Around the South for April 11th: TX, VA, & TN

Texas: Leaders support raising sales tax.  Three of the most powerful men in the Lone Star State: Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, are all behind a plan to raise the state’s sales tax by one cent in an effort to reduce property taxes.  The Republicans are putting their weight behind a bill currently working its way through the state legislature.  Virginia: Northam approval down, Dems steady.  A new approval rating poll from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University shows that Gov. Ralph Northam’s approval rating has dropped nearly 20 points since December, a credit to the scandal that broke when pictures were found of him wearing blackface in medical school in the 1980’s.  42% of those polled said he should step down, but when asked which party they’d like to see hold a majority in the state’s General Assembly, Democrats led 46% to 42%.  Tennessee: Medical marijuana dead until 2020.  State lawmakers have effectively killed off talks on any medical marijuana legislation during the 2019 session, leaving supporters to look toward 2020.  The bill being pushed would have made it legal for residents to purchase the drug from registered stores if they suffered from a “debilitating medical condition” — including cancer, PTSD, HIV/AIDS or severe arthritis.