Bredesen has misgivings of some remaining bills
Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 8:01 pm
NASHVILLE (AP) — Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen said Tuesday he’s pleased the state budget was overwhelmingly approved, but he expressed misgivings about some items that have passed or are pending before lawmakers.
He told reporters they include a resolution to commend Arizona on the state’s tough new immigration law and another seeking to allow Tennesseans to opt out of the new federal health care overhaul.
“I’ve not met anyone who knows what they’re talking about who thinks we have the right to opt out,” Bredesen said. “I’m sure they’ll push forward with it, but it doesn’t make any difference.”
The “Health Freedom Act” is expected to be resurrected this week in the Senate, and the resolution has passed both chambers. The House reconvened Tuesday and the Senate is scheduled to do the same today.
Bredesen said if lawmakers care so strongly about the immigration issue, they should work to craft their own solution “and not spend their time congratulating other states on the way they’ve approached it.”
In the end, the governor said, the resolution is symbolic. “That kind of stuff is just as meaningless as the health care stuff they we’re talking about,” he said.
“I wish the Legislature had spent more time on the budget and less time on all these other things — they would already be home by now.”
Both chambers were able to work out their differences and pass the state spending plan last week. The House passed the proposal 94-0, and the Senate approved it 30-3.
The nearly $30 billion plan includes a relief program for Tennessee flood victims, saves a program to combat infant mortality and relies on $185 million from the state’s cash reserves instead of new taxes to fill a $150 million shortfall.
Published in The Messenger 6.9.10