A positive & a negative from Tennessee state government, according to Otis Sanford

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on two recent Tennessee headlines.

Two recent developments that made headlines across Tennessee – show both the positive and negative sides of state government.

First the positive. All of us who have spent time at a Memphis driver’s license testing center, know that the wait can be ridiculously long. Well, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security are responding to the complaints by adding 55 new employees at the motor vehicle centers on East Shelby Drive and Summer Avenue by year’s end. 29 new examiners are scheduled to begin work this week. The added staff comes at a time when the number of customers has increased because of the federal requirement for Real IDs by October if next year. 

But on the negative side, the state continues to get criticism for failing to spend millions of dollars from a federal block grant intended to help Tennessee’s working poor. The state currently has about $732 million from the grant just sitting in a reserve fund. Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen sent a sharply worded letter to Gov. Bill Lee demanding to know why the state is not using the money as intended.

Of course, since Cohen is a Democrat and Lee a Republican, I don’t expect the governor to respond to Cohen’s demands. But the congressman is right. Hoarding that much money when the state has so many needy families is inexcusable.

That’s the positive and negative of state government. And that’s my point of view.

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