NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam today signed the $30.8 billion budget that Tennessee lawmakers adopted last month.
“Proud to sign this year's budget,” the Republican announced via Twitter. “During difficult times it's great to have strong bipartisan support.”
The 2011-2012 spending plan that takes effect July 1 is about $1.23 billion, or 3.9 percent, under the current budget. Reductions reflect the loss of federal stimulus dollars.
But actual state spending rises as a result of better-than-expected revenues.
An estimated 1,320 filled and vacant positions will be cut, according to legislative staff.
The budget includes $71 million to help counties and cities deal with natural disasters, including tornadoes in Hamilton and Bradley counties and floods in West Tennessee. The money will used to match federal disaster assistance.
The budget provides an estimated $126 million in federal funds to restore 20 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for thousands of jobless Tennesseans.
An accompanying bond bill contains $34.6 million to expand the Wacker Chemical plant now under construction in Bradley County.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...