NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Lois DeBerry is undergoing treatment for a recurrence of pancreatic cancer.
The Memphis Democrat was first elected in 1972 and is the longest-serving current member of the House of Representatives and second-longest in the entire Legislature. The 67-year-old is also the first female speaker pro tempore in the House.
DeBerry was first diagnosed with cancer in 2009 after suffering from stomach pain.
The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/10Kli31 ) reports that earlier this week House Speaker Beth Harwell appointed Democratic Rep. Karen Camper of Memphis to temporarily replace DeBerry on the House Finance Committee and its finance subcommittee.
DeBerry was excused from floor sessions on Monday and three days last week
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Rep. Judd Matheny is no longer considering a challenge to fellow Republican Beth Harwell for House speaker next year, he said Thursday.
Matheny, a strict gun rights advocate and a supporter of curbing what he sees as the spread of radical Islam in the state, announced last month that he was looking at a bid for the top post in the 99-member House because he felt marginalized by other Republican leaders.
But Matheny said in an interview in his legislative office on that he will instead seek another term in his current position as House speaker pro tempore. Besides speaker, it is the only post elected by the entire lower chamber of the General Assembly.
“It’s all sort of part of feeling your way into the majority and leadership roles,” he said. “I’ve been here 10 years now, and this has always been typically a sideline role. And I think it can be more, and I’m looking forward to it.”
News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – The Board of Professional Responsibility released data showing that more than 46 percent of Tennessee attorneys reported performing free (“pro bono”) legal work for deserving Tennesseans, an increase of six percent from last year.
This is the highest percentage of pro bono reporting since attorneys began to voluntarily report pro bono in 2009 and more than twice the level of reporting during the initial year. The figure released does not include attorneys who that have yet to renew their licenses and report hours.
The Memphis City Council has approved a $215 million financing package to turn The Pyramid into a Bass Pro Shops destination store and to invest in full ownership of the neighboring Memphis Cook Convention Center, reports the Commercial Appeal. The council voted 12-0 Tuesday in favor of the measure with little discussion. The Center City Revenue Finance Corp., the finance arm of the Downtown Memphis Commission, will issue bonds to fund the project, which are to be paid back through increased sales tax revenue collected Downtown.
Beyond transforming the now-vacant Pyramid, both Bass Pro Shops and the city say they hope to create an active convention center district, focusing on the connections among The Pyramid, the Mississippi River, Memphis Cook Convention Center and the historic Pinch District.
“This is bold action that will completely transform the face of the city,” said Mayor AC Wharton. “Although there have been rough obstacles to overcome and high doubt, we’re going to get this done.”
The city plans to buy Shelby County’s 50percent share of the convention center for $65 million to $75 million so it can gain full control of the Downtown Tourist Development Zone, which takes advantage of retail sales for most of Downtown, including Beale Street and the medical district immediately east of Downtown.
Tourist Development Zones divert new state tax revenue from businesses within the designated areas to specific public-use facilities, such as The Pyramid or the convention center, instead of sending that revenue to the state.
“That money would be going to Nashville if we didn’t use it,” Wharton said. “So, we can use the increased tax revenue from the project to pay for the project.”