NASHVILLE - Fewer state troopers and longer wait times at Tennessee driver license services centers could be in store if Gov. Bill Haslam decides to accept a $9 million state Safety and Homeland Security Department plan to slash 7 percent in funding.
Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons outlined in a budget hearing this afternoon with Haslam what steps he would need to take if the department was required to cut the full 7 percent.
The list includes abolishing 115 positions, including 73 road enforcement troopers and 30 part-time workers at driver license services centers across the state.
"Obviously this would have a significant impact on our response time," said Gibbons, who earlier pointed to strides the state has made in reducing traffic fatalities and boosting DUI enforcement as well as reducing waiting times at driver centers.
Haslam repeated earlier comments that his directive to all state agencies to prepare for up to 7 percent in reductions "doesn't necessarily meant those cuts will likely take place."
He said at this point his administration has made no decision about where reductions might fall in the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget he will present to state legislators early next year.