NASHVILLE — State Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes said today the Haslam administration opposes a last-ditch effort by area lawmakers to keep the state from closing Taft Youth Center in Pikeville.
Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, said Monday he has a budget amendment that would restore funding for Taft, which houses some of the state’s worst teen offenders.
Emkes said the administration, which hopes to save $8.5 million annually through Taft’s closure, opposes the amendment.
“I think Taft was studied very carefully and we can offer the same service at a lower cost somewhere else,” Emkes said.
“We’re trying to spend taxpayer dollars wisely. So it’s like any business. If you can offer the same service somewhere else at a lower cost, that’s what we’re going to do.”
He said many Taft employees will be able to work at the soon-to-open adult Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, which is near Taft.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.
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, ...