Axios Nashville

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Hey there, Nashville. Let's make the most of this Monday.

  • Today's weather: A chance of storms with a high of 83.

Today's newsletter is 777 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: A legislative recap

The Tennessee State Capitol. Photo: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The 2024 legislative session might be best remembered for what didn't get done.

Gov. Bill Lee's top priority, expanding school vouchers so that families statewide could use public money to pay private school tuition, stalled after the Republican supermajority failed to agree on the details.

  • Lee and Republican leaders said they would continue to work on the plan next year.

Yes, but: Lawmakers passed several laws before ending the session last Thursday.

Here is some of the new legislation they approved this year.

🩺 Travel for gender-affirming care: On Thursday, lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that would create civil penalties for adults who help minors cross state lines to get gender-affirming care without parental consent.

  • The Associated Press reports it would be the first law of its kind in the nation.

🚘 Abortion travel restrictions: A similar bill lawmakers passed would make it a crime for adults to help minors seek an out-of-state abortion without a parent's approval.

⚖️ Death penalty expansion: Republicans also took a final vote on a measure to allow the death penalty in some child rape cases. The bill won approval despite some bipartisan pushback and concerns that it was unconstitutional.

🏗️ East Bank authority: Also on the last day of the session, lawmakers signed off on a bill that creates a new Metro agency to oversee development on the East Bank.

ğŸŽ Arming teachers: On Friday, Lee signed the bill that will allow some school employees to carry concealed guns on campus. Local districts will be able to decide if they opt in or out; Nashville is one of multiple districts that won't allow its teachers to do so.

💰 Franchise tax cut: The House and Senate were at odds over the expensive proposal to cut the franchise tax for businesses until the last minute. The final deal that advanced Thursday will cost $1.9 billion.

❌ Tennessee State University board: Lawmakers who criticized the TSU administration for years advanced legislation that booted all of the existing board members at the historically Black college. Lee quickly appointed new board members after signing the bill into law.

  • The new board held its first meeting Friday.

ğŸŽ¶ Artificial intelligence in music: One new law that had bipartisan appeal established protections for musicians against AI.

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2. The Titans' draft strategy

The Tennessee Titans make a draft pick. Photo: John Smolek/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans continued the work of rebuilding their roster with seven NFL draft picks.

Why it matters: The team's abysmal 6-11 season last year made it clear there was plenty of room for improvement, particularly along the tattered offensive line.

State of play: The Titans tapped Alabama offensive tackle JC Latham with their first pick — he'll play left tackle next season.

By the numbers: The AP reports the Titans allowed 64 sacks last year. Only three teams in the league did worse.

Zoom out: The Titans picked six more players throughout the weekend.

  • Round 2: defensive tackle T'Vondre Sweat
  • Round 4: inside linebacker Cedric Gray
  • Round 5: cornerback Jarvis Brownlee Jr.
  • Round 6: wide receiver Jha'Quan Jackson
  • Round 7: safety James Williams and edge Jaylen Harrell

Read ESPN's analysis of the picks ... Share this story

3. Nashville Predators fall twice at home

The Vancouver Canucks scoring against the Predators during last night's game. Photo: Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was a brutal weekend for Predators fans, as the team lost back-to-back home games in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The latest: Last night was particularly tough. The Preds had a 3-1 lead in the third period before the Vancouver Canucks rallied at the last moment. They tied the game with seconds left in regulation.

  • Vancouver then secured the winning goal quickly during overtime.

State of play: The series now stands at 3-1, with the Preds one loss away from elimination.

What's next: Game 5 starts at 9pm tomorrow.

4. The Setlist: Fisk honors Mandisa

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Fisk University honored the late singer Mandisa Hundley during a celebration of life last week. (Tennessean)

More than 23,000 runners registered to hit the road in the St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Running Series last weekend, which included Nashville's marathon and half marathon.

  • One marathon runner died during the race. (WKRN)

Don't forget: Today's the last day to enter the lottery for a chance to see the fireflies at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (Axios)

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5. Music Monday: Start spreadin' the news

New York in 2009. Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

👋 Adam here! I'm taking over this week's Axios Nashville playlist to pay tribute to one of my great loves: the Broadway musical.

State of play: I'm heading to New York this week to see some shows. That informed some of my selections from "Sweeney Todd" and "Little Shop of Horrors."

  • I also included a song from "Shucked," the show with music written by Music Row songwriters Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark.

Follow our playlist on Spotify

🌊 Our questions were no match for the latest wave of champions: Elizabeth S., Shelley A., Debbie D., Dan R., David W. and Julie D.

Our picks:

Nate's song of the day is "Wreckage" by Pearl Jam.

🍿 Adam just watched "Fried Green Tomatoes" for the first time.

This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Katie Lewis.