Lawmakers Say Alternative State Budget Will Surface Next Week

Lawmakers say a long-delayed state budget proposal – a counter to what the governor has recommended – will emerge next week.

The state Senate is down to its last five paid days this year. The calendar forces them to take up next year’s budget. Republicans have been promising an alternative to the tax increases proposed by Governor Phil Bredesen.

Goodlettsville Democrat Joe Haynes needled Republicans about whether or not a counter-budget will really show up.

Haynes: As I understand it then, we can expect some proposal by your side of the aisle as to how were gonna proceed with a budget, so we’ll be able to know where we are next week, and plan for a conclusion. Is that an accurate statement?
Speaker pro tem Jamie Woodson: Senator Norris.
Norris: It’s not inaccurate.

That last voice was Republican leader Mark Norris.

Faced with painful cuts, Governor Bredesen proposed raising the amount of state sales tax charged on big-ticket items like bulldozers and business computers.

Republicans want to make enough cuts to cancel the need for the sales tax change.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says leadership of both houses will review a new proposal before it is introduced “the first part of next week.”

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