"The introduction that's being written will emphasize that conditions are ripe in Tennessee for education reform. It's a Halley's Comet type of event to see Republicans, Democrats, teachers' unions, business groups and advocacy organizations all come together."
The governor signed the bill Saturday tying teacher tenure to student test scores. The Jackson Sun questions the whirlwind nature of the special session: "A more thoughtful approach might have led to even better improvements." Lawmakers are left to wonder if they did the right thing. They're still feeling a little squirrelly about acting without knowing many of the details of the state's federal application. The administration kept them secret for fear of tipping off rival states in the competition. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey:
"I liken it to an economic development project. There is a lot of 'build it and they will come' or 'trust me' to this. But I think ... he and I have worked together closely on this, that we're all headed together in the same direction. I trust him."A Metro property tax increase is on the table. ... The Convention & Visitors Bureau has offered financial incentives totaling $1.6 million to groups that have pre-booked space in proposed Music City Center, the Nashville Business Journal reports. ... Haslam says he's raised $5.7 million for governor's race. ... And A.C. Kleinheider defends the guy for keeping his income tax returns secret. ... A.J. McCall withdraws from state Senate race, clearing the way for Susan Lynn. ... New layoffs at the Commercial Appeal. ... A CQ analysis finds Lamar Alexander among the Republican senators who most often supported Obama in his votes in 2009 and who most often voted against the majority of his own party. ... The City Paper and The Tennessean endorse the Music City Center ... and the mayor defends it in an oped:
The hotel/motel taxes and other fees that will pay for the project were created specifically for this purpose and cannot be used on anything else. The only way we generate more money for schools and public safety is by broadening our tax base, and this project will do that.