Bredesen rolls out budget today
Governor Bredesen will have a little money to play with in the budget he presents to lawmakers tomorrow night.
He hopes to free up money by planned TennCare cutbacks.
If the cuts go through, the governor is expected to have about $300 million over last year.
That’s a comparatively modest increase in the state’s $24 billion budget.
TennCare will need about $75 million of that new money even if it culls 323,000 adults from the rolls.
That leaves the governor little to spread across his other priorities that include enhanced preschool, K-12 education improvements, higher education and others.
Tennessee tobacco auction closes
Without fanfare, the Greeneville Burley Tobacco Market, once the largest in Tennessee, faded into history last week.
The market that began in Greeneville around 1880 was essentially abolished after Thursday’s final sale on the 2004 crop.
All that remains is closing the books on the Greeneville Tobacco Board of Trade, the group of warehousemen who own and operate individual warehouses where sales have been conducted each fall and winter for more than 120 years.
That step could come in the next few days.
The Depression-era system of price and production controls was abolished last fall when Congress passed and President Bush signed tobacco-quota buyout legislation that moves all future U-S tobacco production into the free world market.
It provides compensation for tobacco allotment owners and for producers, and creates an assessment system paid by tobacco product manufacturers and importers to pay for the $10.1 billion program.