Senate and House begin legislative session - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Senate and House begin legislative session

The gavel went down starting the legislative session  for 2008 in the senate and the house on Tuesday. One of the hottest items expected on this agenda was lottery scholarships.

"I'd to make it available to more non traditional students  adults who are trying to go back to school and further their education. The democrats have more of an entitlement mentality They'd like to lower the standards so that anybody can go and that's going to be one of the issues to be  debated hotly to be sure," Senator Mark Norris said.

State Representative Mike  Kernell who sponsored the lottery in the house said there is extra money available. How it will be spent is the issue.
"Should the scholarship be increased or should we give that money to pre kindergarten and programs to help kids that may never get to college unless we help them now," Kernell said.

State representative Joe Towns said he is concerned about the money drain from Memphis to Tunica  and he wants some kind of gambling in Memphis. However, that would mean the state constitution would have to be changed.

The legislators also know Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton will be talking with them about his consolidation plans that would cut county residents out of the vote.

"What ever is up for discussion with the Mayors whether its A.C. Wharton or Dr. Herenton, obviously we are going to look at it with an open mind," Towns said.

State Representative Joe Towns said something must be done about the county debt, but he is not sure consolidation is the answer.

Click here to e-mail Janice Broach.

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