From the Post Politics inbox, the Department of Revenue announced that collections were up over last November, but again were under the forecast for the year. The general fund was under by $22.1 million.
NASHVILLE - Tennessee revenue collections for November were above those of the prior year, but below budgeted estimates. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin reported today that state revenue collections for November were $798.9 million, which is 3.99% above November 2012.
“While sales taxes and franchise and excise taxes came in below budgeted levels for November, our overall November revenue growth was the strongest so far this year,” Martin said. “Although they can be a bit unpredictable, it is important also to note that April is typically our biggest month for F&E collections. Nonetheless, the continued softness in revenue growth raises the risks of a revenue shortfall for the year.
“Therefore, we are committed to keeping expenditures in line with revenue collections so that Tennessee will continue to have a stable, balanced financial management in any economic climate.”
November sales tax collections reflect retail sales that occurred in October. Black Friday and after-Thanksgiving retail sales will be reflected in next month’s report.
On an accrual basis, November is the fourth month in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
November collections were $22.1 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was under collected by $22.1 million and the four other funds were equal to the November estimate.
The governor lays it all out:
Because Sebelius must approve any alternative plan, the state began discussions with her agency at that time but the federal officials have indicated some of the governor’s measures are not acceptable under the law. Haslam said Monday, however, that state officials “think there’s a lot more flexibility that they have under the law than what they’ve shown and that’s what we’re trying to figure out.”
Sebelius said during a Memphis visit on Nov. 1 that despite the months of talks, the state had never provided “specifics” of what it wants. Monday’s two-page letter is apparently the governor’s response.
“We’ve been in discussions with them all along and so we thought it was important at this point — because things feel like they’ve stalled out a little bit in the discussions — to be real clear about where we are and what would need to happen for us to move forward,” Haslam told reporters after announcing to the Nashville Rotary Club that he was writing to Sebelius.
In Sesh with a rundown of all the hand-wringing about ALEC:
Tennessee’s chapter of OFA described its event as the “Sportsmen for Climate Action Press Conference” and promised to offer the details on “climate denier” legislation being promoted by ALEC. But, sadly, there were sportsmen, so instead a pair of Nashville Democrats — state Reps. Sherry Jones and Mike Stewart — did the deed of ripping into ALEC.
“Once again this front group, ALEC, is planning to unleash a wave of bad legislation in Tennessee,” Stewart said. “It’s important for the people of Tennessee to understand … that these bills just weren’t thought up here by Tennesseans in this plaza but rather were drafted in corporate board rooms far from Tennessee, handed over to this front group ALEC and then handed over the people of Tennessee in the form of bills.”
Despite the scattershot planning, the OFA/Sportsmen for Climate Action/Jones-Stewart press conference was part of a fairly sophisticated national public relations campaign put together by Democratic-leaning groups to throw a spotlight on their foes. Similar press conferences were held in other statehouses, protesters gathered at ALEC’s meeting place in DC, and a report published by the Guardian newspaper purports to show the state-by-state agenda of conservative groups.
The Times-Free Press has a piece on localities requiring prescriptions for pseudophedrine, setting off ordinances in surrounding areas. Is state action next?
In towns where the ordinance is passed, "smurfs" -- people who buy pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines from pharmacies for the clandestine production of meth -- can't buy the illicit drug precursor legally without a prescription, helping to sever that link from the supply chain.
All of the cities in Franklin County, Tenn., quickly followed Huntland's lead, and the man who has spearheaded the effort, Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young, began road trips all over the state to push for passage of similar ordinances. In many of his presentations, state Methamphetamine Task Force officials and local judiciary officials joined him to talk about meth dangers and legal angles of the ordinance.
But the meth ordinance has drawn fire from the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, the Tennessee Municipal League and the Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association, as well as drug companies that make cold medicine.
A proposal from Metro School Board member Will Pinkston would establish a fund for charter schools to secure old stores and malls for conversion to schools; they just have to agree to locate in places with the most overcrowded public schools.