Tennessee budget breakdown highlights Lee's spending priorities

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee delivers his State of the State Address in the House Chamber on Monday in Nashville. AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee delivers his State of the State Address in the House Chamber on Monday in Nashville. AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday introduced his proposed $55.6 billion fiscal year 2023-24 budget and priorities. Here is a breakdown of his spending priorities:

Transportation and infrastructure

-- $3 billion for a new Transportation Modernization Fund to alleviate urban congestion and fund rural road projects across the state.

-- $750 million allocated to each of the Tennessee Department of Transportation's four regions.

-- $300 million to expand the State Aid Program for local road projects.

-- Proposing new comprehensive legislation regarding state highway contracting innovations, public-private partnerships and electric/hybrid vehicle fees.

(READ MORE: Tennessee Gov. Lee unveils $55.6 billion budget plan, seeks $3 billion injection into road spending)

Tax cuts and incentives

-- $288.3 million for a one-time, three-month sales tax holiday on food from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31.

-- Beginning a three-year transition to a single sales factor tax formula for business franchise and excise taxes to improve state's ability to compete for jobs and investment.

-- $64 million to simplify tax administration and conform with the federal bonus depreciation provisions of the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, allowing businesses to more quickly recover costs.

-- $37.8 million for small business excise tax relief, establishing a standard deduction from excise tax for up to $50,000 of reported net income, earning businesses a maximum of $3,250 in direct savings.

-- $20.3 million for small business franchise tax relief that exempts up to $500,000 of property from the franchise tax, giving small- and medium-sized businesses that own property in Tennessee up to $1,250 in tax savings on their annual franchise tax liability.

-- $7.9 million for small business relief from the business gross receipts tax, increasing the filing threshold for business tax from $10,000 to $100,000 to ensure only businesses with $100,000 of gross receipts or more will be subject to the business tax.

-- $7.3 million to establish a state-paid family leave tax credit against franchise and excise tax for a two-year pilot period.

Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology

-- $370.8 million to update facilities in seven Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology campuses.

-- $386.2 million to invest in new buildings, expansions and improvements to 16 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology campuses.

-- $147.5 million to build six new colleges to better serve more students across Tennessee.

(READ MORE: Tennessee Gov. Lee proposes $100M for anti-abortion centers)

TennCare and family services

-- $18.7 million to increase the income threshold for pregnant women and caregivers to expand access to TennCare.

-- $5.2 million to provide 12-month continuous TennCare eligibility for low-income children.

-- $4.7 million to permanently extend postpartum health coverage under TennCare.

-- $100 million for grants supporting crisis pregnancy centers statewide, which are largely managed by anti-abortion organizations.

-- $10.25 million for TN Fosters Hope grant funding to improve care for children and families affected by foster care and adoption, allowing providers to expand services to foster and adoptive families.

-- $27 million to expand programming for children with complex or special needs that face challenges being placed in a traditional foster or adoptive homes.

-- $15 million to fund the Summer Youth Employment Program to connect youth and young adults ages 14 to 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experiences.

Children's services and programs

-- $33 million to increase bed capacity in the Department of Children's Services provider network.

-- $39.8 million to increase the rate of payment for providers in the Department of Children's Services provider network that offer residential and clinical services to children in state custody.

-- $7.3 million to support foster families and incentivize foster care and adoption of sibling groups and teens.

-- $15.9 million to align Department of Children's Services case manager salary with market salary.

-- $11.4 million to contract short-term private case managers to alleviate the burden on Department of Children's Services case managers.

-- $5 million for Juvenile Justice Youth Intervention Partnerships to increase collaboration with community-based partners to support youth from juvenile facilities.

-- $31 million to replace the Tennessee Family and Child Tracking System, the Department of Children's Services case management and payment system.

School improvement

-- $350 million in additional funding to local education agencies through Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement, including $125 million for teacher pay raises.

-- $60.8 million to extend summer learning camps and expand eligibility age to kindergarten through ninth grade.

-- $10 million for summer bus transportation.

-- $20 million in grants to enhance school security.

-- $29.7 million for the TN School Safety Initiative, expanding staffing to place at least one Homeland Security special agent in each of the state's 95 counties to provide threat assessments and collaborate with local law enforcement.

-- Expanding the Grow Your Own apprenticeship program to help solve teacher shortages, serving 600 new apprenticeship candidates per year.

-- Five percent salary pool increase for higher education employees.

(READ MORE: Tennessee governor promotes 'Transportation Modernization Act' in Chattanooga)

Law enforcement

-- Adding 100 Highway Patrol Troopers and related support staff and 25 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation forensic services staff. The governor is proposing to spend $4.5 million for the 25 forensic services staff. No amount was listed for the Highway Patrol Troopers.

-- $30 million addition to the TN Law Enforcement Hiring, Training and Recruitment Program.

-- $50 million expansion of the Violent Crime Intervention Fund.

-- $357 million for network expansion of the Tennessee Advanced Communication Network.

-- $10 million to support successful re-entry by expanding grants in prisons and jails with a focus on mental health.

Parks, greenways and trails

-- $66.5 million for the Natchez Trace Recreation Area, establishing a sportsman's themed park with a lodge, cabins, campgrounds and a shooting range.

-- $28.3 million to create Scott's Gulf State Park, a 9,000-acre park uniting Virgin Falls State Natural Area with surrounding nature areas into a single wilderness park.

-- $30 million to revitalize the Heritage Conservation Trust to support public-private partnerships through a matching grant program.

-- $15.4 million for trail infrastructure and development of the Cumberland Trail.

-- $10.3 million to address critical gaps along the Wolf River Greenway, a 26-mile paved trail meandering from the Mississippi River to Germantown.

-- $6.3 million to expand the Tweetsie Trail in Carter County, connecting four communities, two bike parks and a pedestrian bridge.

-- $70 million to TN Clean Initiative, cleaning up state superfund sites, Oak Ridge and all 47 known dry cleaner sites.

-- $6.3 million for the Rural Brownfields Investment Act to revitalize 175 known brownfield sites, creating a new state-administered grant and technical support program for remediation and economic development of existing brownfields.

-- $4.7 million grant funding to improve local water quality by optimizing wastewater treatment plants, collaborating with agricultural partners to practice best management principles and supporting cities with reduction of nutrients in stormwater.

Asset management

-- $1.7 billion to address capital improvements and maintenance, including Tennessee State Parks and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.

-- Ensuring more than $2.8 billion of recurring revenue is allocated to one-time expenditures, allowing the return of those resources for review and budgeting next fiscal year.

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