LUCAS L. JOHNSON II, Associated Press Writer,
February 28, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Republican lawmakers are taking Gov. Phil Bredesen up on his challenge to find other ways to fund higher education and save 200 state employees’ jobs.

Earlier this month, the Democratic governor told lawmakers to approve his plan to eliminate a tax exemption on cable bills or find another means of funding.

The proposal to lift the tax break on the first $15 of a cable bill is part of Bredesen’s plan to raise about $49 million in new revenue a year. The state is being sued by the satellite TV industry because it doesn’t get the kind of tax break that cable does.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said a number of options are being tossed about, but he said one involves possibly reducing some of the debt the state authorized for capital projects, which could free up “several tens of millions” of dollars.

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