TN taxpayers paying $500K to light lawmakers offices 24 hours a day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee taxpayers are spending more than $500,000 a year to keep the lights on 24 hours a day at Legislative Plaza and the War Memorial Building, where lawmakers have their offices.

The Tennessee Department of General Services is in charge of maintaining Legislative Plaza.

Department spokeswoman Kelly Smith told WSMV-TV the lights are needed so that people can find their way out of the building in an emergency.

Legislative Plaza, which was built in the 1970s, does not even have light switches in the offices.

Lawmakers recently approved a renovation plan that will bring Legislative Plaza's electrical system into the 21st century. That includes the addition of light switches.

The renovations will cost about $3 million and take three years to complete.

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