Monday, April 22, 2024
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Governor’s Budget Hearing Complete; Sexton Said Safety Big Priority For Him

The Governor’s budget hearings wrapped up last week, beginning the process for a new state budget according to House Speaker Cameron Sexton.

Governor Bill Lee fielded ideas and concerns from Tennessee departments and agencies about financial priorities in their corners of the state. Sexton said the initial process is all about the Governor’s wants and priorities.

“There’s a lot of voices that will create it,” Sexton said. “And so I think the opportunity is to talk to as many people as you can whether they’re members or stakeholders or bureaucrats or the departments and get a feel for what direction we need to go.”

The Governor’s budget will be presented to the general assembly in late February or early March. Sexton said the House will discuss the budget and things that they want changed. They would then negotiate with the Senate and eventually pass the budget in late March.

“Hopefully, we’ll get to a very good budget that solidifies the priorities of our state, but also maintains us as being one of the most fiscally responsible states in America,” Sexton said.

Sexton said one of his biggest priorities this year is funding the criminal justice system and creating space to house inmates.

“I think from my standpoint, I’m going to be continuing to look at continuing to make our communities safe by putting dollars behind law enforcement and judges and district attorneys and making sure that they have the resources that they need to prosecute people,” Sexton said.

Sexton also said K-12 education funding is a priority in our state. Sexton said the Governor has proposed additional school choice options and higher education capital projects.

Now begins the process for the rest of the state government to come together to develop a concrete plan for the coming fiscal year, Sexton said.

“You try to listen to as many people and then you get a few people in the room and try to mold a plan that both the House and Senate can pass,” Sexton said.