Haslam won’t wait to decide on bill to make Bible state book


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says he won’t wait the full 10 days to decide whether to sign or veto a bill seeking to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee.

Haslam, who has expressed reservations about the bill, told reporters on Tuesday that he will announce his decision before the end of this week.

Both chambers of the General Assembly passed the bill despite warnings from state Attorney General Herbert Slatery that it would violate both the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions.

Sponsors said the bill is meant to honor the historical significance of the Bible in Tennessee and not represent a state endorsement of religion.

Beyond the legal concerns, several lawmakers have raised concerns about placing the Bible alongside other state symbols like the official rock, tree or reptile.Copyright 2016 AP. All rights reserved.

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