Thursday, June 27

Gov. Bill Lee says he’s ‘California dreaming,’ brags about luring companies to Tennessee (Tennessean) Hours after the announcement that two more California-based businesses are relocating their headquarters to Middle Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday took to Twitter touting the news. Beaming as he looked into the camera, Lee posted a video relishing that Mitsubishi Motors North America and online bookkeeping service Pilot.com would be leaving the West Coast to bring their corporate offices to the Volunteer State. “It is a beautiful day in Tennessee, but I gotta tell ya, as governor, today, I’m California dreaming,” Lee said as he laughed while standing outside the state Capitol building. LINK

Mitsubishi Motors to relocate North America HQ to Tennessee (AP) Mitsubishi Motors announced on Tuesday that it is relocating its North America headquarters from California to Tennessee, a move that will bring the Japanese automaker closer to its sister company Nissan and strengthen Tennessee’s growing reputation as an epicenter of the automotive sector. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe — who made the announcement with Mitsubishi Motors North America — say the headquarters move from Cypress, California, to Franklin, Tennessee, will result in an $18.25 million investment in the region and approximately 200 jobs. LINK

After remarks from California’s governor, Lee weighs in on winning Golden State jobs (Nashville Business Journal) It’s not exactly the U.S. vs. China, but Tennessee and California may have their own economic war brewing. The Bay Area exodus of tech companies to Middle America has at least one Golden State resident fed up, but Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said it’s not surprising that Nashville has been able to poach firms from Silicon Valley’s signature industry. “As you may have read recently, there’s a lot of talk about movement from technology regions in other parts of the country, specifically California, into our state,” Lee said Tuesday. “There’s a reason for that: It’s because we are building the technology workforce, we are building the infrastructure for technology, but we also just have a way of life here that is attractive to people and they’re figuring it out more and more.” LINK

Mitsubishi Motors Relocates U.S. Headquarters to Franklin, Tennessee (Area Development) Mitsubishi Motors will invest $18.25 million to move U.S. headquarters to Franklin, Tennessee. The company plans to bring approximately 200 jobs to Williamson County. Since 1988, Mitsubishi Motors North America has been rooted in California. The relocation to Franklin will begin in August and be completed by the end of 2019. All departments will be relocating, including sales, marketing, IT, human resources, communications, parts and services, product planning, dealer operations, finance and legal. LINK

Xtend Healthcare expansion to bring 200 jobs to Hendersonville (Tennessean) Xtend Healthcare LLC will invest $1.3 million and create 200 jobs in Hendersonville, officials announced Monday. The Hendersonvnille-based company provides comprehensive revenue cycle solutions for hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers, according to a news release. Currently, Xtend Healthcare employs more than 700 professionals in Tennessee and 1,000 worldwide. Gov. Bill Lee said that when businesses expand in Tennessee, it sends a strong message about the environment the state creates. LINK

Governor Lee Encourages State Judges To Be Part Of Criminal Justice Reform (Chattanoogan) Governor Bill Lee delved into criminal justice reform at the 66th Tennessee Judicial Conference. He explored why he feels reform is so crucial and emphasized that state judges have a large role to play in helping to plan and implement that reform. Governor Lee started off by acknowledging the judiciary’s longstanding attention to criminal justice reform. “This room of people has been thinking about this subject and working on it long before it became as popular a subject as it is today,” he said. “I’m grateful to every single one of you for the work that’s been done, the foundations that have been laid. For me to have the opportunity to build upon those is an honor.” LINK

With Metro cooling to incentives, how long will the state keep going? (Nashville Business Journal) Around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nashville Mayor David Briley heralded the arrival of 450 jobs from a San Francisco-based tech company. Four hours later, at a mayoral debate, Briley noted that Nashville landed that deal without committing a dollar of incentives. That business, Pilot.com Inc., isn’t the only company not receiving Metro incentives. Accounting giant EY got nothing for its 600 announced jobs on Music Row. Metro also isn’t offering anything to Postmates Inc., the on-demand delivery pioneer, for its major pending expansion … Corporate recruitments have become almost cutthroat battles, with most companies expecting cities and states to offer incentives to sway their decision. LINK

Hyundai of Cool Springs Hero: Lt. Travis Plotzer with THP (WKRN-TV) Emergency responders and Governor Bill Lee call him a hero after he put himself in danger to bring others to safety one rainy night in February. It’s a night that Lt. Travis Plotzer with the Tennessee Highway Patrol won’t forget … “He went into chest-deep water to help rescue motorists stranded on top of their vehicles. He didn’t hesitate to be the first one to help. He showed what it really means to be a public servant. He showed what it really means to be a leader,” Gov. Lee said. LINK

MTSU signs aerospace pact with Kenya university (AP) Middle Tennessee State University has signed a five-year agreement with Moi University of Kenya for collaboration between their aerospace departments on teaching, research and student exchanges. MTSU President Sidney McPhee and Moi CEO Isaac Kosgey signed the agreement in Kenya on Monday. According to a news release from MTSU, McPhee told the Moi faculty senate that the airline industry is growing rapidly. McPhee said demand for pilots is so high that their instructors are being hired away. LINK

MTSU students researching hemp discover promising compound (WKRN-TV) Hemp has been hailed for its versatility — from its fiber that can be used as material for textiles and construction to one of its compounds, cannabidiol (CBD), for its therapeutic effects. However, as with any new product on the market, much of the evidence surrounding its effects is anecdotal. CBD research, which is still in its infancy, to back those claims is limited. From chronic pain to anxiety and insomnia — even the aches that come with age — you hear story after story of the benefits of CBD. “Had a shoulder injury that got worse,” said Wade Plumlee, who uses CBD oil. “It works for me. It gives me relief.” LINK

Regulating Tennessee’s growing hemp industry (WKRN-TV) Tennessee has become one of the top producers of hemp in the country. With that growth has come regulation change in just four years of the program. Hemp, once a thriving crop in Tennessee, made its comeback after the 2014 Federal Farm Bill legalized industrial production. “We’ve seen gradual growth throughout our program history, but over the past year there’s been quite the jump at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s hemp program,” said Will Freeman, Spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. LINK

How Gideon’s Army Is Making Peace in North Nashville (Nashville Scene)When Mariyo Deon heard that 19-year-old Charlie Easley had been shot and killed overnight in North Nashville, he left work immediately and drove to Easley’s grandparents’ house, where the teen had been living. At that point, on the morning of April 10, Deon didn’t yet know if it was true. But he had to find out. Deon, a local hip-hop artist with a master’s degree in education, had been mentoring Easley for more than eight years. He’d watched Easley grow up all too fast. It was widely known that Deon had been mentoring Easley, and an area school principal sent him a text message saying students were crowding the guidance counselors, telling them Easley had been gunned down. LINK

Center raises awareness of the impact of sexual violence on LGBTQ community (WTVF-TV) For pride month, hundreds of people are showing their support for the LGBTQ community. It’s also a time to raise awareness. The LGBTQ community experiences sexual violence at similar or higher rates than straight and cisgender people. Clinical therapist Alexandra Damiano with the Sexual Assault Center explains that 44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. That’s compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women. LINK

State Museum Foundation to consider backing women’s suffrage centennial exhibit (Daily Memphian) Fresh off questions about its fundraising for the Tennessee State Museum, the foundation designed to benefit the museum will consider providing funds for a centennial celebration of the Legislature’s 1920 women’s suffrage vote – the state’s own War of the Roses. The Tennessee State Museum Foundation’s executive committee at its next meeting, likely in July, will vote on a move to provide matching funds to the State Museum for an exhibit on the historic vote that gave the nation the 36th state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment for women’s voting rights. LINK

U.S. Supreme Court tosses out Tennessee liquor law (Commercial Appeal) The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday tossed out a Tennessee law that required liquor store owners to live in the state two years before they could open a business here. In a 7-2 decision, the justices said the regulation illegally infringed on interstate commerce protections provided by the U.S. Constitution. Their ruling eliminates a barrier for out-of-state owners trying to get a liquor license and conduct business in Tennessee. It came in the case of a Memphis couple that tried to open a liquor store after they moved from Utah to Tennessee to find better care for their daughter with a disability. Tennessee’s law required people to live in state for two years before they could get a liquor license. LINK

US Supreme Court overturns Tennessee liquor law (WTVF-TV) In a 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a Tennessee law that created a two-year residency requirement for those seeking to operate a liquor store in Tennessee. The challenge was originally brought by Doug and Mary Ketchum, a Memphis couple who wanted to start a liquor store in Tennessee after moving from Utah. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said the requirement creates barriers to interstate commerce, which the Constitution forbids, because it “blatantly favors the State’s residents and has little relationship to public health and safety.” LINK

Supreme Court strikes down Tennessee liquor sales law (AP) The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a Tennessee law that makes it hard for outsiders to break into the state’s liquor sales market. The court voted 7-2 in ruling that a state requirement that someone live in Tennessee for two years to be eligible for a license to sell liquor violates the Constitution. The outcome was a victory for a family that moved to Tennessee because of their daughter’s disability and a national chain with nearly 200 liquor stores in 23 states. LINK

House Republicans will select a speaker to replace Glen Casada on July 24 (Tennessean) Tennessee’s next speaker of the House of Representatives will be selected July 24 in a Republican caucus meeting being called ahead of a special legislative session. House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, said Wednesday that the meeting will take place at 9 a.m. that morning. Gov. Bill Lee is expected to announce the date of a late August special legislative session this week to elect a replacement for outgoing Speaker Glen Casada. LINK

Tennessee House GOP to meet July 24 to nominate replacement for Speaker Casada (Times Free Press) Tennessee House Republican lawmakers will meet July 24 to pick a speaker nominee to succeed Rep. Glen Casada, who is resigning the chamber’s No. 1 post after a GOP Caucus vote of no confidence last month. It comes with Republican Gov. Bill Lee expected to announce as early as this week a date in mid-to-late August to call the General Assembly into special session so the House can elect Casada’s replacement on the chamber floor. LINK

Lawmaker calls for July caucus meeting to select House Speaker nominee (WTVF-TV) House Majority Leader William Lamberth called for a caucus meeting July 24 to select a Republican nominee for Speaker of the House. Governor Bill Lee said earlier this month he would call a special session to allow the House to pick a new Speaker following the resignation of Glen Casada. Casada announced that he would resign effective Aug. 2, following months of controversy including allegedly framing a young activist with a crime , an FBI investigation , and being accused of misusing taxpayer money. LINK

House Majority Leader announces Caucus meeting to pick Republican nominee for speaker (WZTV-TV) House Majority Leader William Lamberth has announced an upcoming Caucus meeting to pick a Republican nominee for Tennessee Speaker of the House. Lamberth (R-Portland) said he is “eager to move Tennessee forward.” The meeting is set for July 24 at 9 a.m. This comes after Glen Casada’s announcement to resign as speaker following leaked messages exposing lewd and racist remarks between staff. LINK

Republicans will meet July 24 to pick new speaker (Nashville Post) The caucus voted last month in favor of a no-confidence resolution regarding the leadership of Speaker Glen Casada. The Franklin Republican said he would resign in August following a cascade of negative stories surrounding his time at the helm of the state House and his relationship with former chief of staff Cade Cothren. “Following conversations with our members over the last several days, I am calling a caucus meeting for July 24th to select a Republican nominee for speaker of the House,” House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) said in a release. LINK

House Republicans set July 24 meeting to pick Speaker nominee (Daily Memphian) The 73-member House Republican Caucus will hold a late July meeting to vote on a Speaker nominee in advance of an August special session when the full chamber will replace Glen Casada. “Following conversations with our members over the last several days, I am calling a caucus meeting for July 24 to select a Republican nominee for Speaker of the House,” Majority Leader William Lamberth said Wednesday evening. LINK

House GOP to nominate new speaker July 24 (TN Journal) Let the countdown begin. The House Republican Caucus plans to meet on July 24 to nominate a new speaker to succeed Rep. Glen Casada, who is stepping down following a loss-of-confidence vote. The move comes as lawmakers await word from Gov. Bill Lee about the timing of a special session to hold a formal vote on replacing the speaker. The governor has said he plans to summon lawmakers back to Nashville in mid to late August, but had not settled on a specific date as of Tuesday, according to The Tennessean. LINK

4 former lawmakers among 6 finalists to lead ethics and campaign finance panel (Nashville Business Journal) The Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance has whittled down the applications to succeed retiring Executive Director Drew Rawlins from 43 to six. The finalists include four former lawmakers, a former judge, and a current staffer. The finalists are scheduled to be interviewed over the course of three weeks starting on July 8. Here’s who made the cut: LINK

Tennessee law banning hand-held cellphone use while driving in effect Monday (News Sentinel) The state’s newest driving law will take effect next week, and law enforcement agencies will be looking to make sure drivers aren’t using their phones for any reason. The new “Hands Free Law” allows drivers to push one button to accept or end a phone call, but that’s it, Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Don Boshears said. “Hands-free is basically just what it sounds like,” he said. “You will not be able to hold the phone in your hand or against any part of your body … you can do Bluetooth, you can use headphones and ear pieces and have it play through the radio.” LINK

New law prohibits most phone use while driving, goes into effect July 1 (Elizabethton Star) Starting July 1, Tennessee drivers can receive tickets for having their cell phone on their person, whether making a phone call or checking the time. The campaign Hands Free Tennessee has spearheaded the bill and its provisions, saying it has partnered with Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development. LINK

Driving High (Memphis Flyer) Drivers drive high and don’t think they’ll get caught, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Nearly 14.8 million drivers said they drove within an hour of using cannabis, according to a report released last week. And nearly 70 percent of Americans thought it unlikely they’d get busted for it. “Law enforcement officials are getting more sophisticated in their methods for identifying marijuana-impaired drivers, and the consequences are not worth the risk,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee public affairs director for AAA. LINK

Lawmakers Question Relationship Between Lobbyists And State Agency’s Environmental Conference (WPLN Radio) Some Tennessee lawmakers are asking the state’s Department of Environment and Conservation to do away with a large trade show and conference. The Environmental Show of the South is put on by TDEC every year. But some of the after-hours meetups between officials and lobbyists have raised concerns. The event, held in Chattanooga last month, attracts over 1,200 people from environmental agencies, county governments and the private sector. LINK

Sports betting won’t be a reality for fans in Tennessee until fall 2019 (WTVF-TV) Online sports betting will be legal on July 1, but you won’t be able to place bets until November at the earliest. Sportsbook-style online betting was legalized by the state legislature during the 2019 session. Representative Rick Staples wanted to bring a new stream of revenue to the state and keep the dollars of Tennesseans from going to nearby states with legal gambling. The program will allow companies to create gambling websites or phone applications for people to bet on collegiate level or professional sports. LINK

Wedding Workaround (Memphis Flyer) On July 1st, “internet married” is over in Tennessee. State lawmakers this year passed a bill that prevents online-ordained ministers from marrying couples. The new rule (Public Chapter No. 415) gives that power to a broader array of government officials but demands more from “ministers” of any stripe. “Under present law, in order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, a minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi, or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple, or other religious group or organization, and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act,” reads the bill summary. LINK

American Marriage Ministries holds mass ordination in Knoxville in response to new law (Tennessean) Seattle-based American Marriage Ministries stopped in Knoxville on Wednesday during its trek across Tennessee to ordain people in person after the state passed a law barring online-ordained ministers from performing weddings. Some people who attended the event at Blue Slip Winery and Bistro were ordained Wednesday for the first time. But the majority were those who had already been ordained online and needed to update their ordination in person to legally officiate weddings they have scheduled. LINK

Internet church sues Tennessee over law banning weddings by online-ordained ministers (News Sentinel) A Seattle-based online church is suing the state of Tennessee over a new law that bars online-ordained ministers from performing weddings. Universal Life Church Ministries filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Attorneys for Universal Life want a restraining order barring the law from going in effect until the court case is settled. The law, which states that “persons receiving online ordinations may not solemnize the rite of matrimony” was to go into effect July 1. LINK

Group of ministers suing the state of Tennessee over new law (WZTV-TV) A group of ministers ordained online is suing the state of Tennessee, saying the new law preventing them from officiating weddings is encroaching on some of their basic rights. Until this law approached, you could become an ordained minister online and marry two people in the state of Tennessee. That’s exactly what Brian Sullivan did two years ago when a friend asked him to preside over their ceremony. “I love helping people facilitate that. I think that love is one of the most important things we do as human beings,” Sullivan said. LINK

Liquor stores feeling financial impact six months after grocery stores allowed to sell wine on Sundays (WSMV-TV) Picking up your favorite bottle of wine is more convenient than ever especially since you can buy it on Sunday while you’re grocery shopping. Six months after a law allowing that went into effect, local liquor stores say it’s hurting their bottom line in a big way. News4 spoke with Bard Quillman has seen plenty of changes in his 18 years of owning Red Dog Wine & Spirits in Franklin. That includes grocery stores selling wine and the latest change allowing them to sell on Sundays six months ago. “Once grocery stores came in and started selling, we immediately saw a drop off of about 50% in our wine sales. It just went away,” Quillman said. LINK

With Rare Comity, Senate Panel Advances Bills to Lower Health Costs (NY Times) The Senate health committee approved a package of bills on Wednesday aimed at lowering the cost of medical care, from ending surprise medical bills to curbing prescription drug price surges, with a rare bipartisan vote that could vault it toward final passage. The cost-cutting legislation is a priority of Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the health committee chairman who will retire next year and is seeking a victory after his plan last year with Senator Patty Murray of Washington to stabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance markets failed. LINK

Rep. Burchett ‘pre-games’ ahead of Congressional baseball (WVLT-TV) Representative Tim Burchett has a slightly different ‘pre-game’ routine than most pro-athletes. WVLT News’ Washington DC affiliate reporter, Kyle Midura, captured this photo of Burchett ahead of the Congressional Baseball game on June 26. LINK

State of Tennessee says Memphis Mayoral candidate is on probation and can’t run (WATN-TV) One candidate running for Memphis Mayor can’t even vote for herself, let alone run for office. That’s because Pamela Moses is on probation. The founder of the local Black Lives Matter movement insists she’s really not on probation, and now she’s taking her fight to court. Moses plead guilty to several felony charges in 2015. She claims her 8 years of probation is over. But the state of Tennessee disagrees. Wednesday Moses was in court hoping to get her citizen’s rights restored. LINK

Ballad Health COPA: Insufficient or raising the standard for state oversight? (WJHL-TV) Experts say state oversight is the last line of defense in a hospital monopoly. At a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop, some said the agreement that created Ballad Health is raising the standard for active supervision. Others argued it’s insufficient. Certificates of Public Advantage rely on active supervision to protect patients when states opt to rid of health care competition and remove antitrust scrutiny from the federal government. Law Professor James Blumstein, director of Vanderbilt’s Health Policy Center, said, “The states must not only have the power but exercise the power and exercise it on an ongoing basis so that this can’t be them state rubber-stamping a private conspiracy.” LINK

State gives green light to Knoxville Rehabilitation Hospital (WATE-TV) The state of Tennessee has granted approval for a certificate of need for a 57-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Knoxville. The hospital, Knoxville Rehabilitation Hospital, is a partnership between Kindred Healthcare, Tennova Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Medical Center. The hospital, set to open in 2021 at a site along Middlebrook Pike, will provide care for patients across 11 counties with impairments from situations like stroke, spinal cord and brain injury, neurologic illness, and more. Most of the patients are expected to be seniors, but they will be equipped to care for younger patients as well. LINK

Longtime Memphis Chamber exec returns to economic development work (Memphis Business Journal) After about a year in the private sector, a prominent Memphian has jumped back into economic development. Mark Herbison was hired recently by Haywood, Tipton, and Lauderdale counties to lead their joint industrial development efforts. He was the Greater Memphis Chamber’s senior vice president of economic development for 13 years before taking a job with Chicago-based construction firm Clayco Inc. last July. The former senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Memphis Chamber is now leading Haywood, Tipton and Lauderdale Counties’ industrial development efforts. LINK

Tennessee’s carmakers are focused on the next generation of global consumers (TN Ledger) Tennessee’s three big automakers, General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen, are being forced to adapt to a global economy largely dictated by China. Why? Because China is now the world’s largest producer and consumer of automobiles. And the Chinese are going all-out to make electric vehicles. What does that mean for Tennesseans and the state’s auto industry? Expect big changes to vehicles in the coming years, with all three automakers phasing out their existing lines for both electric vehicles and self-driving cars, analysts say. LINK

Tennessee giving 32 grants for historic preservation (AP) A state commission says it is awarding 32 grants for historic preservation and archaeological projects in Tennessee. State Historic Preservation Officer Patrick McIntyre said in a statement Wednesday that the grants amounting to more than $750,000 help “protect historic places and contribute to the preservation of Tennessee’s heritage.” The Tennessee Historical Commission says it reviewed 51 applications for the competitive grants, with $1.6 million in requests. The commission says that’s “significantly more than the amount of funding available.” LINK

Tennessee Historical Commission announces preservation fund grants (Times Free Press) The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced it is awarding more than $750,000 in grants for various historic preservation and archaeological projects across the state, including projects in Bradley, Coffee, Grundy and McMinn counties. The grants, part of the Historic Preservation Fund, are awarded annually for projects that support the preservation of historic and archaeological resources. LINK

Tennessee 11th most dangerous state for motorcyclists, report says (WVLT-TV) Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation, especially in the hotter months. According to a new report from QuoteWizard, there were more than 8.4 million registered motorcycles in the U.S. in 2017, a 23 percent jump over the last 10 years. With so many Americans taking a ride on the vehicles, QuoteWizard released a report on the most dangerous states for motorcycle riders, and Tennessee almost made the top 10. According to the report, Tennessee was ranked 11 and had 134 motorcycle-related fatalities in 2017. LINK

OPINION

Editorial: Sobriety About the Commerce Clause (Wall St. Journal) One goal of the U.S. Constitution was to form a union that allowed interstate commerce unencumbered by state protectionism. The Supreme Court reinforced that principle on Wednesday by striking down a two-year residency requirement to get a liquor license in Tennessee. Car dealers excepted, few state lobbies are as ferociously protectionist as purveyors of demon rum. And, sure enough, a business lobby known as Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association argued that the 21st Amendment that repealed Prohibition also gave the states broad authority to regulate alcohol. The association knows that if people can move to a state and open up liquor stores, it means more potential competition for those who already have licenses. LINK

Guest column: Juul will benefit more from Meharry Medical College than Meharry will get from the e-cigarette maker (Tennessean) On June 7, Meharry Medical College announced the establishment of the Meharry Center for the Study of Social Determinants of Health to examine the impact of smoking, drinking, poor nutrition and poverty on underserved communities. The first initiative will involve a five-year study of tobacco and nicotine-related products through a $7.5 million research grant from Juul Labs, Inc. This venture should raise eyebrows. For one thing, it is funded by the maker of the most popular electronic cigarette among teenagers, Juul. For another, the proposed research does not break new ground. LINK

Frank Cagle: Locals make up state cuts for behavioral care (KnoxTNToday) State funds for Knoxville’s Safety Center were cut 75 percent this year at a time when the state budget has a surplus of over $500 million. At the end of Gov. Bill Lee’s first budget next year, the rainy-day fund will contain $1.1 billion. It’s called the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center now, but it remains a place to get treatment that removes the mentally ill and substance abusers from the jail. It’s run by Helen Ross McNabb, a nonprofit mental-health clinic. Last year’s start-up $3 million budget was cut to $1.4 million to operate the fiscal year that begins July 1. LINK

Bill Freeman: Nashville is headed in the right direction (Nashville Scene) It is encouraging to see Nashville making progress toward moving in the right direction. We have many things going for us. Our city leaders are working hard to remain cognizant of our growth and its pace, mindful of how we want to leave Nashville for future generations. There is work to be done, but it is nothing that we can’t accomplish together. Nashville was recently paid a great compliment. John Tuttle, the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, said he considers Nashville to be one of the top cities in the country primed for significant investment due to our keen technological and health care fields. LINK

Guest column: Linking Medicare to international drug prices won’t help mental health care (Tennessean) More than 75% of Tennessee youth who take our screening are at risk for mental illness. That’s why we need to do everything in our power to increase access to mental health treatment options. Unfortunately, our health care system does not treat mental health treatments with the same importance as our physical health, resulting in barriers to critical therapies for Tennessee patients and caregivers. Mental health parity, which occurs when insurance plans and Medicare cover mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD and more with the same intensity that they treat physical conditions like a broken leg or heart attack, is our best hope to eliminate barriers to mental health care. LINK

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