Chas Sisk

Chas joined WPLN in 2015 after eight years with The Tennessean, including more than five years as the newspaper's statehouse reporter.Chas has also covered communities, politics and business in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Chas grew up in South Carolina and attended Columbia University in New York, where he studied economics and journalism. Outside of work, he's a dedicated distance runner, having completed a dozen marathons

The big debates appeared to be behind the Tennessee Legislature, which has been in a wrap-up phase for the last week or two. Then a move to "punish" Memphis and a cyberattack on standardized tests injected high drama into the final days of the session.

In this week's edition of The Tri-Star State, WPLN's Jason Moon Wilkins and statehouse reporter Chas Sisk look at why a budget decision stirred a national debate on race and how lawmakers addressed more trouble with TNReady.

Last week state lawmakers rejected nearly half the candidates for the University of Tennessee’s newly revamped Board of Trustees.

A state law that would demand a work requirement for certain people on TennCare appeared to be on track last week before it hit a snag.

The proposal had passed the state House and Governor Bill Haslam said he was ready to sign it. But a final vote in the state Senate was delayed at the very last minute.

Now it's unclear whether it will pass.

There were high hopes among state lawmakers at the start of this year’s legislative session that they could get done early and without much controversy as many have elections looming this fall.

But as bills have moved forward, some emotional debates have brought an unwanted spotlight. This past week saw fights over a bill banning bump stocks, a resolution honoring a Memphis community activist and whether autopsy records should be kept open.

The leading topic of discussion nationwide continues to be guns in the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. And state capitols around the country are feeling pressure to act and help put an end to the wave of massacres.

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