Thursday, June 21, 2012

Haslam Uninterested in Seeing Legislators Again This Year

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 5:00 PM

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Gov. Bill Haslam isn't likely to indulge state Democrats' desire for a special legislative session, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

At a press conference Wednesday, House and Senate Democrats urged Haslam to call a special summer session and use the state's surplus revenue — which they say amounts to $225 million — to forestall college tuition hikes. They also repeated their call for additional cuts to the state sales tax on groceries.

In Knoxville for a meeting of the UT board of trustees earlier today, Haslam said he "understand[s] the concern" about rising college tuitions, but that he's "not certain it makes sense" to address them with a special session.

Politically, this may just work out for both sides. Democrats, who surely knew Haslam would not call a special session, will continue to run on the idea that their attempts to address the state's real issues are being blocked and ignored by a majority obsessed with a far-right social agenda. And Haslam can highlight his image as the prudent CEO governor, storing away extra money for a rainy day. (The argument, of course, is to what degree it is raining right now.) In the meantime, students, your tuition will likely be going up.

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