News for the year 2011:

 

*For more news select the year tab above for a chronological listing or use key words in the search box to the right

School Building Sale Still Unresolved
December 15, 2011 “I would prefer that there not be an obsession with that in 2012,” Norris said of Jones’ move toward a resolution. “They have a year here to let the process run its course and to see whether that is really necessary. I’m confident that legislation will be drafted.” more…

WKNO’s ‘Newsmakers’ Series to Feature Sen. Mark Norris
December 12, 2011 Norris talks about the possibility of amendments to the Norris-Todd legislation, approved this year by the Tennessee Legislature, that sets the ground rules for the ongoing consolidation of Shelby County’s two public school systems. more…

Tennessee bond outlook is improved
December 7, 2011 State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, noted Moody’s revision of Tennessee’s outlook during a meeting of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. more…

Happy Thanksgiving
November 24, 2011 This Thanksgiving, we are ever mindful of this need and the needs of others, and we are thankful for the opportunity to share thanks with you. more…

University of Memphis conference to focus on energy
November 23, 2011 The University of Memphis is hosting an energy summit on campus Tuesday to explore energy-related developments in the region. more…

West Tennessee’s natural assets can boost economic growth says Leader Norris
November 18, 2011 “Economic development through eco-tourism is a natural,” says the Senator with a smile. “It’s not hard to find the good and praise it amidst such opportunity.” more…

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris announces 2011- 2012 State Appropriations for Lauderdale County
November 2, 2011 “Lauderdale County will see an overall increase of $6.2 million over last year and is $10.26 million more than the 2009-10 budget year,“ said Senator Norris. “I am very pleased we have this increase at a time when the state budget has decreased.” more…

Letter: Sunlight shines on redistricting
November 1, 2011 The central goal must be providing fair and legal districts where Tennesseans get their constitutionally guaranteed representation. more…

Violence toll rises in Chattanooga
October 30, 2011 Since 2007, Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris has been working on what has become known as the “crooks and guns” package as part of an effort to get tough on crime. more…

Guest column: ID law about citizenship, not partisanship
October 7, 2011 Should it be easier to vote than to buy a six-pack of beer? Some Democrats think so. Or so they say in opposition to Tennessee’s new law that will require voters to produce a photo ID. After reading some of the op-ed columns they’ve written, you’d think Democrats are camera shy. more…

Electrolux holds groundbreaking on Memphis facility
October 6, 2011 Memphis City Mayor A C Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell were joined by Electrolux North America CEO Jack Truong, City Council Chairman Myron Lowery, Tennessee Sen. Mark Norris and Lt. Gov. Claude Ramsey at the event, according to a Memphis Business Journal report. Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority chairman Arnold Perl served as master of ceremonies. more…

Ground broken at Memphis Electrolux plant
October 5, 2011 “We’re focusing an awful lot of our effort now on existing companies that can grow and prosper in place, and trying to focus on yielding to what’s already here and what’s the best we already have to offer without having to put a whole lot of new capital into it to help them grow,” Norris said. “You never say never, but this is special.” more…

GOP’s Herman Cain Proud of Memphis Roots
Ocotber 5, 2011 Mark Norris, Tennessee State Representative of Collierville, stated, “How often does Memphis, Tennessee have a hometown presidential candidate? That’s essentially who Cain is and he’s distinguishing himself now and it’s tough field out there.” more…

Spoils of Electrolux battle come to Memphis Wednesday
Ocotber 5, 2011 Speaking at the event at Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park were Memphis City Mayor A C Wharton, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Electrolux North America CEO Jack Truong, City Council Chairman Myron Lowery, Tennessee Sen. Mark Norris and Lt. Gov. Claude Ramsey all spoke. Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority chairman Arnold Perl served as master of ceremonies. more…

Injury, consumer case laws change
October 1, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, said the law he co-sponsored “is designed to put us on a level playing field so we have predictability and certainty for businesses which look to locate or expand their operations in Tennessee.” more…

Jobs Tour:
September 24, 2011 The Democratic tour has been derided by some Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris said it should be focused on apologizing for President Obama’s failure to produce jobs. more…

E Pluribus What? Memphis and Shelby County Prepare for School Unity
September 24, 2011 Meanwhile, the Norris-Todd bill, named for the two Collierville legislators who introduced it — state Senator Mark Norris and state Representative Curry Todd — had handily passed the General Assembly, mandating a delayed merger, to be accomplished in fall 2013, at which time the suburbs, together or singly, would indeed be granted the opportunity to create one or more special school districts. more…

On the Job Hunt
September 8, 2011 The Democrats’ planned six-day job search ought to be called the “Obama Apology Tour,” quipped Mark Norris, the Republican majority leader in the state Senate. more…

Democrats on “Obama Apology Tour” says Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris
September 7, 2011 “They are going to find what we — who talk with our constituents every day –already know; that the failed policies fromWashingtonare destroying our U.S.economy and killing jobs,” said Leader Norris. more…

Legislators focus on job creation
September 7, 2011 On the other hand, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, derided the Democratic effort as “the Obama Apology Tour” in a news release blaming unemployment on the Washington administration. more…

You say po-tay-toe
September 7, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) said today that if Senate and House Democrats in Tennessee really want to positively impact the economy, instead of the jobs tour announced today, they should head north to the White House to talk to the President about his failed economic policies. more…

Collaboration essential to unification of Memphis, Shelby County school systems, officials say
September 4, 2011 State Sen. Mark Norris, the Republican majority leader from Collierville, has emphasized that this sort of community collaboration was always his primary motivation for pushing through the Norris-Todd legislation which was sponsored in House by Collierville Republican Curry Todd. more…

Sen. Norris Talks School Merger
August 31, 2011 State Senator Mark Norris joined Fox 13’s Lauren Lee to talk about what to expect going forward. more…

School merger begins to take shape
August 29, 2011 “So what this is intended to mean is that whatever the transition planning commission comes up with is what this new board shall adopt, if you read it together,” Norris said. more…

Greater Memphis reacts to the school merger settlement
August 24, 2011 State Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville: “As I said from the beginning, unification without unity defeats its purpose and you’ve got to have unity and a plan. They’re telling us with this that they have unity. We’ll have to see what their plan is.” more…

Editorial: Positive signs for a merger
August 13, 2011 As Norris suggested, it is in the best interests of Shelby County schoolchildren to move ahead with the plan approved by the Memphis City Schools board, the City Council and Memphis voters. more…

Lawmakers prefer to let school merger run its course
August 12, 2011 But Norris said there is “absolutely no need for anything like” a special session before the legislature reconvenes in January. more…

Editorial: Ruling in school merger lawsuit offers a clear path
August 10, 2011 If the ruling stands, consolidation will be accomplished in a deliberate process set out in a new state law sponsored by state Sen. Mark Norris and state Rep. Curry Todd, Collierville Republicans. more…

School Maze
August 11, 2011 He ruled consolidation was on a sound legal track for the fall of 2013, as carved out by a new state law shepherded by state Sen. Mark Norris and state Rep. Curry Todd, both Republicans from Collierville. more…

Collierville, Bartlett mayor say starting own school systems under consideration
August 10, 2011 Sen. Mark Norris and Rep. Curry Todd, both R-Collierville, sponsored the bill outlining the transition to the combined system. more…

Bartlett, Collierville mayors say ruling clears way for separate school districts
August 9, 2011 In the last legislative session, Sen. Mark Norris and Rep. Curry Todd, both R-Collierville, sponsored a bill outlining the transition to the combined system. more…

Judge rules Memphis city schools to merge with county
August 8, 2011 The state legislature — just days before the county referendum — had passed a law known as the Norris/Todd bill that allowed for the transfer and eliminated special school districts. Mays said that law was constitutional. more…

Adversaries become allies to protect Tennessee judge selection process
August 6, 2011 Ramsey is pushing what he considers a middle-ground approach — a proposed amendment to the state constitution, sponsored at his behest by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville. more…

Durbin welcomes city educators, staff with back-to-school luncheon
July 26, 2011 Among those recognized for attending were state elected officials State Sen. Mark Norris and State Reps. Craig Fitzhugh and Bill Sanderson; more…

New Tennessee Insurance Law a ‘Jobs Bill’?
July 25, 2011 Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, and Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, carried the legislation (HB2007/SB1540), which is lengthy, technical and complex. It passed unanimously in both houses in this year’s legislative session. more…

Senate Majority Leader Norris reminds citizens about upcoming Sales Tax Holiday
July 25, 2011 “The sales tax holiday has been very successful, especially in helping parents meet back-to-school needs,” said Leader Norris. more…

Debate rages over new Tennessee voter-ID law
July 18, 2011 State Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, said the bill will be a step toward protecting citizens’ rights, keeping the vote legitimate by protecting its use by illegal immigrants and other unauthorized voters. more…

Chris Peck: Norris knows state government
July 17, 2011 You see the Norris focus on nuts-and-bolts concerns all through the agenda of the Southern Legislative Conference, which Norris chairs this year. more…

Memphis or Bust: Education Reform, Debt Management Among Issues on Agenda at Lawmakers’ Conference
July 12, 2011 The Southern Legislative Conference, which is closed to the public, is chaired this year by Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris, of Collierville. more…

Norris Reappointed to Board of Directors of Tennessee Technology Development Corporation
July 7, 2011 Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) was reappointed to the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation’s Board of Directors by Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey last month. more…

In Memphis-Shelby County schools merger, all eyes on judge
July 3, 2011 Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, says Mays’ political leanings are irrelevant because the case is not partisan. more…

Norris Re-Elected Chair of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations
June 29, 2011 Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) was re-elected Chairman of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) at their June 29 meeting.  Mayor Tom Rowland of Cleveland was re-elected its Vice-Chairman. more…

Governor Haslam Signs Legislation Providing Hall Income Tax Relief for Senior Citizens
June 21, 2011 “This legislation allows more seniors who have saved for retirement to qualify for tax relief,” said Leader Norris, who sponsored the constitutional amendment to enact property tax freezes for senior citizens by Tennessee municipalities. more…

With Signing of Lawsuit Damage Limits, Haslam Caps Legislative Priority List
June 17, 2011 “Ten years is the length of time we’ve toiled in this vineyard to bring true tort reform to the state of Tennessee,” Norris said. “It wasn’t until Governor Haslam came along with his vision and his focus that we were able to get it across the line.” more…

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris pledges business-friendly Tennessee
June 16, 2011 “It’s great that Tennessee ranks number six in the nation in economic growth, but remember that our legislature didn’t make that happen, small businesses did,” Norris said. more…

Restrictions on Tennessee Charter Schools Officially Eased
June 16, 2011 State legislators who attended Wednesday’s event included Sen. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville; Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown; Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville; Rep. Mike White, R-Memphis; Rep. Barbara Cooper, D-Memphis; and Rep. John DeBerry, D-Memphis. more…

Haslam signs lottery bill for summer classes
June 16, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Jim Coley (R-Bartlett), sponsored the legislation that passed the Senate in a vote of 27 to 1 and the House 96 to 0. more…

Norris Announces Local Arts Grant Recipient
June 16, 2011 Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) has released the list of grant award recipients from the Tennessee Arts Commission for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 in the 32nd District. more…

Haslam signs Civil Justice Act, improves business climate
June 16, 2011 House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Vance Dennis (R-Savannah) led the House version of the legislation, and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Memphis), Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Collierville) and Sen. Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) guided it in the state Senate. more…

Haslam Touts Education Agenda in Memphis, Signs Charter School Bill
June 16, 2011 Essentially co-management means that Memphis City Schools will still be responsible for teachers, principals, and other personnel, while the state manages academic matters at the school. more…

Governor signs charter schools bill into law
June 15, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, Speaker Pro Tempore Jamie Woodson, R-Knoxville, House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, and Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, sponsored the legislation, which passed both houses with bipartisan support. more…

State Again Pops Purported Spending ‘Cap’
June 15, 2011 “I think it’s important to remain vigilant against runaway spending, and that’s a good reason to have that sort of check in place because it puts you to the test each time that the matter arises,” said Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris. more…

Budget bill mix-up in Nashville remains unresolved
June 11, 2011 Norris said that if Shelby County cannot provide the services itself with the money, there may be “alternative providers” – groups other than Planned Parenthood – that can do so. more…

Decision on Planned Parenthood in Memphis delayed for a week
June 11, 2011 State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, told The Commercial Appeal last week that he is working to find alternatives to Planned Parenthood, possibly other non-profit community health centers or additional money for the county health department to expand. more…
 

Summer course clearance now official for Hope scholarships
June 9, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Jim Coley (R-Bartlett), sponsored the legislation that passed the Senate in a vote of 27 to 1 and the House 96 to 0. more…

Haslam Signs “Old Forest” Bill
June 8, 2011 On the Senate side, this bill was sponsored by Senator Beverly Marrero and co-sponsored by Senators Mark Norris, Ophelia Ford, Brian Kelsey, Jim Kyle, Reginald Tate, and Tim Barnes. more…

Governor Haslam Signs Law Allowing Students To Use Hope Scholarship For Summer Courses
June 8, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Jim Coley (R-Bartlett), sponsored the legislation that passed the Senate in a vote of 27 to 1 and the House 96 to 0. more…

Memphis-area public schools wary of charters’ recruiting
May 28, 2011 Norris says charters offer teachers and administrators flexibility to turn around persistently low-performing schools. more…

Library receives technology grant
May 27, 2011 “I would like to thank both of our mayors here,” said State Sen. Mark Norris. “This community has really been through it, and on a year to the date from the last flood. It’s refreshing to stand here and represent the future.” more…

Budget headlines close of 2011 Legislative Session
May 21, 2011 “I am proud to have carried this budget for the Governor,” said Leader Norris.  “It was a complex process, but we never allowed complexity to outweigh common sense. The budget is balanced. Overall spending is reduced. Some taxes have been lowered.” more…

Legislature adjourns after passing $30.8B budget
May 21, 2011 “This has been a real labor of love to get the budget where we are today,” Norris, a Republican, said. “We have collaborated a great deal on getting where we are.”  more…

Lawmakers pass $30.8 billion budget that includes funds for Electrolux, U of M takeover of Lambuth
May 21, 2011 Senate Republican Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, sponsored the budget and bond bills in the Senate. more…

Charter School Bill Passes Removing Cap, Expanding Enrollment
May 21, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Speaker Pro Tempore Jamie Woodson (R-Knoxville), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis) sponsored the charter school legislation that passed the Senate 22-9 and the House 72-18 with bipartisan support. more…

Tennesseans for Economic Growth Praise Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Lawmakers for Passing Comprehensive Civil Justice Reform Law
May 20, 2011 “He and the chief sponsors of the bill, Senator Mark Norris and Representative Gerald McCormick, have done a great service to the people of Tennessee and for our state’s future in guiding this bill through the legislative process.” more…

Haslam Lauds Summer Scholarships For Students
May 20, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Jim Coley (R-Bartlett) sponsored the legislation that passed the Senate in a vote of 27 to 1 and the House 96 to 0. more…

Haslam Close to Signing State Civil Justice Act
May 19, 2011 “This is a very important piece of legislation,” Norris said on the Senate floor at the outset of the final debate in the 33-member chamber with 14 attorneys serving. more…

Extra job less benefits up to Senate
May 17, 2011 Norris said he was uncertain when the Senate delayed bills committee would meet to consider the measure again. The senator said he wanted to hear more from the governor before proceeding. more…

Nashville: Democrats push for jobless benefits
May 17, 2011 Harwell and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, meanwhile, sought to blame former Gov. Phil Bredesen. more…

Tenn. Senate passes bill to limit lawsuit payouts
May 12, 2011 “About 30 states have done this, so it’s a big step for Tennessee,” Norris said after the vote. “We think it’s not only a good thing for competitiveness, but to maintain the strength of our judicial system.” more…

Senate approves $97 million in state money to Electrolux for Memphis plant
May 10, 2011 Senate Republican Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville, who sponsored the bills, said the passage of the Electrolux funding marked a milestone for economic development in Memphis and Shelby County. more…

Legislation Paves Way for Third Political Parties
May 9, 2011 “What we’re doing to lessen the burden, under the bill as currently proposed, is to streamline some of the filing requirements as it relates to time, and no longer require people to declare their party when they file.” more…

Bill making it easier for more political parties to be placed on ballot headed to governor
May 9, 2011 “This legislation gives minor party candidates more opportunities than any time in recent state history to be placed on the ballot and properly recognized,” Norris said. “It eases requirements for those signing the petition and simplifies the timeline required.” more…

Governor, state officials tour flooded region
May 4, 2011 Joining Haslam on the tour were Rep. Bill Sanderson, Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box, Sen. Mark Norris, Sen. Roy Herron, Dyer County Emergency Management Director James Medling and others. more…

Electrolux Financing Clears Senate Finance Committee
May 3, 2011 The committee vote was a unanimous 11-0. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. credited the Shelby County legislative delegation and, in particular, Memphis Democrat Jim Kyle and Collierville Republican Mark Norris who are the Senate’s Democratic and Republican leaders, respectively. more…

Editorial: Tougher penalties worth the cost of proposed bills
May 2, 2011 Another bill, sponsored by state Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, and state Rep. Barrett Rich, R-Somerville, would enhance the penalties for drive-by shootings into houses when a deadly weapon is involved. more…

Norris Appointed to Economic Development Consortium on Nuclear Energy
April 28, 2011 “Reducing risk reduces costs which strengthens opportunity for future economic development,” according to Norris who also serves on the Southern States Energy Board and Tennessee Technology Development Corporation. more…

Tenn. presidential primary date moving to March
April 25, 2011 The chamber voted 31-0 on Monday to approve the bill sponsored by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville. more…
 
Tenn. proposal would allow multi-party nominations
April 25, 2011 The legislation is similar to an original bill proposed by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville, which would take a petition of about 40,000 signatures to have minor party candidates’ affiliation listed on the ballot. more…
 
Haslam Marks 100 Days as TN Governor
April 25, 2011 “I’ve found him to be sufficiently adaptable,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville. “He’s learned to be quick on his feet. And we have processed a lot of legislation in a little bit of time here.” more…
 
Tennessee legislation gives Shelby County advantage over Memphis for disputed MLGW payments
April 23, 2011 Norris says he introduced the bill this week on a request from the county administration and that county Mayor Mark Luttrell spoke to the Shelby County legislative delegation about it during a visit to Nashville Wednesday. more…
 
Senators Challenge, Defend Tort Reform Job Claims
April 19th, 2011 Norris: “There is not that concise of a correlation. The issue here is really to sort of level the playing field in this arena. It’s not who competes for the tightest cap or the lowest cap.” more…
 
Veteran artist, educator Dolph Smith honored by state for work that evokes ‘fabric of life’
April 17, 2011 “He’s had a subtle but significant impact on the culture of our community,” Norris said. “He is quintessentially West Tennessee, strong yet understated like his work ‘Confluence’ at the Cannon Center.” more…

TN GOP leaders says Dems reckless on hospital fee
April 14, 2011 The Collierville Republican said Democrats are “holding health care hostage” because they don’t want to support the measure before evaluating the final version of the state’s annual spending plan. more…

Tenn. Senate GOP leaders say Dems playing politics on hospital fee to draw down federal money

April 14, 2011 “I think you should pick a better fight — you’ve got lives at stake here,” Norris said. “They don’t seem to be too worried about that.”  more… 
 
Tennessee’s proposed hospital tax becoming an issue for legislators
April 14, 2011 Senate Republican Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said Democratic Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis told him Democrats are “not intending to support the hospital assessment, which they fully supported a year ago. more…
 

Overton Park bill providing protections for Old Forest area clears hurdle
April 14, 2011 Legislation designating 126 acres of Overton Park’s old-growth forest as a state natural area won committee approvals Wednesday in the state House and Senate. more…

Norris Congratulates West Tennessee’s Champions of the Arts
April 12, 2011 Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) will, tonight, join Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam at the Tennessee Residence to honor the recipients of the 2011 Governor’s Arts Awards. more…

Tennessee Committee Passes Ballot Access Bill with No Changes, but Amendments Likely in Senate
April 12, 2011 Amendment #4, by the bill’s sponsor, Senator Mark Norris, the Majority Leader, requires exactly 10,000 signatures. more…

Tenn. proposal would allow multi-party nominations
April, 4, 2011 Norris’ changes would bring the measure closer in line with a proposal introduced by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis to require 10,000 signatures from eligible voters. more…

Historic Collierville License Plate Close to Production
March 30, 2011 “This is a great way to support Collierville,” said Norris of the initiative.  “I look forward to seeing these specialty plates that support our Town’s growth and its history.” more…

Tort Reform Amendment Surfaces
March 29, 2011 Norris calls the bill “very much a work in progress.” more…

Editorial: Give third parties a fighting chance on the ballot
March 29, 2011 However, he indicated that he could issue another ruling if the legislators fail to act, according to Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville, who is sponsoring the current legislation, SB935. more…

GOP, Dems clash over 3rd parties on Tenn. ballot
March 28, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, is a main sponsor of the ballot access measure that became necessary because of a federal judges’ ruling last year that the state’s current standards are too burdensome on smaller parties. more…

GOP Balks At Dem Proposal On 3rd Parties On Ballot
March 28, 2011 Norris said he doesn’t have a problem with making it even easier for smaller parties to be listed on the ballot, but that it may come down to a “cost factor” of making a sweeping change. more…

GOP senators want to limit TN attorney general’s powers
March 26, 2011 Others include a proposal from state Sen. Mae Beavers to elect the attorney general, as most other states do, and a resolution filed earlier this week by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris to give the governor the power to appoint the position. more…

Teacher tenure bill OK’d
March 25, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, proclaimed the bill “consumer friendly” and “part of a long period of transition arising out of deregulation” of the telecommunications industry. more…

Phone Parity Bill Passes Senate
March 24, 2011 Senate sponsor Mark Norris says the bill gives the companies five years to adjust, beginning by reducing the charge 20 percent this July. more…

Tennessee Governor Weighs In On Whether State Should Take Over Memphis City Schools
March 18, 2011 Norris said, “I think the Shelby County Charter addresses the number and if they want to change it, I recommend they take it to the people for a referendum vote.” more…

School District Map on Tap for County Commission
March 18, 2011 State Senate GOP leader Mark Norris of Collierville, a former Shelby County Commission chairman, is among critics of the move who contend the commission is reading state law incorrectly. more…

Haslam, Norris Talk Schools amid Grant News
March 17, 2011 “I encourage them to come along with us, join arms and move forward,” Norris said. “They’re wasting their time.” more…

Haslam says communication will be critical during school merger
March 17, 2011 “I think Section 6 of the charter of Shelby County prescribes the number of members on the Shelby County School Board, and they should adhere to their own charter,” Tennessee Senator Mark Norris said. more…

Budget proposal preserves direct services
March 16, 2011 Balancing the state’s budget — it’s the one task the Tennessee Constitution mandates that we address each year. more…

Measure to ID 3rd parties advances
March 16, 2011 The judge did not order any specific remedy, but left the door open to doing so if his ruling is ignored, said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, sponsor of the legislation. more…

Teacher tenure reform rolls through Senate
March 11, 2011 “This is the administration’s effort to make tenure meaningful for teachers, and we believe it provides more flexibility and greater accountability of our teachers in their performance,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville. more…

GOP wants ‘labor’ axed from Tenn. committee name
March 11, 2011 “We’re just trying to shorten the names,” said the Collierville Republican. “It’s all still within their purview.” more…

State GOP Looks to Drop ‘Labor’ From Committee Name
March 11, 2011 Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said Thursday that it’s in the interest of brevity that he has proposed excising the term from the Senate Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee. more…

State Senate backs Haslam, votes for stricter teacher tenure time
March 10, 2011 “This is the administration’s effort to make tenure meaningful for teachers. And we believe it provides more flexibility and better accountability of our teachers and their performance,” Senate Republican leader Mark Norris said. more…

Tennessee governor’s tenure proposal passes Senate
March 10, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville, who’s carrying the legislation for the governor, said federal regulations require specific initiatives to be in place by July and that teachers are not being targeted. more…

State Senate Approves Tenure Changes
March 10, 2011 Senator Norris, the elected leader of the Republicans in the Senate, says the new system which requires five years of experience before a teacher may gain tenure is actually an easier system to deal with than the make-or-break three-year cycle they now face. more…

TN bill would allow local governments to keep business dealings secret
March 10, 2011 The measure, introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Mark Norris, R-Memphis, and in the House by Rep. Larry Miller, D-Memphis, is backed by the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, which complained that the city lost a potential new manufacturing plant because no guarantee could be given that proprietary information about its operations would remain private. more…

Suburbs Vow to Fight Schools Merger
March 9, 2011 Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, a Republican who represents those suburbs, said a merger “could be a very good thing,” but time would be needed to make sure it is handled properly and to heal wounds caused by “ugly, outmoded” racial remarks made recently. more…

Moving Forward on School Consolidation
March 9, 2011 The timeframe for the consolidation process was crafted by state legislation introduced by Senator Mark Norris of Collierville and signed into state law just a few weeks prior to Tuesday’s referendum vote. more…

They said it: Officials react to Tuesday’s referendum
March 8, 2011 “It is a watershed event. Those of us who care about education reform embrace this as a rare opportunity to focus attention and effort on what should matter most — how to make the best education available to every child regardless of ZIP code.” more…

Transition meetings, court battles loom over Memphis-Shelby school merger
March 8, 2011 The new state law, pushed by Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, and others, delays any merger until the 2013-14 school year and calls for the appointment of a 21-member transition planning commission. more…

Hall income tax proposal worries Germantown
March 7, 2011 “You wouldn’t want anybody unduly disadvantaged,” Norris said. “The ‘what ifs’ and the ‘how tos’ are the next questions.” Without the tax, he added, “I believe that more disposable income generates more revenue in the state in the long term.” more…

Legislation could alter consumer protections
March 2, 2011 He told NashvillePost.com that he is still reviewing the bill as it is part of Haslam’s legislative packet and that he and legislative committees would work to ensure that Tennessee consumers have appropriate recourse available against fraudulent securities brokers. more…

Teacher tenure bill advances in Tennessee Senate
March 2, 2011 Senate Majority Mark Norris, R-Collierville, said the bill, which among other things expands the probationary period before tenure is granted from three to five years, will “help us all along on this next stop on the continuum of reform.” more…

Republicans tell Nashville business audience job creation not government’s role
March 1, 2011 Harwell, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris disputed those notions and said cutting red tape and reforming the civil court system do more than government initiatives could. more…

Restrictions proposed for Tennessee Consumer Protection Act
March 1, 2011 Senate Bill 1522 is sponsored by Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, but has not been set for a hearing. more…

Telephone co-ops may soon face fiscal blow
February 28, 2011 This bill is sponsored by State Senator Mark Norris (Republican), of Collierville, and State Representative Gerald McCormick (Republican), of Chattanooga. more…

Alignment … and Chaos
February 17, 2011 The occasion was the announcement of a new Mitsubishi plant-to-be in a ceremony that brought together such figures as the Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay, Governor Bill Haslam, venerable former U.S. senator Howard Baker, Mayors A C Wharton and Mark Luttrell, and state Senate majority leader Mark Norris, principal author of the currently controversial Norris-Todd bill on school-system consolidation. more…

School Charter Showdown: OYSI Obtain Internal Email
February 16, 2011 Senator Mark Norris says Wharton asked for a law outlining a plan for a potential school merger, and that’s what Nashville delivered. more…

A Communications Gap and a Probing for Answers
February 15, 2011 In the few days between an emergency City Hall summit of local officials two weeks ago and the unveiling of Norris-Todd and its passage last week by party-line votes in the Senate and House, there had been an understanding locally that Wharton would be interceding with Haslam in order to soften the requirements or the bill’s provisions. more…

Governor Haslam Defends Signing Norris Consolidation Bill to Law
February 14, 2011 Before Shelby County Commissioners met Monday afternoon, they had an opportunity to express their displeasure with Nashville directly to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Haslam tried to defend his decision to sign into law a controversial merger transition plan developed by Collierville State Senator Mark Norris. more…

Cease Fire In School Transfer Fight?
February 14, 2011 Mayor A C Wharton, State Senator Mark Norris, Governor Bill Haslam, various members of the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission were all in one room. more…

Editorial: Closing in on a merger
February 12, 2011 Whatever course is taken, there should be nothing to fear from a consolidation process that is fair to both sides. more…

Haslam Signs SB25, the Norris-Todd Bill
February 11, 2011 “We appreciate the Governor’s expeditious review and support of this important legislation. His decisive action should help resolve some of the confusion and restore the focus on education,” said Norris. more…

SCS Files Suit After Governor Signs Bill
February 11, 2011 Senator Mark Norris said he appreciated the signing of his bill into law, “We appreciate the Governor’s expeditious review and support of this important legislation. His decisive action should help resolve some of the confusion and restore the focus on education.” more..

Exclusive: Senator Norris on School Merger Bill
February 11, 2011 Collierville Republican state senator Mark Norris who introduced the bill to delay the school merger by three years joined FOX13 in an exclusive interview. more…

Memphis City Council Accepts Charter Surrender
February 10, 2011 Norris says he is looking over what has taken place at Memphis City Hall. He says it would be premature to comment on the council’s vote at this time. more…

Senate Bill 25/ House Bill 51 Signed Into Law
February 10, 2011 Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and House State and Local Government Chairman Curry Todd (R-Collierville) announced that Governor Bill Haslam signed Senate Bill 25 / House Bill 51 into law this morning. more…

House Passes Norris-Todd Bill on School Consolidation; Stage is Set for Action by Haslam, Council, Commission
February 10, 2011 Meanwhile, the Norris-Todd bill will go to Governor Haslam for action. He may sign it into law; let it pass without his signature (which would happen automatically after 10 days); or veto it, in which case a simple majority vote in both House and Senate would be enough to override. more…

Unity, Plan Needed for Schools
February 10, 2011 The magnitude of this undertaking and the potential consequences to thousands of Tennesseans, make SB25 compelling: Providing a roadmap for transition, which assures a quality education and a stable tax base. more…

Alternate Realities
February 10, 2011 In essence, Norris’ bill attaches a number of subsequent stages to the court-ordered city referendum he and other merger opponents had earlier been unable to impede. more…

Wharton Riled Up on Passage of Norris Bill
February 8, 2011 “We cannot have a shotgun marriage of these school systems. He said such a marriage won’t work,” Norris quoted. more…

TN Senate Passes Norris School Merger Bill
February 7, 2011 The Tennessee State Senate has approved a bill by Sen. Mark Norris. more…

Norris bill passes Tennessee Senate
February 7, 2011 “I was able to accomplish the beginning of a process where the sides are going to have to work together,” Norris said. more…

MCS/SCS Merger Updated Timeline
February 7, 2011 The Tennessee General Assembly reconvened on Monday to debate the Mark Norris Bill that would delay the merger for 3 years. more…

Legislature to vote on bill on Memphis school merger 
February 7, 2011 Proposal would put move on hold following angry reactions. more…

City, State Leaders Hammer Out Schools Consolidation Bill
February 4, 2011 The Tennessee Legislature begins its working session Monday evening with schools consolidation legislation the first bill on the floor for the state House and the state Senate. more…

D-Day Monday For School Merger Plan
February 4, 2011 Sponsored by Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) the plan would set up a transition team of twenty one people who would have three years to work out merging both systems into one. more…

Factions move and counter in high-stakes battle over future of schools
February 3, 2011 The Norris-proposed legislation – as now written – would require a three-year planning period before any merger of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools. more…

Memphis City Council Poised to Force School Merger
February 3, 2011 Norris’ bill is expected to pass Monday, but Mayor A C Wharton said the governor has vowed not to sign it into law until the city council has a chance to take action if necessary. more…

State Legislators Look for Education on Schools Standoff
February 3, 2011 The bill by state Senate Republican leader Mark Norris keeps in place the March 8 citywide referendum on a surrender of the Memphis City Schools charter that would effectively consolidate the system with Shelby County Schools. more…

Shelby County Mayor Luttrell Supports Norris Bill
February 3, 2011 “I commend Senator Norris for his leadership on this issue. I would hope the committee’s work would be completed sooner than three years. However, as indicated in early January, I think it is absolutely critical that a clear and legal transition process take place,” Luttrell stated. more…

Amended Norris Bill Passes Senate Committee, Would Stand Referendum on Its Head
February 2, 2011 Norris himself defined his measure as one that provided “enhanced self-determination” for Memphis, as “an orderly transition process,” and as an effort “to facilitate the referendum and the process to make it not only meaningful but successful.” more…

School Charter Showdown: City Council could vote to accept charter surrender before bill is approved in Nashville
February 2, 2011 Republican State Senator Mark Norris presented a bill Wednesday during a committee meeting in Nashville. more…

Senate Committee Passes Bill Regarding School Charter
February 2, 2011 A Tennessee State Education Committee has passed a bill from Tennessee State Senator Mark Norris that would implement a three year waiting period if Memphis voters decide to surrender the Memphis City Schools charter. more…

Amended Norris Bill Clears Senate Education Committee
February 2, 2011 The proposal by Senate Republican leader Mark Norris of Nashville was amended with changes that were still being written up to the start of the committee session. more…

Words Chosen Carefully in Schools Standoff
February 2, 2011 In a written statement, state Sen. Mark Norris of Collierville said Haslam and Smith share his concerns about a transition to a consolidated school district. more…

County Republicans to Push School Merger Bill in Nashville
February 2, 2011 I am pleased that the Commissioner of Education shares my concerns, and those of many Shelby County and Memphis City residents, regarding the attempt to transfer the administration of the Memphis City Schools to the Shelby County Board of Education without proper planning. more…

Charter Surrender Showdown: Norris Bill Moving Ahead
February 1, 2011 State Senator Mark Norris is crafting a bill he says would provide a roadmap if Memphis votes to transfer the administration of the Memphis City Schools to the Shelby County Board of Education. more…

Mixed Reactions to Governor Haslam’s School Merger Directive
February 1, 2011 That’s where Collierville Senator, Mark Norris, backed by the power of ally Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, plans on seeking a legislative block to the referendum vote. more…

Timeline of Events Leading to Merger Vote
February 1, 2011 Wednesday, February 2nd – The education and finance committees in the State Senate will meet and Republicans will try to push Senator Mark Norris’ bill through. more…

Shelby Democratic Legislators Without Details on Schools Legislation
February 1, 2011 “No plan worth executing that will achieve positive results for educating all of our children can possibly be written or formulated by Feb. 15 or March 1,” Norris wrote. more…

Council Weighs Legislative Wish List
January 31, 2011 It’s not on the agenda, but council members could react Tuesday to the prospect of an amendment to Norris’ bill in Nashville on the standoff between Memphis City and Shelby County schools. more…

Elected Leaders Meet Tuesday on Schools Legislation
January 31, 2011 The legislation proposed by Senate Republican leader Mark Norris of Collierville, as it is currently, would delay any consolidation by the two school systems for at least a year. more…

Wharton, Haslam React to Referendum Delay Talk
January 28, 2011 A bill by State Senate Republican leader Mark Norris of Collierville to include county voters outside Memphis in the referendum and lengthen the transition process by as much as a year is due in two Senate committees next week in Nashville. more…

TN Lt. Governor: State May Need To Take Over MCS
January 27, 2011 Norris is in the midst of proposing his own legislation that would open up the referendum for county citizens outside the city limits to vote on March 8 as well. more…

Memphis to Vote on Transferring School System to County
January 27, 2011 “In no other case did we have this inversion where the surrendering system dwarfed the receiving system,” said Mark Norris, the Republican Senate majority leader, whose district includes parts of suburban Shelby County. more…

Still the Big Story
January 27, 2011 Even state senator Mark Norris, the GOP majority leader of the state Senate and the author of legislation designed to avert the consequences of an MCS charter surrender, has expressed himself as being open-minded to some such formula. more…

The Norris Interview II: The Senator Gives His Explanation of Why County Residents Should Vote on the MCS Charter Issue
January 20, 2011 The Senate Bill 25 that I’ve introduced [providing for dual city and county votes] needs to proceed forward. That’s the current law. It is the law. more…

Norris Lays It Out
January 20, 2011 The bottom line with state senator Mark Norris of Collierville on the standoff between Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools: Yes, his legislation to mandate separate city and county votes on merger of the two systems (via transfer of MCS authority to SCS) is going forward in the General Assembly. more…

Tennessee Legislators React to School Board Vote
January 19, 2011 Norris notes that Tennessee code provides that any vote on consolidation should be county-wide. However, others argue that law, and it could open up another legal battle. more…

Shelby County Election Commission sets school referendum for March 8
January 19, 2011 The Shelby County Election Commission voted Wednesday afternoon to put a March 8 referendum before Memphis voters on whether to dissolve Memphis City Schools. more…

Council Approves MCS Charter Surrender
January 18, 2011 The Republican senator is trying to change the law to make sure county residents can vote on Memphis City Schools decision to surrender its charter. more…

Norris and Haslam on MLK Day
January 17, 2011 The definition of Norris’s role in the current schools standoff depends on who you talk to. Norris, himself, describes himself as a mediator between the two school systems — not by choice — but because mayors Wharton and Luttrell — asked him. more…

Norris Bill Moves As Compromise Questioned
January 17, 2011 School consolidation legislation proposed by State Senate Republican leader Mark Norris of Collierville is moving in the Tennessee legislature in advance of Saturday’s inauguration of Bill Haslam as Tennessee governor. more…

Gov. Haslam Sworn Into Office
January 15, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R – Collierville, said, “There is some special significance for we Republicans this time, but it’s really about a new beginning. It’s an inauguration of a new administration for all the people of Tennessee, regardless of their political party.” more…

Roadmap to MCS School Success: Clear Vision, Exceptional Strategy, Collective Effort
January 14, 2011 Senator Norris believes this discussion warrants a clear vision, exceptional strategies and a collective effort by all. more…

Shelby County Referendum Vote Bill Advances
January 14, 2011 State Senator Mark Norris of Collierville introduced legislation this week that would allow people outside the city limits vote on the looming referendum. more…

Memphis City Schools may halt charter surrender; referendum on system transfer advances
January 14, 2011 Norris said in a statement later Thursday that after learning of the possible agreement between MCS and SCS, “further legislative action this week seems unwarranted, therefore, in light of this positive development.” more…

Haslam Readies for Office
Janary 14, 2011 Haslam had already been in touch with state Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris about the legislation Norris proposed hours earlier to slow down the consolidation move and require a countywide vote in any referendum. more…

A See-Saw Struggle
January 13, 2011 The struggle between Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools, two separately operating systems which at the moment somewhat uncomfortably share the same district, continues to look like a see-saw act performed on a high wire. more…

TN Senate majority leader’s next step in school battle hinges on compromise
January 13, 2011 I commend the representatives of both school systems for their efforts and hope they result in an orderly process. The right of our citizens to vote based on accurate information is critical to our future success. more…

Mayors Won’t Confirm Likelihood of School Deal
January 12, 2011 Norris’ bill would make dual passage necessary before the charter surrender could occur. more…

Haslam says lessons from Knoxville consolidation not applicable to Memphis
January 12, 2011 Senator Mark Norris will introduce a bill this week that could stop the forced consolidation. His bill would require Shelby County residents to be included in the vote. more…

Wilson, Lillard re-elected; Legislature may intervene in Shelby County crisis
January 12, 2011 Readers in West Tennessee may be aware that a crisis has developed in Shelby County over the issue of consolidation of the Memphis City Schools and the Shelby County schools. more…

Commission Clashes On Consolidated School Board Planning
January 12, 2011 Meanwhile, state Sen. Mark Norris of Collierville, the Senate GOP leader, formally introduced Senate bill 25 Tuesday. more…

Memphis City Schools charter bill on fast track in Tenn. legislature
January 12, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and new House Speaker Beth Harwell said Tuesday that final approval of a bill Norris has drafted intervening in the Memphis City Schools showdown could occur as quickly as Saturday. more…

Norris prepares legislation to join charter surrender fight
January 11, 2011 Norris has written a draft of legislation that could stop Memphis schools from surrendering its charter if Shelby County residents are not included in the vote. The bill will be filed sometime this week. more…

Heads Continue to Clash Over MCS Charter
January 11, 2011 Norris calls MCS’ December vote to dissolve and merge with the County School district a “hostile takeover.” more…

Mayor Wharton Anxious for School Merger Action
January 11, 2011 Wharton said he did talk by phone with State Senator Mark Norris Tuesday morning, who said he will delay any legislation in Nashville he would bring up on the consolidation issue until Wednesday. more…

Lawsuits Not Filed in School Case. Not Yet.
January 11, 2011 In Nashville, the General Assembly got together for their first day back at work. State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Colllierville) says he’s already got a bill planned. more…

Memphis council members blast bill calling for county vote in city schools’ charter surrender
January 11, 2011 The legislature took no action today on the Memphis schools showdown but both Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, and the new House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, said final approval of the bill Norris drafted could occur as quickly as Saturday — an extraordinarily swift action. more…

State Senator Mark Norris plans bill to stop MCS vote without suburban input
January 11, 2011 “Unification without unity is not unity at all,” Norris said. “We have people trying to have a hostile takeover. We need a measured and considered approach.” more…

 

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