Governor lists some of what he learned at state budget hearings


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – At the end of his budget hearings last week, Governor Bill Lee went over things he learned.

Some of it involved the state’s biggest departments that touch a lot of Tennesseans.

“Information from a lot of departments about very important subjects,” said the Republican governor after the hearings concluded Friday.

They were five days last week that defined how Lee’s administration will put together its state budget that would begin in July of 2020.

The governor has countless numbers, requests, and goals to digest from the people who lead his departments.

The various numbers included $12.7 billion dollars for the state’s Medicaid program TennCare which covers eligible low-income individuals in the state.

A TDOT executive on Tuesday talked about raises for state troopers.

The hearings concluded on Friday with the state’s K-12 education commissioner saying, “our moonshot is that we want Tennessee to be the number one place in the country to become and remain a teacher.”

Now it’s in the governor’s court where the money is spent in what will likely be around a $39 billion state budget.

The governor was asked what he learned in the budget hearings after they concluded.

“I heard issues around outcomes with TennCare patients that may change how we spend money,” said the governor as he listed some key areas. “I learned that we have less law enforcement per capita as compared to other states.”

The governor added, “I had not planned how to spend money for next year yet but it certainly shapes the way we will construct a budget.”

Governors typically present their budget to state lawmakers in late January or early February during the legislative session.

The Tennessee House is planning its own state budget hearings later this month and in December.  

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