Tennessee lawmakers will likely vote on state budget this week

Tennessee Flag Generic
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – State lawmakers will likely vote this week on the only item they are constitutionally required to approve – the state budget.

The budget will determine where and how much money goes where, including education.

While education money for schools is always a keep part of the Tennessee state budget, every lawmaker across the state has their one key concern.

“We have got extra money down at the Capitol and by extra, it’s not that we don’t have a place for it, so people are kind of squabbling where it should go,” said Rep. Mark Pody.

Pody was among the state lawmakers along with Gov. Bill Haslam who were at a Lebanon school Monday to hear from teachers and principals.

The representative said he has concerns about enough state money for things like education when times turn tough.

Photo: WKRN

“I would like to see more if it going into the rainy day fund,” he said. “I would like more of it returned to the taxpayer.”

Gov. Haslam hopes to get the rainy day fund to $800 million, while Pody wants it to be $1 billion or more.

“In the Haslam administration, there were some budgets I did not vote,” said Rep. Susan Lynn, who was also with the governor Monday.

Rep. Lynn said she wants Tennesseans to remember that so the budget money goes for every day big ticket items like education, the state’s Medicaid program, TennCare and other state workers.

“We would like to give state employees a raise, but also state employee insurance has increased greatly,” she said.

The governor touted his education spending increases, while acknowledging that at schools across the state he always hears about paying teachers more and more classroom resources.

“We will have added $1.3 billion to public education, including the last two years, without a tax increase in the history of the state,” Haslam said.

While the budget is expected for floor votes this week, the full senate is considering a controversial abortion bill.