Breakdown of proposed TN budget including millions of dollars in local projects

NASHVILLE, TN (WJHL)- Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced Monday in his state of the state address his proposed $34.8 billion budget for next year.

The budget includes money for education, roads, and millions for specific projects right here in Northeast Tennessee.

Haslam is proposing to transfer $130 million from the general fund to pay for highway projects and maintenance.

He also said this doesn’t come close to meeting the state’s billions of dollars of road project needs.

“Our current payment structure will not allow us to ensure the future safety of our roads and bridges or, importantly, our ability to recruit the jobs we want in Tennessee,” Haslam said.

Haslam also talked education Monday. “This budget proposal includes the largest investment in K-12 education in Tennessee’s history without a tax increase,” Haslam said.

Haslam included 230 million dollars in the budget to give teachers year-round insurance.

He also proposed to investment to a total of 30 million dollars for technology needs.

“Tennessee state government will invest more than $414 million new dollars in our schools, more than $200 million of those additional dollars for teacher salaries,” Haslam said.

Locally, the budget also includes:

  • Warriors’ Path State Park deferred maintenance- $6,800,000
  • Rocky Mount building repairs and site upgrades- $840,000
  • NSCC building controls updates in Sullivan County- $430,000
  • UT Institute of Agriculture- Greeneville 4-H Center Lodge phase II- $3,100,000
  • Davy Crockett State Park exhibits & facilities upgrades in Greene County- $350,000

But at this point nothing is final.

“What was given in the state of the state speech last night, a lot of it sounds really good for Northeast Tennessee as a region and the state as a whole, however we have an entire legislative process ahead of us and some things could get removed or added,” Rep. Timothy Hill of Blountville said.

Monday, the House elected Hill to take Jeremy Durham’s place as majority whip.

“It feels fantastic to be chosen by your peers to join and be involved in leadership but the other side of that is it’s a tremendous amount of work and so you know now on top of this new responsibility we still maintain good quality constituent communication,” Hill said.

Durham stepped down amid allegations of sexual harassment.

“The seat was vacated and an opportunity came up, he clearly felt that was the best decision for him I think that was the best decision for the caucus as a whole and we were ready to turn the page,” Hill said.

The whip helps tally votes on legislation and raise money for republican candidates.

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