NASHVILLE - State lawmakers have reconvened the 108th Tennessee General Assembly in a legislative session that is expected to feature debates over creating a school voucher program and whether to allow supermarkets to sell wine.
House and Senate speakers gaveled in around noon today for a session they are hoping to wrap up as quickly as possible so lawmakers can focus on their re-election bids. All 99 House seats are up for re-election this year, along with 17 of 33 seats in the Senate.
But lawmakers will first have to approve the state's $33 billion annual spending plan amid flagging state revenues. Through the first five months of the current budget year, general fund revenues were running $175 million below expectations.
The state constitution requires lawmakers to pass a balanced budget.