Inmates, roads, and long DMV lines likely issues for December House budget hearings

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Reducing Tennessee’s prison population and those long lines at driver testing centers are some of the issues ahead for the second round of budget hearings in the Tennessee House.

Add in road issues and there should be plenty for House members to talk about when they are back for the December hearings.

“Keeping up with our bridges and highways, we need to think big,” said Governor Bill Lee last month before a regional transit group, but thinking big about transportation and the funding involved likely will come up when the Tennessee Department of Transportation goes before the House finance committee in December.

Lawmakers will hear the state’s gas increase passed under previous Governor Bill Haslam only goes so far.

“We are topped out on the dollars per gallon,” said TDOT commissioner Clay Bright at Governor Lee’s budget hearings earlier this month.

You also might say Tennessee prisons are topped out as well.

Decreasing the 30,000 inmates as part of an overall justice reform strategy on capitol hill could be another key topic at the House budget hearing when the Tennessee Department of Correction appears Dec. 17.

Then there’s those long lines at driver’s license centers

“We are hiring 55 new examiners immediately,” said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long at his hearing before the governor earlier this month.

He’ll likely be asked about an update.

That is just three of the thirty stater agencies and departments still to be heard at House budget hearings.

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