Nashville, TN – Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen told lawmakers during his final State of the State address that he plans to use the state's reserves to spare some state jobs and key services from budget cuts. But Bredesen says painful cuts are unavoidable. His almost $28.5 billion budget proposal includes a fee increase for driver's licenses, new cable taxes and $394 million in cuts to recurring spending plans. He also proposes slashing more than $200 million from TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program.
However, the governor is vowing to soften the blow somewhat by dipping into the state's $900 million in cash reserves. It will be the second consecutive year Bredesen has used some of the rainy day money to cushion the blow.