Haslam rolls out budget amendment
Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 7:00 pm
Nashville – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam Monday rolled out his proposal to revise the fiscal year 2012-13 budget to reflect new estimates on increased state revenues.
The supplemental appropriations amendment to SB 3768/HB 3835 will include funding that was not part of the budget the governor presented in January, which was based on earlier revenue projections.
“It is state government’s job to provide services that citizens can’t get on their own,” Haslam said. “Our budget proposal earlier this year reflected a thoughtful and strategic process to allocate taxpayer dollars to serve Tennesseans in the most customer-focused, efficient and effective way possible.
“This budget amendment continues that focus by making targeted investments in the short term that allow us to plan for a more comprehensive approach to our budget decisions in the long term. I am pleased that we’re able to restore funding for programs important to Tennesseans. We will continue to evaluate all of our funding priorities in the context of the broad picture of our state’s needs.”
Notable funding priorities in the governor’s budget amendment include:
• $3.3 million to reduce the sales tax on food to from the current rate of 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent, which is lower than the governor’s original proposal to reduce it to 5.3 percent;
• $4 million to increase the daily per diem payment to local jails by $2 from $35 to $37;
• $1.4 million for Mental Health peer support centers across the state;
• $1 million for continued statewide family support services through the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in addition to $4.5 million of restoration in the initial budget proposal;
• $300,000 for maintenance of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority;
• $3 million to fund family resource centers across the state;
• $3.9 million to fund Healthy Start and Child Health and Development programs across the state;
• $250,000 for child advocacy centers in Tennessee;
• $250,000 to support the Amachi mentoring program for children of inmates through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization;
• $375,000 to fund a poison control center that provides statewide services;
• $5 million for Tennessee career centers to address the past practice of funding annual operating expenses with non-recurring federal dollars;
• $122,000 to fund legislation that requires unemployment recipients to verify their job search efforts;
• $115,500 to fund an online system to send businesses unemployment insurance notices electronically and to allow employers to submit relevant information electronically;
• And $1 million for land acquisition and maintenance efforts at Radnor Lake state park in Nashville.
Haslam’s original budget proposal restored more than $100 million of a total of $160 million in cuts to “core services” first identified as reductions in the fiscal year 2010-11 budget but delayed until this year due to the use of one-time federal money.
This budget amendment will include an additional $10 million of funding dedicated directly to further restoring those cuts to core services.