This week, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed the state’s annual budget with a near unanimous vote. The bill’s passage was the culmination of months of tireless work crafting a balanced budget that builds upon recent, strategic House-led investments.
The $38.5 billion budget makes thoughtful investments across state government as it preserves Tennessee’s AAA bond rating. The budget adds more than $225 million in Rainy Day funding for Fiscal Year 2019-2020, bringing the state’s savings account to $1.1 billion.
Additionally, the budget fully funds one of the House’s major priorities, the Katie Beckett Waiver Program, investing $27 million to provide life-saving medical services through TennCare for Tennessee children with the most significant disabilities and the highest medical needs, regardless of their parental income levels.
The Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget also continues our commitment to education by making an $11.3 billion total investment in our future leaders. This includes $6.5 billion to directly benefit K-12 education in our public schools. Of this K-12 total, $71 million has been allocated for teacher salaries, a 2.5 percent increase. Approximately $46 million will fully fund the state’s Basic Education Program (BEP), to cover growth and inflation in the funding formula, and $40 million will also be invested to help secure our Tennessee schools through school resource officers and additional safety measures.
Finally, the budget targets healthcare, opioids, job growth and economic development, while supporting our veterans and elderly citizens, and it continues to build upon House-led tax cuts. With the budget officially passed, lawmakers now turn their attention to debating the last few legislative items for the year while remaining focused on continuing work to make Tennessee an even better place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.
As always, I am truly humbled and honored to be your voice in Nashville. If there is ever any issue I can assist you with, please contact my office by calling 615-741-2190 or emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, concerns, and suggestions as we continue to protect Tennessee’s conservative values throughout the remainder of the 111th General Assembly.