-making have a taste if Sen. Bill Ketron has his way in the state legislature this spring. An 18-year-old will be able to taste beer in a college beer manufacturing class Ketron’s bill becomes law in Tennessee. The new bill would allow it as long as …