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Mon January 30, 2012
Haslam Gives Second State of the State Address
By Todd Hatton
Murray, KY – Tennessee's Republican Governor Bill Haslam prepares to deliver his second State of the State address tonight, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are laying out their wish lists for the upcoming budget year. They're hopeful that rebounding revenues will allow increased spending. But GOP leaders are trying to tamp down expectations, despite improving financial numbers. Last month's revenue collections were $123 million more than the budgeted estimate. Haslam will unveil his full budget plan with the speech but he's already given a broad outline of his agenda and it's drawn little criticism among the Republicans who dominate the General Assembly. The proposals include cuts in the inheritance tax and the sales tax on groceries, changing civil service rules for state workers and changing teacher pay and average class size rules.