Tennessee House passes $32.4 billion budget

Tennessee House passes $32.4 billion budget

April 10th, 2014 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

The Tennessee Capitol is seen in this file photo.

The Tennessee Capitol is seen in this file...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE -- The Tennessee House passed Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's recommended $32.4 billion budget this afternoon after beating back Democratic efforts to restore planned teacher and employee pay raises scrapped by revenue shortfalls.

Senators are expected to take up the annual spending plan later today.

Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, charged Republicans are "going to balance [the budget] on the workers of this state."

He offered an amendment that would have provided funding to restore Haslam's originally proposed salary boosts that would go into effect if revenues increase.

Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, called Fitzhugh's plan a "gimmick" and said it would confuse state workers, teachers and higher education employees.

Representatives tabled Fitzhugh's amendment on a 68-28 vote.

Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, was widely expected to present his own plan to restore employee increases. But after speaking at length on his amendment, Hill, who spoke with administration officials earlier in the day, withdrew his amendment.