Latest Tennessee state government News

FILE - In this July 1, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee removes his mask as he begins a news conference in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee was one of the first states to begin reopening in late April after Lee reluctantly issued a safer-at-home order that forced businesses to close. Since then, case numbers have continued to rise in part due to more testing, but also because of an increase in community spread of the disease. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

White House: Tennessee mask mandate 'must be implemented'

Oct. 16, 2020 7:34 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The White House quietly told Tennessee early this week that “a statewide mask mandate must be implemented" to curb its growing spread of COVID-19, strong instructions that the White House and governor did not discuss publicly before the report emerged in a records request....

Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, asks a question during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. The special session was called by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to pass liability reforms to protect businesses from lawsuits prompted by reopening after the coronavirus quarantine. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Tennessee lawmaker under fire after interview comments

Oct. 16, 2020 2:48 PM EDT

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker from Chattanooga is under fire for comments made during a local TV interview in which he blamed “inner city” obesity partly on people eating fried chicken and criticized the local police department's hiring practices. “The obesity rate...

FILE - This file photo provided by Tennessee Department of Correction shows Tennessee death row inmate Pervis Payne. Payne on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, asked the governor to commute his sentence to life in prison, or, at the very least, to postpone his execution until lawmakers can fix a loophole that prevents him from presenting evidence of intellectual disability to avoid execution. (Tennessee Department of Correction via AP, File)

Tennessee inmate who claims innocence asks for clemency

Oct. 5, 2020 5:03 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee death row inmate who has always claimed innocence asked the governor on Monday to commute his sentence to life in prison. Pervis Payne, 53, is scheduled to die on Dec. 3 for the 1987 stabbing deaths of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter, Lacie Jo....

Tennessee's medication abortion law blocked by judge

Sep. 30, 2020 11:43 AM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge has blocked a Tennessee law that required women undergoing drug-induced abortions be informed the procedure could be reversed. The statute was about to go into effect Wednesday after the GOP-dominant General Assembly advanced a sweeping anti-abortion measure earlier...

Michelle Winings, R.N., prepares to give Gov. Roy Cooper his flu shot at the Wake County Health Department in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)

The Latest: UN chief cites pandemic's 'unprecedent toll'

Sep. 29, 2020 9:48 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS -- The United Nations chief says the COVID-19 pandemic has taken “an unprecedent toll” especially on the economies of many developing countries and the world has not responded with “the massive and urgent support those countries and communities need.” Secretary-General...

FILE - In this March 15, 2016 file photo, Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, listens to the testimony during a House subcommittee hearing in Nashville, Tenn.  Walmart, Amazon and other corporate giants donated money to Lynn's re-election campaign after she used social media to amplify and promote the QAnon conspiracy theory. That's according to an Associated Press review of campaign finance records and online posts by Republican state Rep. Susan Lynn.(AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)

Walmart, Amazon among donors to QAnon-promoting lawmaker

Sep. 19, 2020 10:46 PM EDT

Walmart, Amazon and other corporate giants donated money to the reelection campaign of a Tennessee state lawmaker who had used social media to amplify and promote the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to an Associated Press review of campaign finance records and the candidate’s posts. The corporate...

Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson, speaks to members of the Senate and House Elections Committees during a joint hearing at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, June 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi justices: No broad absentee voting amid COVID-19

Sep. 18, 2020 6:27 PM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi law does not allow absentee voting by all people who have health conditions that might make them vulnerable to COVID-19, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday. A majority of justices reversed a Sept. 2 decision by Hinds County Chancery Judge Denise Owens, saying she too...

Tennessee defends abortion reversal law in legal challenge

Sep. 16, 2020 6:47 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee law requiring doctors to inform women that drug-induced abortions may be reversed is critical for women who may change their minds halfway through the procedure, the state's top legal chief said. Last month, abortion rights groups filed a lawsuit arguing the newly...

Police officers wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus, walk in downtown Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Latest: S Korea's coronavirus resurgence seems to slow

Sep. 9, 2020 10:14 PM EDT

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s new coronavirus cases have stayed below 200 for an eighth straight day, suggesting the recent viral resurgence is slowing amid stringent social distancing rules. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it recorded 155 additional cases...

A marble urn that contains the cremated remains of security guard Luis Zamudio, who died from symptoms related to COVID-19 at the age of 58, sits on a shelf along with his helmet and his face shield at his home in Lima, Peru, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The Latest: Australia adds 53 earlier dead to pandemic toll

Sep. 3, 2020 11:21 PM EDT

SYDNEY — Australian authorities have added 53 deaths at nursing homes from earlier this year to the country’s total of coronavirus deaths. Those deaths plus six that officials reported Friday for the previous 24 hours raises Australia’s toll from the pandemic to 737. Victoria state...