NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Governor Bill Haslam said Friday he is calling an “extraordinary session” legislative session to address the looming issue of losing millions in federal funding.
The state stands to lose $60 million after it passed a law making changes to DUI laws they later learned violated federal funding rules.
“We are disappointed in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision. The state made clear to federal officials that while it disagrees with the interpretation that Tennessee is out of compliance, any such perceived impact of the law was inadvertent and could be fixed in January 2017,” Haslam said.
“To avoid any negative impact to the state, I will ask the General Assembly to convene in a special session and clarify state law in this matter,” he continued.
Lawmakers passed a measure earlier this year changing the blood alcohol content for 18 to 20 year olds from 0.02 to 0.08 percent.
However, federal rules require states to set the blood alcohol content for 18 to 20 year olds at 0.02 or lose some federal funding, which in Tennessee’s case is that $60 million for highways.
State lawmakers are currently on summer break. The session requires them come back early.