NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In his first “State of the State” speech, Gov. Bill Haslam declared a “new normal” of Tennessee government getting by with less money; his second was centered on the phrase “believe in better,” suggesting that policy changes can improve things without new spending.
The governor hasn’t said what the theme will be in his third State of theState address, scheduled for delivery this evening at a joint meeting of the state House and Senate. But he has said it will be “more of the same” in the general sense of striving to reshape state government toward being more friendly toward business and more efficient in operations.
The state budget plans presented in his speeches of 2011 and 2012 both contained a mix of spending cuts in some areas and expansion in others with overall expenditures roughly stable in the $31 billion range. With state revenue rebounding in recent months, the overall figure will likely rise in the 2013 edition of a Haslam budget, though he says projected increases in TennCare costs and other factors will eat most of the new money.
Read more in: Knoxville News Sentinel.