111th General Assembly | Nashville Public Radio

111th General Assembly

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect a Wednesday ruling by a federal judge.

A new law has banned online ordained ministers from officiating weddings in Tennessee.

Critics of the measure say it’s a violation of First Amendment rights. But for another group — LGBT people in rural and suburban communities — the impact could be even greater.

Shalina Chatlani/WPLN

Tennessee will have more than 70 new laws this year.

They go into effect on Monday, and range from banning handheld devices while driving, to allowing one type of gambling.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has officially set a date for a special session to replace embattled House Speaker Glen Casada.

Some Tennessee lawmakers are asking the state’s Department of Environment and Conservation to do away with a large trade show and conference.

The Environmental Show of the South is put on by TDEC every year. But some of the after-hours meetups between officials and lobbyists have raised concerns.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

There’s an official date for Rep. Glen Casada to leave his post as speaker but, for some lawmakers Aug. 2 is not soon enough.

They want him to resign before then — some legislators fear Casada has ulterior motives for hanging on.

House of Representatives
Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Several Tennessee House lawmakers are pushing back on calls to hold a special session to replace House Speaker Glen Casada.

The embattled speaker sent Tuesday his resignation letter to House members on Tuesday, saying the meeting is needed to elect his successor. But some lawmakers are concerned about the cost of it.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Many state lawmakers are expressing frustration after House Speaker Glen Casada announced Tuesday that he doesn't intend to resign for another two months.  

The embattled speaker sent a letter to members laying out his plans to step down from the House’s top post. The decision drew immediate fire from the Republican lawmaker next in line to succeed him, as well as from several Democrats.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Later this summer, Tennessee lawmakers will be trying again to find ways to tighten access to abortion in the state.

This comes amid a wave of anti-abortion laws enacted in statehouses across the country. But the goal in Tennessee is to come up with a new approach that would significantly reduce abortions — and could stand up in court.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

Republicans in the Tennessee House of Representatives vowed to make free-market reforms in health care this year. The agenda was ambitious — reduce surprise billing, incentivize patients to be more cost conscious and deregulate the hospital industry.

In the end, some legislation stalled out, some was substantially watered down, but patients may still see some change.

Tennessee capitol legislature
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Just because Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin, plans on stepping down as House speaker doesn’t mean there aren’t still lingering questions surrounding the scandal that led to his departure.

WPLN’s political reporter Sergio Martínez-Beltrán and senior editor Chas Sisk say there are three issues related to the scandal that remain unresolved.

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