More Tennessee Budget Cuts

Nashville, TN – Tennessee department officials say they probably won't be able to spare their state employees from layoffs. After two weeks of budget hearings, Governor Phil Bredesen tells his cabinet members they need to cut between ten and fifteen percent more of their budget to compensate for a potential 800-million-dollar shortfall. Departments seeing major reductions are higher education, which could lose 150-million-dollars and health, which could see as much as 20-million-dollars taken out. Bredesen had asked for a three percent cut earlier this year. In an effort to balance the budget, Bredesen offered voluntary buyout packages to state employees. Officials hoped to reduce the work force by 12,000 jobs. Only twenty-two hundred volunteered and out of those officials approved only fifteen hundred.