Lawmakers question need to half scholarships

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Democratic leaders say a report from state lottery officials showing record sales is reason to table legislation that would cut some students' lottery scholarships in half.

Tennessee Lottery officials told members of the Republican-controlled Senate Education Committee on Wednesday that the lottery has set record gross sales every month since July. They said the lottery's education proceeds have increased 4 percent since 2005, with about $10 million more coming in a year.

A proposal from a panel of state lawmakers would reduce by 50 percent the lottery scholarship awards for students who do not meet both standardized testing and high school grade requirements.

But Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis says the reduction isn't necessary because lottery officials are sending "a clear message that they can sustain the scholarships."

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