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The Cumberland County Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting tonight. Agenda items include the Ninth Commission Seat Vacancy, a resolution amending the Personnel Policy regarding Welfare Benefits to certain Cumberland County Retirees, and budget amendments to Veterans Services and the Veterans Assistance Council. The Cumberland County Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. Monday, April 18, in the large meeting room on the third floor of the Cumberland County Courthouse and is open to the public.
Republicans in the Legislature have their first opportunity to override one of Gov. Bill Haslam's vetoes this week when they seek to re-pass a bill to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee.
The sponsors of the Bible bill are expected to formally announce their plans to override the veto on the House floor on Monday evening, which legislative leaders say sets up a vote on Wednesday.
Haslam's previous three vetoes were made after the General Assembly had adjourned for year.
The bill received 55 votes in the 99-member House and 19 votes in the 33-member Senate. As it only takes a majority in both chambers to override a veto, the Haslam administration needs to turn six House votes and three in the Senate for the veto to stand.
It has been more than a decade since Middle Tennessee has dealt with swarms of cicadas. The last time the 13-year periodical cicada emerged from the ground was in May of 1998. Next month, most of Middle Tennessee will again see the cicadas.
The cicadas will start appearing in early May and live for about five to six weeks. Cicadas are completely harmless but they are very loud and the noise could affect outdoor events in May like picnics or weddings. The female cicadas can also cause damage to young trees when laying eggs.
Females prefer branches about the size of a pencil. They cut into the underside of the branch and lay their eggs.
Tennessee's unemployment rate for March was 4.5 percent, a decrease from the February rate of 4.9 percent. That's according to Tennessee Labor Commissioner Burns Phillips.
The U.S. unemployment rate for March was 5.0 percent, a slight increase of one tenth of a percentage point over the previous month.
Over the past year, Tennessee unemployment rate decreased from 6.0 percent to 4.5 percent, while the national rate declined from 5.5 percent to 5.0 percent.
Tennessee lawmakers have approved a nearly $35 billion annual spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1, sending the measure to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's desk.
While hot button topics like social issues and guns tend to draw much attention during the legislative session, passing a balanced budget is the chief responsibility for members of the General Assembly.
The Senate voted 32-1 in favor of the budget on Thursday, while the House approved it on an 87-7 vote.
Lawmakers spent much of this week hammering out agreements over smaller budget items, while leaving intact most of the spending plan the governor proposed at the start of the session.
One last-minute change approved by lawmakers was a 17 percent cut in the Hall tax on income from stocks and bonds.