NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee's first-term Republican governor is thinking about using private consultants to help implement his political agenda despite boasting about hiring staffers for their ability to do just that.

And consulting firms are lining up in hopes of snagging big, taxpayer-funded contracts.

Gov. Bill Lee's request for proposals reflects his faith that the private sector is better equipped to address the state's biggest challenges as he settles into the early stages of his first term in an elected office.

The state hasn't said how much it would cost, how much private consultants would be involved in policy decisions and how long consultants would stay on the job.

Lee has cautioned the idea will only come to fruition if he is sure it will save the state money.

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