Senate Approves No Tax Budget/
General Assembly expects to wind up business next week
With only days left before adjournment, State Senators worked this week to find common ground on the budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year that will begin on July 1. The Senate Finance Committee approved a budget with no tax increase that reduces spending and holds the line against funding pork barrel projects in a time of economic recession. The plan adopted by the Senate Finance Committee cuts $100 million from Governor Phil Bredesen’s $28 billion budget proposal to offset $139 million in proposed tax increases.
The Senate Finance Committee has passed a budget that prioritizes education, job creation and public safety. It also anticipates provision of $100 million in flood relief for cash-strapped local governments to draw down critical federal funds. An additional $19.9 million is provided for sales tax rebates for the purchase of major appliances and furniture by victims certified by FEMA for federal assistance. The plan also maintains $377 million in the state’s Rainy Day Fund, which serves as our savings account in case Tennessee revenues do not meet expectations.
The plan, as amended, also provides funds in the coming fiscal year’s budget for career ladder teacher pay, perinatal outreach grants, and agricultural enhancement funds. It also includes a longevity pay stipend for state employees contingent on revenues exceeding budgeted projections.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.