Tennessee lawmakers begin session with elections looming

Tennessee lawmakers begin session with elections looming

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers have gaveled in for a legislative session colored by upcoming elections, House Speaker Beth Harwell's bid for governor and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's final lap before he hits term limits.      The Republican-led General Assembly began the session around noon Tuesday.      Lawmakers don't face a weighty choice that will drive a months-long debate, like last year's Haslam-backed roads-funding law.      Legislative leaders and Haslam say a main focus will be opioid abuse, a less divisive topic before state elections for governor, all 99 House seats and 17 of 33 Senate seats.      Lawmakers can't fundraise during the session, so they have incentive to finish quickly. The candidate filing deadline is April 5 and the primary is Aug. 2.      Harwell is one of five leading Republicans, alongside two Democrats, running for governor.

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