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The budget is slightly larger than last year's $32.3 billion budget.
The spending plan includes a variety of increases to higher education facilities, employee salaries, the Department of Children's Services, and the Rainy Day Fund while dealing with major increases in Tenncare costs.
Governor Haslam is also proposing a .25% cut to the food sales tax.
The budget is helped by some $306 million in money that was set aside last year to help with fiscal year 2014 and a growth in state revenues. They are projected to exceed fiscal year 2007 levels for the first time.
The State Finance Department believes revenue will grow by about $391 million but the office says inflationary costs are taking up that growth and then some.
Tenncare is the biggest factor with enrollment continuing to rise.
The program is expected to need an additional $350.7 million. Of that, 34.54 % is money needed to handle changes related to the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Another $56 million is expected to be needed as an indirect result of the Affordable Healthcare Act.
The Governor's office believes 30% of Medicare eligible Tennesseans are not enrolled in the program. It's believed many of those people will enroll in the program once they realize they are eligible when applying for coverage in the health exchange program created by the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Still the Governor's office believes Tenncare costs could be much higher without changes in recent years to keep costs down and it says 25 states have asked for Tennessee's advice on this topic.
The state spent $6,879 per enrollee a year in 2012. In 2011 that number was $6,814.
Governor Haslam's budget includes a number of spending increases including the Department of Children's Services that has seen criticism in recent months for the number of children who've died while in state care.
The Governor is proposing giving DCS $6.7 million more and altering staffing within the department. Haslam wants to cut 30 administrators and add 62 case managers and investigators.
Another cost increase is coming for local jails.
Haslam is proposing giving $48 million to local jails to offset expenses in recent years that have seen more prisoners come in and fewer leave.
The Governor's budget includes cutting 393 positions statewide (228 filled) but the employees that remain could see a at least a 1.5% raise.
Additionally the Governor wants to set aside a total of $57.9 million, more than double what the 1.5% raise costs, to give raises that will be suggested by a forthcoming salary study.
The Governor's office believes this is the best way to reward good employees.
Higher Education would receive major capital improvements under the Governor's budget.
Haslam proposes spending $307.3 on a variety of higher education building projects.
Finally the Governor wants to add an additional $100 million to the State's Rainy Day Fund. That would put the balance up to $456 million.
Monday, January 28 2013, 06:12 PM CST
Memphis libraries seeking funding
May 25, 2013 13:07 GMT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The public library system in Memphis is hoping to secure $2.9 million to add employees and increase its collection.
The Memphis Daily News (http://bit.ly/19BANxH) reports the Memphis Public Library & Information Center cites the figures as part of its strategic plan.
A study by the Friends of the Library and the Memphis Library Foundation found that during the past five years, the system's budget has been cut 21 percent and hours were reduced 20 percent.
The goal of the new funding would be to add 47 employees to the 18-location library system and increase the collections budget to $2 million from less than $1 million.
Library director Keenon McCloy says the plan is a "roadmap for the future."
Information from: The Memphis Daily News, http://www.memphisdailynews.com
US durable goods orders rise 3.3 percent in April
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