Sergio Martínez-Beltrán

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán is Nashville Public Radio’s political reporter. Prior to moving to Nashville, Sergio covered education for the Standard-Examiner newspaper in Ogden, Utah. He is a Puerto Rico native and his work has also appeared on NPR station WKAR, San Antonio Express-News, Inter News Service, GFR Media and WMIZ 1270 AM.   

In his free time (once in a blue moon), Sergio can be found playing volleyball or in Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the coolest uncle (feel free to fact-check) to Olivia and Jimena. 

When Andrea and Leslie Isham got married in December of last year, they had a pretty unique wedding.

"We literally went into the bar, we paid the cover charge," Leslie Isham says. "We walked through the doors and sat down and just waited for the show."

The "show" was a drag show, the backdrop to the couple's wedding at a gay nightclub in Clarksville, Tenn., alongside friends, drag queens, bartenders — and like-minded strangers.

"We didn't have to worry about protesters showing up, or people being like, 'We don't want that here,' " Andrea Isham says.

Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada said on Tuesday he plans to step down from his position. 

Casada's decision comes hours after the House Republican Caucus cast an unprecedented 45-24 no-confidence vote in Casada, after racist and lewd text messages between him and his former chief of staff were leaked to the media. 

After high turnout in last year's midterm elections propelled Democrats to a new House majority and big gains in the states, several Republican-controlled state legislatures are attempting to change voting-related rules in ways that might reduce future voter turnout.

Proposals that would target criminal justice, health care and education took center stage at Gov. Bill Lee’s first State of the State address Monday night.

The governor also presented his first budget, which consists of $38.5 billion.

SERGIO MARTÍNEZ-BELTRÁN / WPLN

A new bill filed in the Tennessee General Assembly would trigger a ban on abortions — but only if the country’s highest court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Stephen Jerkins/WPLN

Contrary to Democrats, Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly have resisted for years the idea of expanding the state's Medicaid program, also known as TennCare.

They repeatedly blocked Gov. Bill Haslam's efforts to expand coverage.

 

Marijuana is, once again, taking center stage in the Tennessee legislature.

Republicans have filed bills this year that would allow for medical marijuana. And Democrats have introduced measures that could decriminalize it all together.

Gov. Bill Lee says he plans to focus on education and criminal justice reform throughout his tenure.

Although he still hasn’t gone into details, he says partnerships with the private sector and nonprofits will be key in tackling those issues. 

A top official in Texas has been tapped to lead Tennessee's Department of Education.

Gov.-elect Bill Lee announced today that Penny Schwinn, the chief deputy commissioner of academics for the Texas Education Agency, will be the state's next education commissioner.

A biblical concept is the inspiration behind a rule change in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

The new policy, proposed by state Rep. Mathew Hill, R-Jonesborough, requires lawmakers to get a second signature when filing an ethical complaint.