An Illinois Senate education committee has approved a measure to end the controversial legislative scholarship program. The measure creates a task force to study all state university tuition waivers. The existing program allows lawmakers to award two students in their district a four-year tuition waiver to a state university. The measure came under fire after reports that lawmakers have given awards to relatives, children of political allies or students outside their district.
A government watchdog group is challenging the tax-exempt status of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national group that's active in state legislatures across the country. Common Cause of Kentucky Chairman Richard Beliles is asking Attorney General Jack Conway to review whether the group should be taxed in Kentucky. Beliles' action comes on the heels of a national-level initiative to try to get the IRS to revoke the group's 502(c) (3) status.
The Tennessee General Assembly has adjourned without a final showdown over a contentious gun issue. A bill seeking to allow employees to store weapons in their vehicles parked on company lots was opposed by Governor Bill Haslam and the Republican speakers of the House and Senate, and lawmakers avoided bringing it to the floor in the final day of the session.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam's proposal to overhaul the Tennessee Regulatory Authority has passed the House today. The companion bill passed the Senate last week. The two chambers must agree to a technical change before the measure goes to the governor. The TRA regulates utilities in the state. The bill would change the agency from a 4 member, full-time board to a 5 member, part-time board with a full-time executive director. Sponsors say the change will save the state at least $350,000 a year.
The Henderson County Fiscal Court approved a resolution to join 2 other counties in giving away $720,000 in coal severance tax revenues. Court Clerk Sue Baker says the application will go to Union and Webster Counties for approval next month before being sent to The Department for Local Government in Frankfort for final approval. $500,000 would go to expand the Hugh Edward Sandefur Training Center which employs vocationally challenged people. The rest would go to the Reggio Children North American Exhibit.