Tennessee House speaker denies voucher vote-buying claims

In this Jan. 8, 2019 file photo, House Speaker Glen Casada, R-Franklin, bangs the gavel on the opening day of the 111th General Assembly Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee lawmakers are set to tussle for months over the state’s criminal justice and education systems, sports betting and medical marijuana, and hot-button topics ranging from guns to abortion. The Republican-supermajority General Assembly is finally digging into its workload after new Republican Gov. Bill Lee has taken office and begun getting acclimated. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Outgoing Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada is denying allegations of vote-buying attempts on an education voucher bill.

Casada posted Sunday on Facebook that any allegation against his office about a quid pro quo on that bill or others is unequivocally false.

Several allegations have surfaced from lawmakers in news reports that Casada tried to incentivize votes for the voucher bill, a key initiative of Republican Gov. Bill Lee.

In April, Casada refused to accept a 49-49 vote that would’ve spiked the bill. The vote wasn’t declared official for nearly 40 minutes until a Republican flipped, passing the bill 50-48.

Casada is resigning as speaker Aug. 2 after scandals involving explicit text messages.

House Republicans will nominate a new speaker Wednesday. That replacement will be installed at an August special legislative session.

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