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GOP reconsidering lottery scholarship bill

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican leaders are proposing legislation that would tie changes to lottery scholarship requirements to lottery revenue growth.

A GOP-backed measure that would cut some students' scholarships in half has drawn heavy criticism from Democrats who say it's unnecessary because the lottery's education proceeds have increased 4 percent since 2005, with about $10 million more coming in a year.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Dolores Gresham announced Tuesday in a statement that if the $10 million is sustained through 2015, then the provisions in the proposal to reduce the scholarship would not apply.

Lottery officials on Tuesday announced record sales of $130 million in February. They told members of the Senate Education Committee last week that the lottery has set record gross sales every month since July.