dolly parton

New TNJ edition alert: Lee’s road plans, Senate GOP re-elects leadership team, Supreme Court opening breeds speculation about successor

Gov. Bill Lee, center, attends a budget hearing in Nashville on Nov. 9, 2022. He is joined by Finance Commissioner Jim Bryson, right, and COO Brandon Gibson. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The latest print edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here is what’s in it:

— Lee wants to make major road upgrades without new taxes, debt. Can it be done without tolls?

— Political update: Senate GOP re-elects leadership team of McNally, Johnson, Yager; Registry presses pause on auditing Gary Humble; and digital ads target state’s certificate-of-need rules.

— From the courts: Justice Sharon Lee’s retirement from Supreme Court unleashes speculation about who will apply to succeed her.

Also: Dolly Parton lands $100 million prize, Jonathan Skrmetti says level of federalist view often depends on who controls White House, watchdog files FEC complaint against Beth Harwell, and the Showboats are back in Memphis.

As always, access the your copy of the TNJ here.

Or subscribe here.

Dolly Parton: No thanks to Tennessee Capitol statue

Gov. Bill Lee interviews Dolly Parton on Aug. 5, 2019, in Nashville. (Image credit: State of Tennessee)

Dolly Parton says she’s flattered Tennessee lawmakers want to place a statue of the singer on the state Capitol grounds, but is asking them to remove the legislation to do so from consideration.

“Given all that that is going on the in world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” Parton wrote in a tweet. “I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean.”

It’s not the first time Tennessee lawmakers have been rebuffed in efforts to honor a living figure. Former Gov. Winfield Dunn called an effort to rename the Cordell Hull Building after him “completely out of proportion with the historical context of our state.” He praised the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Hull as an “unblemished representative of what Tennessee is.”