NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Legislature has passed a $37.5 billion budget following days of controversy after Memphis was punished for removing Confederate statues and student testing failures threatened to hold up passage.
The House on Thursday voted 81-2 to accept changes in the budget that the Senate made earlier. The House stripped $250,000 from the budget that would have gone to Memphis for the city’s bicentennial celebration next year. The move was payback for the city for finding a loophole in the law to remove Confederate statues last year. The move drew outcries from Memphis lawmakers who called it vile, racist and un-Christian.
Also on Thursday, House members threatened to hold up passage of the budget if lawmakers didn’t come up with a fix for problems with kids taking the state assessment test.