Tag Archives: joint

Haslam to Announce Medicaid Expansion Decision Wednesday

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam will address a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday about his decision on whether to expand Medicaid to cover more uninsured people under the federal health care overhaul, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Lawmakers plan to authorize the gathering during regular floor sessions Wednesday morning, the official told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the joint assembly hadn’t yet been publicly announced.
The governor’s office did not immediately return messages seeking comment, though Haslam’s spokesman recommended reporters attend the House floor session at 9:30 a.m. CDT.
Haslam hasn’t indicated whether he’ll recommend expanding TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, with the federal government paying the entire cost for the first three years and at least 90 percent thereafter.
“This is an incredibly complex issue,” Haslam told reporters earlier this week. “Every day I learn something new about the law, about its impact on Tennessee, about its impact on local governments, about its impact on businesses.”

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Democrats Ask Committee Investigation of DCS

News release from House Democratic Caucus:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner has sent a letter to Governor Haslam, Speaker Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ramsey requesting they convene a joint government operations committee meeting to investigate the Department of Children’s Services refusal to release records relating to the abuse and death of children under their care and reports that they have returned children to homes where there is evidence of abuse.
“The mission of the Department of Children’s Services is too important for them to operate in secrecy,” said Chairman Turner. “It is well past time that we have a full accounting of problems within the agency, so we can determine how best to move forward and fix them.”
Multiple Tennessee media outlets have recently been denied an open records request that sought to shed some light into the tragic deaths of children under the agency’s supervision. This follows news that the agency failed to disclose these deaths as required by law. The desire for more information stems from reports that the Department of Children’s Services has failed to protect children from abuse by allowing victims of child abuse to remain in the custody of their abusers.
“If Governor Haslam is unwilling to take the appropriate steps to protect the lives of children, then we must force him,” said Rep. Sherry Jones, who has been a leading advocate in the effort to protect children in DCS custody. “Over the past two years the leadership of DCS has moved our state backward in respect to disclosure of records and in protecting children from child abuse. I hope that my Republican colleagues will join me in pushing for more transparency and accountability that will move DCS forward.

Fleischmann Wants More Money

So far he’s got $620,000 saved to run for re-election and his finance chairman predicts “another very strong quarter,” but U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann has set up a second fundraising committee anyway, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
Two months after concluding the most successful fundraising quarter in Tennessee 3rd Congressional District history, Fleischmann — along with three other freshman House Republicans — formed the Majority Victory Fund on Feb. 29. The move could give Fleischmann an extra edge against his two high-profile GOP challengers, Scottie Mayfield and Weston Wamp.
Fleischmann declined an interview request, and spokesman Alek Vey said the congressman’s office wouldn’t comment on the joint committee’s fundraising goals or targeted donors. The committee’s other members are Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Raul Labrador of Idaho.
Joint fundraising committees are common — Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker participate in several — and experts said they allow groups of incumbents to benefit from their surroundings. Such committees often host fundraisers in Washington, and experts said special interest groups jump at the chance to get an audience with four congressmen for the price of one.