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House panel advances welfare penalty for parents

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The House Government Operations Committee has recommended passing a bill to dock welfare payments to parents of children who fail at a school despite Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's opposition to the measure.

The panel gave a positive recommendation to the bill sponsored by Rep. Vance Dennis of Savannah even after hearing from a representative from Haslam's office that the governor has serious concerns about the bill.

Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell has also raised concerns about the measure that would cut Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, benefits by 30 percent if a child fails to advance to the next grade.

The money could be earned back if a parent attends two conferences with teachers, takes parenting classes or enrolls the child in tutoring programs or summer school.