House votes 66-30 to pass $30.4B spending plan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The House has passed Gov. Bill Haslam's $30.4 billion spending plan after rejecting several efforts to restore programs and to make a greater reduction in the state's sales tax on groceries.

The chamber voted 66-30 Thursday to pass the bill sponsored by Republican House Finance Chairman Charles Sargent of Franklin.

Approval was delayed by more than an hour by a spirited debate over Haslam's plan to close the Taft Youth Development Center in Bledsoe County. Republican Rep. Cameron Sexton of Crossville sought to restore $12 million for the facility, and at first survived efforts to kill the amendment.

But after a break -- and heavy lobbying by Republican leaders and Haslam staffers -- the measure was defeated on a 60-38 vote.

The Senate has yet to vote on its version.

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