Armstrong State University in Savannah is the site on Monday for a hearing conducted by the Georgia House and Senate Study Committees on the Preservation of the HOPE Scholarship Program. Speakers already listed on the published agenda range from nationally-known casino company representatives to conservative Christian leaders and clergymen.

Opening remarks by the House committee chairman Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, and Senate committee chairman Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, come in the aftermath of criticism for casino giant MGM sending corporate checks to the re-election coffers of key General Assembly lawmakers. That company has been in the forefront of pushing for passage of a constitutional amendment that ultimately could lead to the legalization of casinos subject to local voter approval. The study committee will be weighing the potential for casino and perhaps other gaming revenue to help augment the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship, which has been curtailed in recent years because of rising college tuition and enrollment. 

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