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VOL. 43 | NO. 41 | Friday, October 11, 2019

Embattled former speaker Casada defends grant fund

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Disgraced former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada says a $4 million state grant fund should not be frozen despite questions raised by legislative leaders surrounding the intention of the taxpayer dollars.

Casada said Tuesday the funding was part of the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget, which was unanimously approved by the Tennessee Legislature.

Casada helped push the grant fund through but later resigned from the top leadership post in August amid a scandal over explicit text messages.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton and Senate Speaker Randy McNally have since raised questions about the fund's purpose — specifically that the money might be used for "legislative pork projects" — and have frozen the fund until further review.

Casada says the fund was supposed to be used for rural and community grants for capital projects.

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