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Notes from Nashville – 5.27.10

Notes from Nashville – 5.27.10

Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 3:43 pm
By: Mark Maddox, State Representative

We continue to work on the budget as we try to close this General Assembly.
Yet another alternate plan was published on Thursday. The latest plan asks Republicans in the Senate to reconsider their attempts to cut programs for Tennessee’s teachers, farmers, and students. 
In just over two years the Tennessee Legislature has cut state spending by over $2 billion, and this year we are cutting another 9 percent; however, cuts to programs that support teachers, farmers, and families are unacceptable.
Under the plan that I support, funding to programs like the Career Ladder for teachers and the Agriculture Enhancement Program for farmers would be restored.
The Agriculture Enhancement Program is returned to its original level of $26 million.
This program gives farmers a leg up in expanding and producing more.
Agriculture is a vital component of our state’s economy and I will continue to support our farmers.
In addition, this plan re-energizes the Small Business Opportunity Fund, a program designed to help stimulate new business growth and create new jobs.
Small businesses create new jobs and bring in revenues. Small business’ jobs are vital to Tennessee’s economy.
To create jobs in this state we must do more for small businesses and re-energizing the award-winning Small Business Opportunity Fund is one way to help create jobs.
This plan funds additional scholarships under the Tennessee Student Assistance Program and adds to the toolbox for economic development with more funds in the Fast Track Program which helps rural economic development. 
Higher education levels for workers and more incentives for business and industry are great tools for the folks charged with bringing jobs to Tennessee. 
Finally, this plan adds funds to assist flood and storm victims of the recent rains that pummeled much of West and Middle Tennessee. 
As Tennesseans, many have answered the call of the Volunteer State and extended hands of hope to our neighbors in need. While the waters have receded, the effort to rebuild has just begun and we must continue to help those in need by reducing the tax costs of building again.
This plan makes cuts to keep government within its means while using one-time cash to move Tennessee forward and give us a fighting chance as the economy improves.
I hope the House and Senate can agree this week and complete our work.
If you have suggestions, please let me know. My number in Nashville is toll-free:  1-800-449-8366, ext. 17847. My email is rep.mark.maddox@capitol.tn.gov and my regular mail address is 17 Legislative Plaza; Nashville, TN  37243. 
WCP 5.27.10

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