A new state-by-state analysis of the teen unemployment rate shows the youth jobless picture improving throughout our listening area. The figures look at the number of 16 to 19 year olds in each state who are actively seeking work.
Drug crimes in Tennessee have risen to their second-highest number in eleven years. That comes despite the fact that overall crime rates in the Volunteer State are dropping. On the one hand, Tennessee has experienced four years of general crime declines. On the other hand, the Tennessean reports that drug-related incidents are on the rise throughout the state.
A proposal that seeks to lift a cap on contributions from political action committees is once again advancing in the Tennessee legislature. The measure sponsored by Rep. Glen Casada had been withdrawn. But the Franklin Republican revived the measure and the House State and Local Government Committee moved it out Monday on a 6-4 vote.
A proposal to drug test people as a condition for receiving welfare in Tennessee is advancing in the House. The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Julia Hurly of Lenoir City was approved on a voice vote in the House Finance Committee Monday. The companion bill is awaiting a Senate floor vote.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville will participate in a nationwide clinical study about the use of deep brain stimulation as an intervention for patients with major depression. The stimulation uses mild pulses of current to regulate specific areas of the brain, much like a pacemaker uses pulses of current to regulate the heart.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has scored three legislative victories regarding food and inheritance taxes, and a civil service reform bill. Members of the Tennessee House have voted to cut the state’s tax on food by a quarter of a percentage point, and they agreed to gradually eliminate Tennessee’s tax in inheritance by 2016.
Tennessee is seeing an increased number of proposals for charter schools. The rise in applications is largely due to a recent change in state law that no longer limits charters to low-income students from failing classrooms. The Tennessean reports that in Nashville alone eleven groups have applied to create new charter school operations.
Tennessee lawmakers are looking at legislation that would prevent state universities from extending non-discrimination policies to campus religious groups. A Tennessee Senate committee has unanimously approved a bill what would forbid the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Board of Regents Systems from applying non-discrimination rules to faith-based campus organizations.
New guidelines issued by the U-S Department of Labor mean claimants will have to conduct documented work searches to continue receiving jobless benefits. Under terms of federal legislation enacted in February, claimants will also be required to meet face to face with state job service workers.