Ahead Of Budget Speech, Haslam Warns State’s Costs Have Outpaced Revenue

“We have $260 million in new revenue this year over last year—we’re talking about recurring funds, operating funds if it was a business,” the governor says.  “K-12 will take $120 million of that.  TennCare will take $180 million of that.  And health-insurance increase will take $40 million.  So if you’re doing the math there, you’re at $340 negative, on a $260 million increase.  So you’re $80 million upside down before you give a raise, before you do anything with higher ed, before you address social services for our most vulnerable citizens.” (Image: flickr/401(K) 2013)

“We have $260 million in new revenue this year over last year—we’re talking about recurring funds, operating funds if it was a business,” the governor says. “K-12 will take $120 million of that. TennCare will take $180 million of that. And health-insurance increase will take $40 million. So if you’re doing the math there, you’re at $340 negative, on a $260 million increase. So you’re $80 million upside down before you give a raise, before you do anything with higher ed, before you address social services for our most vulnerable citizens.” (Image: flickr/401(K) 2013)

Gov. Bill Haslam is framing the budget he’ll lay out in his State of the State address tonight as a difficult balancing act.

Revenues have been below what officials had hoped. At the same time, Haslam says Tennessee faces hundreds of millions in added costs for healthcare and education.

“So you’re $80 million upside down before you give a raise, before you do anything with higher ed, before you address social services for our most vulnerable citizens,” Haslam said Monday.

Since taking office, Haslam has dealt with tight budgets by eliminating more than a thousand state jobs, many of them unfilled. Haslam, who is up for reelection this fall, has said while he’s in office he wants to raise teacher salaries faster than any other state.

The governor is scheduled to deliver his State of the State address Monday night at 6 p.m.

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