Bredesen Spending Plan Advances To Senate

On June 12, 2009, in News 2009, by Mark Norris
June 12, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Gov. Phil Bredesen’s spending plan is headed for a full Senate vote with the deletion of some proposed cuts by Republican lawmakers.

The measure carried by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis was approved 6-4 by the Senate Finance Committee on Friday and was to be on the Senate floor later in the day.

“When you are expediting the cuts to the domestic violence program, $50,000 out of their $74,000 budget, you are telling them to go home,” said Kyle. “I just cannot find a good reason for it, if there’s a good reason for it, our Governor would have proposed it.”

Republicans want to speed up cuts because every month the state keeps seeing a shortage of sales tax revenue. They depend on that cash to keep government going.

“We have looked at the cuts that the Governor has proposed, and what we are saying when you proposed those, you thought we had several hundred million dollars more, than apparently we do today, what are we to do with that? He chose these items and we are choosing to move ahead with the cuts if the money is not there,” said Sen. Mark Norris.

A GOP proposal, first released earlier this week, had included the removal of funding for the state to acquire land for a West Tennessee megasite that would be used to attract large manufacturers and more jobs to the state, as well as funding for social programs ranging from HIV/AIDS to infant mortality programs.

Funding for the megasite and HIV/AIDS were two of the items that Republicans decided not to cut.

Senators have left for the weekend, without wrapping up their version of the budget. They hope to finish the budget early next week. Then House members will come up with their fiscal plans.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Story)

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