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Lawsuit Denied
AP Wednesday April 1, 2015

A Nashville judge has ruled against a tax attorney's lawsuit demanding the release of records from Gov. Haslam's administration related to a $350,000 analysis of business-tax collections in Tennessee.
Tax attorney Brett Carter had filed the lawsuit in chancery court alleging a willful violation of the Tennessee Open Records Act over the state finance and revenue department's refusal to disclose details about how they decided to draft the Revenue Modernization Act that Haslam has proposed to lawmakers this year.
Haslam announced last year that he was commissioning a study of Tennessee's revenue system to try to explain the volatility of business-tax collections, but his lawyers said so single study was produced by the analysis and that other records were protected by an open-records exemption.


State Workers Keep Bonuses
AP Wednesday April 1, 2015

Gov. Haslam is withdrawing his effort to remove longevity bonuses for existing state employees after running into staunch opposition in the Legislature.
As part of his late-session budget amendment, Haslam now only wants to apply the change to new workers hired by the state.
State employees currently qualify for an annual bonus of $100 for each year of service, up to a maximum of $3,000.
Haslam had originally sought to fold the bonuses into state workers' salaries and halt future increases. The governor had planned to use the savings to fund merit raises based on employee evaluations.


Pedestrian Killed
Jay Walker Wednesday April 1, 2015

A pedestrian was killed Monday night when she was struck by a pickup truck as she was crossing Highway 70. It happened at the Oriole Drive intersection.
Police say 56 year old Robin C. Morton of McMinnville was crossing the eastbound lane when she was struck by a Nissan pickup truck, driven by 33 year old Jason Bouldin of McMinnville. Police say several people stopped to provide assistance, but the victim was dead on arrival at River Park Hospital.
No charges were filed. The accident remains under investigation.


Gas Prices
Tuesday March 31, 2015

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Libya caused oil prices to briefly spike last week, but gas prices stayed about the same in Tennessee.
AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said the conflict shouldn't continue affecting oil and gas prices unless there is an actual disruption in oil supply. He said the worst looks like it may be over for now as oil prices are now receding. However, gas prices usually risefaster than they decline, so it could be another week before pump prices begin falling again.
The good news is that gas is still more than a dollar cheaper than last year's peak prices, and not expected to reach $3 a gallon this year.
The national average price for a gallon of regular was $2.42, down 2 cents from a week ago. Tennessee's average of $2.14 is down a penny from last week.


Gun Legislation
AP Tuesday March 31, 2015

The House has passed a bill to strip city and county governments of the power to ban guns in parks, playgrounds and sports fields.
The chamber voted 65-21 Monday to pass the bill. It would apply to the state's 500,000 handgun carry permit holders.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on its version on Wednesday.
Gov. Haslam has said he has concerns about the bill, but hasn't said whether he would sign it into law.



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