Just days after taking office, Governor Bill Lee begins a process tomorrow that touches nearly every Tennessean.
Its the annual Tennessee state government budget hearings in front of the governor where the commissioners of each department usually update their needs and ways to save money.
Thursday morning, Governor Lee offered a preview of his spending priorities for the budget he proposed to state lawmakers.
“There are budget hearings in the next few days and there is a lot of work to be done,’ said the new governor.
In the same state capitol room where he held his first cabinet meeting Tuesday, Bill Lee on Friday will be like Tennessee governors before him holding hearings about the state government budget that he must soon propose to Tennessee lawmakers.
The governor first wants to know what 2-percent budget cuts would look like in each of the state’s 23-departments.
“We will look at where there is an opportunity to reduce spending and then we will obviously increase spending for those things that are priorities,” added Governor Lee.
Former Governor Bill Haslam’s administration provided much of the groundwork of what is now a nearly 38-billion dollar budget.
The new governor’s priorities for increased budget spending include K-12 education, criminal justice reform. mental health, healthcare and jobs in rural areas
Merging the budget with what your priorities are is the thing that takes place over the next several weeks,” said Governor Lee.
Governor Lee says his budget decisions will be made by February 8th.
On March 4th, the governor unveils the proposed state budget to Tennessee lawmakers.
They can make changes, but their only duty by law is to pass a yearly state budget.