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Bill would allow pregnant women to keep HOPE scholarship post maternity leave

Posted at 8:43 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 21:44:24-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Memphis state lawmaker is pushing to make sure pregnant women who go on maternity leave can keep their HOPE scholarship once they're ready to go back to school.

Right now, it's not guaranteed a woman can keep her scholarship if she gets pregnant and has to leave school to care for her newborn.

Representative London Lamar brought the bill to the legislature in the 111th General Assembly, but it was sent to summer study for more research.

Lawmakers heard the reasoning behind the bill Thursday, but no decisions are made during study sessions.

"We wanted students to be able to choose not between their education or their motherhood," said representative Lamar. "We want them to choose both. Especially in a state that's pushing pro life legislation and pro life laws, we want to make sure we see that in the way we dictate our financial aid for our students. Students who receive the HOPE scholarship are already high achieving."

Some questioned whether or not the move would take away power from review boards who generally look at appeals in such situations.

Rep. Lamar said sometimes it's better to reduce the power of government in cases that benefit Tennessee women.