The governor says it's premature to attack the audit of the state's prison system, since the audit hasn't been published yet.
WPLN talks to MNPS' finance man on why charter schools don't really result in costs savings for the school system:
Board member Mary Pierce asked Henson's office to look into a hypothetical situation: What if all the students in charter schools moved back into district-run schools?
Henson did the analysis and found the district would be spending $3.5 million more if every charter closed. But he says it's a flawed exercise.
“We put quotation marks around the word ‘savings’ because it’s not a true savings to the district budget.”
The only place Henson sees for potential savings is when charters prevent the district from having to expand schools or build new ones, and even then it depends on a lot of variables.
“It’s very difficult to say yes, the district could save capital costs by a charter opening in an area that has overcrowded schools," he says. "It’s a possibility.”
Local governments are going to oppose any attempt to repeal the Hall tax:
During the fiscal year that ended June 30, the income tax generated $303 million in total revenue, with about $189 million flowing to the state’s general fund and the remaining $114 million distributed to local governments across the state.
State Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, said last week he will try again in 2016 to abolish the tax, effective with the 2017 calendar year. Kelsey said the legislature should reimburse cities and counties for their revenue loss but neither the bill nor an amendment he filed last week provides for continuing the revenue stream to local governments.
Memphis is the largest single recipient of Hall tax proceeds — $14.8 million during fiscal year 2015, according to new figures from the state Department of Revenue. Nashville is second at $14.6 million, followed by Knoxville with $10 million. Knox County is seventh with $3.3 million, followed by Germantown with nearly $3.1 million.
The governor smarts at the idea of repealing the Hall tax using surplus — he calls it "one-time" — revenue, instead he says the legislature needs to decide what they are going to cut commensurate to the lost tax revenue.
The income tax generated $303 million during the same fiscal year but only $189 million is retained by the state; the rest goes to local governments where the taxpayer resides. Kelsey’s bill doesn’t explicitly require it but he said the state should make up the revenue loss to local governments — effectively costing state government the full $303 million.
With an estimated $2.1 billion net worth, Gov. Haslam once again tops Forbes list of the richest elected officials.
Rep. Bill Dunn, long a vocal opponent of pre-K, says the Vandy study shows it's time to scale back the program.
The attorney-general has opined that Amendment 3 violates state law:
In his opinion Thursday, Slatery argues that Metro's local-hire amendment violates Tennessee's Contractors Licensing Act of 1994. He says that statute prohibits counties and municipalities from imposing additional requirements on top of those imposed in the act and from discriminating against contractors licensed by the state "on the basis of the licensee's nonresidency within the county or the municipality."
"Metro is prohibited by the Act from imposing any additional requirements on such state licensees or their employees and Metro is prohibited by the Act from discriminating against licensed contractors because they are not Metro residents," Slatery wrote in the opinion. "But that is what Amendment 3 does: it imposes additional requirements, namely residency requirements, on licensed contractors and it discriminates on non-resident contractors. Thus, Amendment 3 conflicts with state statute.
"Tennessee has long held that a municipality may not enact a law or regulation that conflicts with a state statute," his opinion continues. "Amendment 3 is, therefore, invalid to the extent that it conflicts with the Act."
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