Tennessee officials confident about short-term finances in debt crisis

Tennessee officials confident about short-term finances in debt crisis

July 28th, 2011 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Gov. Haslam

Gov. Haslam

LEBANON, Tenn. - As the nation approaches a historic debt default, Gov. Bill Haslam and top officials say Tennessee's revenues and cash flow are sufficient for now to fulfill the state's obligations should partisan disputes between Republicans and Democrats in Washington send the nation's credit careening off a cliff.

"We've looked at what happens if the funding totally gets cut off if they shut down and we're actually in pretty good shape with how our payment flow works," Haslam told reporters following a meeting with teachers in Lebanon, just outside Nashville. "But it obviously impacts the credit ratings and funding that comes from Washington would be delayed."

Haslam said he is meeting with Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes on Friday to get further details.

"But," Haslam added, "let's don't kid ourselves. If that [congressional standoff] lasts a very long time, we have major problems because so many of our problems are funded by the federal government."

Emkes said he believes Tennessee can go at least six weeks and by then, he said, Congress surely will have acted.