Tennessee Gov. Haslam signs budget

Tennessee Gov. Haslam signs budget

June 16th, 2011 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Gov. Haslam

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam today signed the $30.8 billion budget that Tennessee lawmakers adopted last month.

"Proud to sign this year's budget," the Republican announced via Twitter. "During difficult times it's great to have strong bipartisan support."

The 2011-2012 spending plan that takes effect July 1 is about $1.23 billion, or 3.9 percent, under the current budget. Reductions reflect the loss of federal stimulus dollars.

But actual state spending rises as a result of better-than-expected revenues.

An estimated 1,320 filled and vacant positions will be cut, according to legislative staff.

The budget includes $71 million to help counties and cities deal with natural disasters, including tornadoes in Hamilton and Bradley counties and floods in West Tennessee. The money will used to match federal disaster assistance.

The budget provides an estimated $126 million in federal funds to restore 20 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for thousands of jobless Tennesseans.

An accompanying bond bill contains $34.6 million to expand the Wacker Chemical plant now under construction in Bradley County.