Before Unveiling Budget, Haslam Says Watch for Education

Tonight Governor Bill Haslam is set to unveil his latest budget proposal, which will include a few hundred million more state dollars than last year. Much of the growth will likely be eaten up by required increases to cover healthcare, as well as education.

Gov. Haslam, via his flickr page

Gov. Haslam, via his flickr page

Tennessee’s budget is recovering, but required spending for the state’s Medicaid-waiver program and to its education funding formula don’t leave a lot of wiggle room. Haslam wants to emphasize Tennessee is one of just a handful of states that has not cut K-12 classrooms in recent years.

“We’re in the top piece of those states that haven’t cut, and we’ll talk a little bit about what more that means tonight.”

Haslam says this budget will invest in new buildings for state colleges, making up time lost during the recession, and help rebuild the state’s rainy-day fund. Many state workers will watch the speech closely for news of a raise or layoffs. Since 2008, Tennessee’s workforce has shrunk some ten percent, to about 44 thousand.

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