Lee vows to pursue Medicaid block grant but not accept one 'that would be bad for Tennessee'

Democrat says 2019 was 'worst session in recent state history'

The Tennessee state capitol building is located in Nashville, at the intersection of Charlotte Avenue and 7th Avenue North. It occupies the highest point in Nashville, a hill once known at Cedar Knob. The structure was designed by architect William Strickland who is buried at the north façade of the capitol building. state capitol tennessee house of representatives / Getty Images

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Lee says he's "grateful" that fellow Republicans in the Tennessee Legislature approved his school voucher-style program and also vows he won't accept a "bad" deal when it comes to another bill directing him to negotiate with Trump administration officials on a federal "block grant" for the TennCare program.

The Republican governor also defended his signing a controversial voter registration bill into law on Thursday, immediately spurring a federal lawsuit filed by the NAACP and other critics.

On yet another front, Lee said he would sign into law another controversial last-minute bill creating a new concealed-only carry handgun permit.

It does away with current provisions requiring would-be licensees to complete an eight-hour firearms course with actual use of a gun followed by an exam. The new National Rifle Association-backed law simply requires applicants watch a 90-minute video and pass an online exam.

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