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House of Representatives State of Tennessee

Press Release
For Immediate Release June 6, 2007 Contact: Rep. Brian Kelsey: (615) 741-4415

Kelsey Questions Pork for Certain Churches
NASHVILLE – Representative Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) requested an Attorney’s General opinion
today regarding whether it is constitutional to use state taxpayer dollars to further religion by providing so-called Community Enhancement Grants to certain churches. Members of the House of Representatives have asked the state to disburse more than $85,000 of taxpayer funds to twenty churches in the Memphis area. No instructions are offered on how the taxpayer money is to be spent by the churches. “I can’t imagine how members chose to give money to certain churches in their districts but chose to give others nothing,” stated Rep. Kelsey. If it passes both chambers of the legislature, the Community Enhancement Grant legislation will allot $100,000 to each state representative and $300,000 to each state senator to spend in each district on pet projects of the member’s choice. Rep. Kelsey, Rep. Beth Harwell (R - Nashville), Rep. Susan Lynn (R Mt. Juliet), Rep. Donna Rowland (R - Murfreesboro), and Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R - Lenoir) were the only members of the House of Representatives to refuse to file requests for the Community Enhancement Grants. Republicans in the State Senate have also opposed allowing individual members to dictate where the funds should be spent. A copy of Rep. Kelsey’s request for an Attorney General opinion is attached. ###

State Representative
District 83 – Germantown & East Memphis

Brian Kelsey

203 War Memorial Building Nashville, TN 37243-0183 phone (615) 741-4415 fax (615) 253-0349

House of Representatives State of Tennessee
Nashville June 6, 2007

Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Judicial Administration Subcommittee on Civil Practice

Committee on Children and Family Affairs
Subcommittee on Domestic Relations


Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr. State of Tennessee Post Office Box 20207 Nashville, TN 37202 Via Fax to (615) 741-2009 and Capitol Hill Delivery Dear General Cooper: I respectfully request an expedited Attorney’s General opinion on the following: Is the State of Tennessee providing Community Enhancement Grants to the following organizations without specific instructions regarding how the funds are to be spent a violation of the United States Constitution or the Tennessee Constitution? Antioch Baptist Church Vollintine Baptist Church Golden Gate Full Gospel Baptist Church Breath of Life Church Greater Middle Baptist Church Greater Abyssinia Youth Club Cane Creek Youth Club New Friendship Youth Club New Hope Youth Club Macedonia Youth Club Pentecostal Youth Club Shiloh Baptist Youth Club Norris Avenue Youth Club New Little Rock Youth Club Alcy Ball Youth Club New Growth Youth Club Christ Baptist Youth Club Mt. Gilead Youth Club St. Peter’s Youth Club Center Chapel Youth Club $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co. Shelby Co.

Sincerely, Brian Kelsey State Representative