NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday unveiled his $37.5 billion annual spending plan for Tennessee. The new budget proposal for the year beginning July 1 includes $170.9 million more in overall funding compared with the current year. It also uses $216.6 million less in state money and eliminates 335 state positions, all of them open except for six.
The plan includes the following new money:
—$211.8 million more for K-12 education, including $55.1 million for teacher pay raises.
—$197.6 million for capital investments, including $109.2 million for improvements and $88.4 million for maintenance, largely focusing on the state’s current real estate.
—$140.3 million more in state funding for TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program that covers more than 1.4 million people, including $51.4 million due to medical inflation and program utilization, $36.7 million for development of a new eligibility system and $17.1 million due to increased pharmaceutical costs.
—$128.3 million more for job growth investments, including $80 million to recruit new businesses and support workforce training, marketing and education; $12.5 million to aid in rural development; $12 million for the last of a three-year commitment to aid St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; $10 million for the second of three years of broadband accessibility grants; and $3.2 million for film, television and interactive media incentives.
—$99.1 million more for higher education, including $37 million for pay raises, $28.6 million for operational costs and $10 million for student assistance awards.
—$50 million to bring the state’s Rainy Day Fund to $850 million.
—$30.7 million in bonds for wastewater improvements at the Memphis Regional Megasite.
—$30 million to help fund Haslam’s proposal to fight opioid abuse, TN Together. Through $14.5 million in state funding, the plan includes $10.2 million for treatment, $2.2 million to hire 10 new Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents dedicated to opioid casework and more than $1.8 million for prevention. An additional $14.5 million in existing funding and federal money is also available.
—$25.8 million for pay increases for state employees.
—$10.5 million to pay a better rate to providers of children’s services, mental health services and care for the developmentally and intellectually disabled.
—For the current, not upcoming, budget year, economic development money of $20 million will go to automotive supplier DENSO and $18 million to Tyson Foods to expand operations in Tennessee.