Mark Todd Engler

Tennessee farmers are breathing a sigh of relief after the Obama administration retreated from a proposal to restrict the kinds of agriculture-related jobs people under the age of 18 can legally perform in America. Rhedona Rose, executive vice president for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, said rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor last […]


The National Rifle Association’s point man in Tennessee favors putting the state’s Republican leadership on the spot for all to see regarding controversial gun-rights expansion measures in the General Assembly. “This is an issue that has been pending for four years,” NRA lobbyist Darren LaSorte said of legislation designed to ensure employees can keep a […]


Seeking to pit Republicans against one another and to force them to choose between key conservative-leaning constituencies, Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle attempted Monday to suspend the chamber’s regular rules and place the controversial guns-in-parking-lots bill directly on the floor. “I’m in somewhat of a quandary on this bill — I can’t vote against it […]

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Both Republican speakers in the Tennessee Legislature, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Rep. Beth Harwell, have indicated they’re uncomfortable with the legislation. Gun rights proponents argue, however, that a floor vote is only fair given that the measures have worked their way through the committee systems.


Statehouse proponents portray measure as common-sense effort to increase charter-school transparency and encourage the hiring of Tennesseans. Detractors: It assumes the worst of people who’ve done nothing wrong.


The constitutionality of governments in Tennessee levying taxes on income has been a matter of longstanding legal and political debate. That debate is set to continue for a while — but an official and unambiguous conclusion may in fact be on the horizon.



by Mark Todd Engler on January 18, 2012

A constitutional ban on state and local government taxing income in Tennessee took another step toward the 2014 general election ballot Thursday. The House approved SJR221 73-13-3.

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Tennessee’s presiding state House lawmaker anticipates a fruitful legislative session for Republicans in 2012, especially for one in particular: Gov. Bill Haslam. “We have a wonderful new governor who has a commitment to the state of Tennessee,” Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, told reporters Tuesday after the lower chamber’s opening act for the year. “We are going […]


Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to drop in on the 90th annual statewide conference of the Tennessee Farm Bureau today in Cool Springs. The governor’s thinking on the state Department of Agriculture‘s budget and policy priorities will likely be on the minds of many in attendance. Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson and others in his department […]


A rally and concert Saturday afternoon in Nashville is meant to be a show of support for Gibson Guitar, which was raided in August over wood imported from India allegedly in violation of that country’s laws. Coordinators say the federal raid was an “abuse of power and authority.”


The governor and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman Huffman on Thursday honored teachers who’d seen significant test-score bumps among their students during a ceremony at Murfreesboro’s Northfield Elementary School.


In the Black

by Mark Todd Engler on June 21, 2011

The Atlantic is taking notice of a fact that probably won’t come as a big shock to most Tennessee political watchers: Diane Black is one wealthy lady. The 60-year-old Tennessee Dist. 6 Congresswoman and former state senator from Gallatin may in fact be “The Richest New Member of the House,” the magazine observes. The short […]