Gubernatorial candidate doings, 9/13/2017

Six major candidates for governor appeared, one at a time, before a Tennessee Business Roundtable forum Tuesday and the resulting media reports focused on matters ranging from the recent state gas tax to in-state tuition for college students illegally brought to the United States as children by their parents.

A sampler:

-All five major Republican candidates have now declared opposition to granting in-state tuition to those brought into the nation illegally as children, reports the Tennessean. Randy Boyd and Bill Lee stated their opposition Tuesday after the forum and a spokesman for Black said she’s also against the idea. House Speaker Beth Harwell and former state Sen. Mae Beavers previously expressed opposition. Gov. Bill Halsam, on the other hand, has been supportive of legislation authorizing in-state tuition that has been unsuccessfully pushed in the legislature with Republican sponsors.

–Only Beavers has called for repeal of the Tennessee fuel tax increase that took effect in July, reports the Associated Press – though other Republican gubernatorial candidates are uneasy about it. Lee, for example, said it hurts people in rural areas who must drive a long way to work… but he’s not calling for repeal. Harwell said there should be “a new dedicated source of revenue” for road construction at some point.

–Democratic candidates Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh both called for expansion of the state’s program for providing pre-kindergarten classes at public schools, notes WPLN. None of the Republicans did.

-Haslam has abandoned his plan for privatization of state park operations, saying he’ll leave that decision to the next governor. Harwell says that, if she’s elected, the idea will remain abandoned, reports the Times Free Press.  “I will not pursue the privatization of our public parks. That is such a touchy point for our rural areas. It means so much for them, so I wouldn’t be pursuing them.”


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