Mark Norris

Tennessee lawmakers head into session with elections looming

Tennessee lawmakers return Tuesday for a session colored by upcoming elections and Gov. Bill Haslam's final lap before he hits his term limits.

This year, the Republican-led General Assembly likely won't face a monthslong fight over one topic, like the roads-funding package with gas tax hikes and other tax breaks that Haslam ushered into law in 2017.

Instead, opioid abuse will be a main focus, legislative leaders and Haslam have said, a less divisive topic before state elections for governor, all 99 House seats and 17 of 33 Senate seats.

Lawmakers can't raise campaign cash during the session, an incentive to finish quickly with the primary looming on Aug. 2. The...

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