politics and Government


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said his administration is looking at several policy options to increase safety following two mass shootings over the weekend.

However, the Republican declined on Monday to say specifically which policy proposal he would advocate against the GOP-controlled Statehouse, which has been resistant to adopt gun control measures over the years.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville Metro Councilman John Cooper and Mayor David Briley are headed into a runoff in the mayor's race.

Cooper and Briley outpaced multiple challengers in the mayor's first re-election contest in the Democratic-tilted city. Cooper led the incumbent Briley by about 10 percentage points on Thursday night, but neither secured the majority of votes needed to win and avoid the Sept. 12 runoff.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An appeals court has ruled against Tennessee lawmakers in their challenge of the federal refugee resettlement program.

A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Wednesday that the GOP-led General Assembly hasn't claimed an injury that gives it standing in the case and hasn't established it has authority to sue on the state's behalf.

The March 2017 lawsuit argued the refugee program forces Tennessee to spend money on additional services, including health care and education.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- A mid-state media law specialist says radio powerhouse Cumulus got it wrong when the company cited federal law for refusing to air a Nashville interview with Democratic presidential primary candidate Pete Buttigieg.

Country Music DJ Blair Garner recorded the interview when Buttigieg was in Music City this past week. Cumulus told Garner he couldn’t air the interview on the company’s network of more than 400 U.S. radio stations because it would violate Federal Communications Commission regulations.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (O'BRIEN) -- Metro Nashville teachers believed they had the votes in City Council to pass a budget and property tax increase that would give them the raises they wanted and felt they deserved.



Instead, the proposal failed Tuesday night by a single vote. Teachers union President Erick Huth said his group will now take the fight to the ballot box.

City of Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Nashville’s city budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year will not include a new property tax.

WTVF-TV says Metro Council last night debated four alternate budget proposals, three of which included additional spending and property tax increases. The council ultimately approved Mayor David Briley’s proposed budget.

Briley’s $2.3 billion plan features more than $100 million in new spending but does not include a tax increase.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Workers at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have voted against forming a union.

A win would have offered the United Auto Workers its first fully organized, foreign-owned auto assembly plant in the traditionally anti-union South.

The vote of hourly workers began Wednesday and concluded Friday. The German automaker said in a statement Friday night that preliminary results show 833 employees voted against representation and 776 voted for it.


JAMESTOWN, Tenn. (Osborne)    -- Tennessee will likely see another of its rural hospitals close this coming week.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Tennessee companies will be watching closely as trade talks between the U.S. and Mexico continue Thursday in Washington.

The meeting was hastily called following last week’s threat by President Donald Trump to impose new tariffs on Mexico. The president wants Mexico to immediately curtail the number of immigrants arriving at the U.S. southern border.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The company that makes Jack Daniels took a hit from the Trump administration's tariff fight, estimating that the standoff dragged sales growth down by a percentage point for the entire year.

Brown-Forman Corp. posted fourth quarter sales of $744 million, which was well short of the $762 million that Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by FactSet.

Net income was $159 million, or 33 cents per share, which topped expectations by 3 cents.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Osborne)  -- Some 180 Tennessee attorneys have signed an open letter calling on state officials to investigate controversial statements reportedly made by the Coffee County District Attorney.

Caught on video tape, the statements by DA Craig Northcutt have made national headlines. Multiple media outlets quote Northcutt saying he would refuse to prosecute cases of domestic violence between same sex partners.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  -- Mayor David Briley wants to reduce the criminal court fees and fines that can trap Nashville’s poorest residents in escalating debt and jail time.

Briley recently announced the formation of a committee tasked with studying how the city can reduce court fees and fines. He also wants to reduce the city’s dependence on court revenue to fund a portion of the city budget.

Thomas R Machnitzki, Commons, used with permission

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Osborne) -- The City of Memphis did not violate state law in 2017 when it used a novel scheme to remove Confederate statues from city parks, according to the Nashville based state Court of Appeals.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal says the court released its ruling Tuesday.

The Tennessee Heritage Preservation Act, passed by the Republican dominated state legislature in 2016, makes it extremely difficult to remove Civil War themed memorials located on state property.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMOT/AP) -- One of Tennessee’s largest companies has been caught up in the trade and technology dispute raging between the United States and China.

The Chinese government has launched an investigation into the Memphis based shipping company. The move follows charges by Chinese tech giant Huawei that FedEx intentionally diverted some of its packages, a claim FedEx denies.


WASHINGTON, DC (OSBORNE) -- Collaboration isn't something the nation's capitol is known for these days, but Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Washington State Democrat Patty Murray are the exception.

Murray is the minority leader on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that Alexander chairs. The two have worked closely to advance a number of legislative initiatives in recent years.


WASHINGTON, DC (OSBORNE) -- West Tennessee Congressional Rep. Steve Cohen was one of 24 Democrats voting Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in Contempt of Congress.

Cohen sits on the House Judiciary Committee that’s asking Barr to provide it with an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report.

Cohen said Barr’s failure to hand over the report, or appear before the committee, sets a frightening precedent.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Embattled House Speaker Glen Casada says he's asking for multiple probes of the scandals surrounding his office, saying he takes "complete ownership" of exchanging sexually explicit text messages with a former top aide about women.

In a letter Wednesday, Casada said he wrote the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorneys General Conference asking them to investigate an email by his former Chief of Staff Cade Cothren. He also apologized for his own conduct.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have struck a deal that would limit community oversight boards that investigate police misconduct but maintain limited subpoena power.

A House-Senate panel voted Monday for legislation that would allow subpoenas only if an oversight board receives its city council's approval. The bill still requires full House and Senate votes.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Mayor David Briley has launched a new $750 million affordable housing initiative for Nashville with great fanfare, but some City Council members expressing reservations about the plan.

Briley is calling his proposal “Under One Roof 2029,” a decade-long effort to increase housing for low-income residents. The mayor began by his remarks last week by acknowledging that many Nashvillians can no longer afford to live in the city where they work.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --   State lawmakers have this week stripped language from a House bill that would have required development officials to disclose the size of offers they make to entice companies to land in Tennessee.

The proposal comes in the wake of public unease over the $102 million in grants and tax incentives the state recently offered to Amazon. Failed development deals with Electrolux and Hemlock Semiconductor also raised concern.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The number of Tennessee farmers seeking a license to grow hemp is exploding.

The state Department of Agriculture reports it’s  ssued nearly 2800 hemp production permits this year, with still more applications in the pipeline. That’s ten times the number of licenses issued in 2018.

Hemp’s introduction hasn’t been without complications. There have been persistent reports of police mistaking hemp products for marijuana. There have also been reports of hemp supplement users failing workplace drug tests.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Republican state lawmakers are divided over a proposal to limit the authority of police oversight boards like the one approved last fall by Nashville voters.

Earlier this month, the Tennessee House passed a measure stripping such boards of subpoena power. During committee debate, Republican Majority Leader William Lamberth insisted giving such boards the ability to compel witness testimony would put police officers at risk.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  An abortion bill that sailed through the Tennessee House in less than three weeks appears stalled in the State Senate.

House bill 77 would outlaw all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s typically at about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many woman even know they're expecting.

During House committee debate Memphis Democrat Barbara Cooper questioned Republican bill sponsor Micah Van Huss about the measure.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will this week hear oral arguments in Tennessee’s lawsuit against federal immigration policy.

Two years ago this month state lawmakers filed suit challenging the fed’s right to resettle refugees in Tennessee without state consent. When the state’s Attorney General declined to file the suit, lawmakers found a faith-based Michigan law firm to represent them.


NASHVILLE, Tenn (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is offering some hard numbers to go along with his policy proposals for the year.

During his first State of the State speech to lawmakers Monday night, Lee proposed an 11 percent increase in spending for the budget year that begins in July.

Education dominated Lee’s presentation. The governor prop  osed $25 million new dollars for vocational education, $35 million for higher education, $12 million for student financial aid, $30 million for school safety and $71 million to fund a 2.5 percent pay raise for teachers.