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Haslam: No Need for ‘Knee-Jerk Special Session’

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
KNOXVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday he doesn’t believe Democratic lawmakers’ request for a special session to discuss using surplus state revenues to halt tuition increases is “wise planning for the state.”
The legislators told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that lawmakers would like a session to be held in August, possibly before students return to school.
They also want to uses the state surplus to drop the sales tax on groceries below 5.25 percent. Haslam included funding in his budget to reduce the sales tax from 5.5 percent.
But the governor told The Associated Press before a meeting of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Thursday that there are many other issues to be addressed, such as dealing with uncertain costs associated with federal health care, which he said could be more than $200 million.
“I’m not sure I see the wisdom in having a knee-jerk special session right now when there a so many things on the board for us to consider when it comes to the budget,” said Haslam, who also serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees. “I don’t think that would be wise planning for the state.”

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