ABC News Radio -

In his State of the State Address, Gov. Bill Haslam introduced the "Tennessee Promise," a proposal to provide two years of tuition and fees at community colleges or Tennessee colleges of applied technology to graduating high school seniors.

"Through the Tennessee Promise, we are fighting the rising cost of higher education and we are raising our expectations as a state," Haslam said. Those students who choose to go to a four-year school could use the state's transfer pathways program and start at a four-year-school as a junior -- with the cost of tuition cut in half.

Haslam proposed a transfer of lottery reserve funds to create an endowment, redirecting existing resources to avoid cost to the state.

"This is a bold promise," Haslam said, "It is a promise that will speak volumes to current and prospective employers. It is a promise that will make a real difference for generations of Tennesseans, and it is a promise that we have the ability to make."