Governor Bredesen signs TN state budget - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Governor Bredesen signs TN state budget

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By WRCB Staff

NASHVILLE (AP/WRCB) - Governor Phil Bredesen has signed the state's nearly $30 billion spending plan into law.

The legislation, which includes $12.8 billion in state dollars, was signed by the governor on Friday.

It relies on $185 million from the state's cash reserves instead of new taxes to fill a $150 million shortfall. The plan also includes a relief program for Tennessee flood victims and saves a program to combat infant mortality.

Tennessee has the 47th worst infant death rate in the country, with Memphis' death rate ranking the worst among U.S. cities and comparable to that of some Third World countries.

The House passed the budget 94-0, and the Senate approved it 30-3.

"I'm very happy about the fact that Tennessee, one more time, passed a sensible, realistic budget during very difficult economic times. In the end, there were some items in the budget that weren't the business decisions I would have made, but they aren't bad expenditures. In fact, some of these decisions help keep some people in jobs. The budget that was passed will produce a slightly larger recurring to recurring problem but that was the will of both parties of the legislature and that's something that won't create undue harm to the state. Overall, it's a good budget and I'm pleased that we've shown ourselves wonderfully well in the budget process." says Bredesen.

The House passed the budget 94-0, and the Senate approved it 30-3.

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