According to a Pew Center study, going off the fiscal cliff would cost Tennessee 7.7 percent of its revenue.
Using calculations from the Federal Funds Information for States, Pew said federal spending on education, nutrition for low-income women and children, public housing and other programs like special education would be impacted.
Tennessee Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes said the state's own calculations show a loss of $85 million in calendar year 2013 in federal grant money. Among the hits is about $20 million for Title I, which helps low-income students. Another $20 million would come out of special education.
"Of course it would be easier for us if it did not occur," Emkes said.
But he noted that the state required agencies last year to sketch out "hypothetical" cuts of 15 to 30 percent, depending on what actions the federal government takes to slash spending.