GOP lawmaker questions Haslam's secret $30M development deal - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

GOP lawmaker questions Haslam's secret $30M development deal

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam answers questions during an interview in Nashville. AP photo Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam answers questions during an interview in Nashville. AP photo

By ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A state senator is questioning fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to earmark $30 million for a secret economic development project in Tennessee.

State Finance Commissioner Larry Martin on Tuesday declined to elaborate on the development prospect other than to describe it as an "exciting project."

Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro cited state money spent on problematic economic development deals including a shuttered polysilicon plant in Clarksville, a West Tennessee solar farm that still isn't operational, and a facility to study converting switchgrass to fuel that has been moved to Iowa.

Ketron said he was uncomfortable voting for the new project on the basis of state officials saying, "Trust me, it's going to be good."

The state routinely makes grants to companies that build new facilities or expand in Tennessee.

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