By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Governor warns state agencies to prepare for 5 percent cuts
Placeholder Image
MEMPHIS (AP) — The heads of three state agencies have begun giving Gov. Bill Haslam their proposals for how they would cut 5 percent from their spending plans in next year's budget.The Republican governor kicked off annual budget hearings at the University of Memphis, the first time they have been held outside Nashville.Haslam said it’s not clear whether cuts are going to be necessary, but officials want to be prepared in case they are.He asked the commissioners of the three departments — Safety, Labor and Workforce Development and Economic and Community Development — to present steps they would take if reductions are needed.Other departments will be asked to make similar suggestions as he attempts to fill an expected $360 million gap between expenses and revenues in state funding. Haslam said a 5 percent cut would be a reaction to severe decreases in federal funding.“I don’t see a situation where we would be getting to a 10 percent number at all,” Haslam said.The Safety Department was the first agency to present its recommendations, days after troopers arrested 55 protesters for violating a new curfew on Capitol grounds.Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons said his department would need to cut $5.9 million, including 82 jobs, if 5 percent cuts become necessary.