Sen. Corker says the President missed on the budget proposal:
U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) made the following statement today regarding President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal. “The president has missed an opportunity to show real leadership on the number one issue threatening our country’s future. Getting spending under control and reducing our deficit will be difficult without presidential leadership. I hope in the coming weeks he will come to the table in a meaningful way to address these issues,” said Corker. “As we approach our debt limit of $14.29 trillion, I see no better time to impose a fiscal straitjacket on Washington. We need to vote on and pass spending cuts this year, and we need to pass the CAP Act Senator McCaskill and I have offered to force Congress to dramatically cut spending over 10 years. By capping spending – discretionary and mandatory – to a declining percentage of GDP, we would put our country on a path to fiscal sanity, while incentivizing Congress to pass policies that promote economic growth.” The Commitment to American Prosperity Act, the “CAP Act,” would: (1) Put in place a 10-year glide path to cap all spending – discretionary and mandatory – to a declining percentage of the country’s gross domestic product, eventually bringing spending down from the current level, 24.7 percent of GDP, to the 40-year historical level of 20.6 percent, and (2) If Congress fails to meet the annual cap, require the Office of Management and Budget to make evenly distributed, simultaneous cuts throughout the federal budget to bring spending down to the pre-determined level. Only a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress could override the binding cap, and (3) For the first time, eliminate the deceptive “off-budget” distinction for Social Security – providing a complete and accurate assessment of all federal spending. The Corker-McCaskill CAP Act is currently cosponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Feb 14, 2011 9:30 AM
Bill Haslam said he'll use money from the "core services reserve" set up by his predecessor to push back big budget cuts for a year:
"Our plans are we probably will use that this year," Haslam said, but he pointed out it in no way offsets $1.5 billion in federal stimulus, reserve and other funds that are going away July 1. The reserve fund itself will end next year, he said, "and we want to use it judiciously." Last year, Gov. Phil Bredesen and lawmakers set up the reserve to continue important programs through this fiscal year. That includes $1.5 million to provide emergency services to seriously mentally ill people; $11.9 million for health programs including cervical and renal disease initiatives; $15.28 million for certain school health programs and $15 million for extended contracts for K-12 teachers. "Those are the programs it was intended to fund," said Rep. Kent Williams, I-Elizabethton, who was House speaker last year when the fund was established. It allows Haslam to preserve 394 jobs until July 1, 2012, although officials have said many of those are currently vacant.
Feb 10, 2011 7:20 AM
The state could have $162 million more in the general fund than originally expected:
The panel predicted growth in both the current spending year and the one beginning July 1, but the state still faces deep cuts because most stimulus money will no longer be available.Gov. Bill Haslam has estimated the state will have to do without about $1.5 billion in federal funds that had been spent in the current year. But Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes said he wants to digest the official projections before announcing the exact amount of pending reductions. "Unfortunately there's going to have to be some significant cuts that are going to have to be made," Emkes told reporters after the funding board meeting. "I'd like to circle back now that this number has been approved and get back to you on that.
Feb 9, 2011 1:44 PM
Mental Health Commissioner Doug Varney said budget cuts are like amputation:
“With this safety net, we can’t just keep cutting little pieces of the fingers off," Varney told the governor. "Pretty soon the hands won’t work. I think we may have to decide to cut a finger off here or there, and that’s what we do. At least the hands will still work,”
Feb 3, 2011 7:10 AM
Bill Gibbons acknowledges that the wait times at the DMV are too long - but there's going to be cuts any way:
Commissioner Bill Gibbons called driver's license station waits at most centers that average about 45 minutes "unacceptable." Gibbons acknowledged the cuts would probably mean reduction in coverage by troopers and an increased wait time at driver's license centers. "For a lot of people, standing in that line is where they meet state government," Gibbons said.
Feb 2, 2011 1:00 PM
Department heads began making their case against budget cuts as the governor sets to make his first budget proposal:
"We have over $1.5 billion of non-recurring revenue in this year’s budget,” the governor explained to reporters. “There’s no way we’re going to find that much money to bring back, so our job is to prioritize. There’s some painful things here.”Among the initiatives on the chopping block is one aimed at diabetes prevention, which now serves 225,000 people including children in day-care and after-school programs focusing on healthy lifestyles, Cooper said. The state once had the nation’s worst rate of diabetes. But that $7 million program has helped Tennessee climb ahead of eight other states, she said. Acting Education Commissioner Patrick Smith brought his own list of disappearing programs, including school nurses, teacher pay for after-school work and funding for public TV stations across the state. The health department also would stop a $500,000 breast and cervical cancer screening program for 14,000 uninsured and underinsured women, the state’s HIV testing initiative and a program that helps hemophiliacs. Health department home visits that served 741 families in the past year, and healthy start classes for 1,400 children and their parents, also would end, Cooper said. Both of those programs are intended to reduce child abuse and neglect.
Feb 1, 2011 7:20 AM
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS