Updated at 8:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, with more information.
NASHVILLE — Tennessee's $38.5 billion 2019-2020 budget is headed to Gov. Bill Lee's desk after the House and Senate gave final approval to the annual spending plan.
Representatives voted 98-0 on the bill Tuesday night, while senators earlier in the day approved it 32-0.
A series of last-minute snarls were resolved over the weekend and Monday between the two GOP-led chambers.
For example, the Senate agreed with the House's stance to provide $27 million in funding for the state to fund a proposed Katie Beckett federal Medicaid waiver.
If approved by the federal government, it would permit several thousand middle class and upper-middle class families with severely disabled children, a number of whom face bankruptcy, to enroll them in TennCare.
The Katie Beckett program was named for an Iowa girl whose health plight led President Reagan to change Medicaid's rules in 1981. It allows states to extend services to children even if their parents aren't poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. It helps pay for therapy and medical equipment to maintain kids at home.
Another sticking point that appears to have been resolved is a $6 million appropriation for the General Assembly. Critics charge too much of the money is going toward new staff and pay hikes for employees hired by new Republican House Speaker Glen Casada.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bo Watson, R-Hixson, noted the budget contains a $22 million cut in professional privilege tax fees for tens of thousands of Tennessee professionals in health care and other fields.
The budget also contains the governor's proposed 2.5 percent pay increases for teachers, estimated at $71.25 million and full funding of $46.23 million for the state's Basic Education Program school funding formula.
It also provides a $50 million economic and community development grant for Volkswagen's planned electric vehicle plant in Chattanooga.
Other provisions include a 2 percent raise for thousands of state workers, with special attention given toward salary increases for starting Department of Correction guards, as well as an initiative by the Senate to provide higher pay for existing prison staffers.
The budget also contains $30 million in school safety grants.
Contact Andy Sher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-255-0550. Follow him on Twitter @AndySher1.