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Haslam To Give Final State of the State Address
AP Friday January 26, 2018

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to deliver his final State of the State speech.
The governor will address the state House and Senate Monday at 6 p.m. The event will be streamed online.
Haslam will wrap up his second four-year term next January. The race to succeed him has drawn five leading Republicans and two Democrats.
Haslam has announced a $30 million plan to address the opioid crisis as one of the top priorities for his final annual legislative session as governor.


Bill Proposed to Raise Smoking Age
Thursday January 25, 2018

Two Tennessee lawmakers are looking to change the smoking and vaping age in the Volunteer state.
State lawmakers Sen. Jeff Yarbro and Rep. Darren Jernigan are backing the bill that would raise the age for using cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products from 18 to 19.
Some opponents of the bill feel raising the age won't do anything to encourage people to quit smoking.
Many people have said e-cigarettes help people quit smoking; others contest vaping is actually a gateway to smoking.


Medical Marijuana Bill Filed
WTVF Thursday January 25, 2018

Two Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would legalize a form of medical marijuana in Tennessee.
The "Medical Cannabis Act" would allow people with specific medical conditions to have access to cannabis oil. It would not allow recreational use of marijuana.
Sen. Steve Dickerson, who is also a doctor, is sponsoring the bill for the fourth year. Rep. Jeremy Faison, a Republican from Cosby, is the sponsor in the House.
People with cancer, Parkinson's disease and PTSD, among other conditions, would be able to obtain the cannabis oil. Sen. Dickerson estimated 65,000 Tennesseans would benefit from the bill.
If the bill ultimately passes, Tennessee would join 29 other states that have legalized medical marijuana in various forms.


Haslam Sets Up Panel in Opioid Plan
AP Thursday January 25, 2018

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has established a commission on pain and addiction medicine education, marking one of the first moves in his $30 million plan to combat opioid abuse.
A news release from the governor Wednesday says he established the Tennessee Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education by executive order. The 19-member panel includes representatives from the state's public and private medical educational institutions, the Tennessee Department of Health, a broad group of professional associations and licensed health care practitioners.
The group is tasked with providing medical education institutions with guidelines to avoid overprescribing opioids for future doctors, nurses, dentists and other prescribers.
The commission has to file a report by July 31.
Haslam said the group is not trying to tell schools what their curriculum should be.


Tennessee Promise FAFSA Deadline Friday
Thursday January 25, 2018

The deadline for Tennessee Promise scholarship recipients (high school class of 2018) to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) has been extended until Jan. 26, 2018, due to the recent bout of wintry weather and illness-related school closings in the state.
Officials say it is extremely important that the FAFSA be completed by Jan. 26 to be eligible for the Tennessee Promise scholarship.
Additionally, mandatory TN Achieves team meetings will be held at the students' high school this spring. High school guidance counselors will be advising students of the dates and times of the mandatory meetings.


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