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TENNESSEE

Tennessee

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  • Background
  • Issues
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  • Commentary
    • Headlines

      Pace of pension reform ebbs after 49 states change laws

      Hazel Bradford | by Pensions & Investments | April 15, 2014

      While the sense of urgency has diminished, reform attempts have become a legislative staple, as public retirement systems continue to grapple with unfunded liabilities and political pressure to change.

    • Headlines

      State government dependence on federal funding growing at alarming rate

      The Washington Examiner | by David Freddoso | April 15, 2014

      This trend of increased state dependency on Washington reduces state and local control, while threatening the states' long-run autonomy.

    • Headlines

      Rich States, Poor States

      ALEC | by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams | April 15, 2014

      Using years of economic data and empirical evidence from each state, the authors identify which policies can lead a state to economic prosperity. Rich States, Poor States not only identifies these policies but also makes sound research-based conclusions about which states are poised to achieve greater economic prosperity and those that are stuck on the path to a lackluster economy.

    • Headlines : Tennessee

      Tennessee House passes budget without state raises

      The Tennessean | by Chas Sisk | April 11, 2014

      The Tennessee House of Representatives approved the state's $32 billion budget Thursday afternoon, without once-promised raises for teachers and other state workers.

    • Headlines

      Rebounding economy fills state coffers with record tax revenues

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Reid Wilson | April 10, 2014

      State governments collected more than $846 billion in tax revenue in the last fiscal year, the highest amount ever reported, as a rebounding economy boosted coffers hit hard by the recession.

    • Budget timeline: Annual  

      Fiscal Year starts: July 1

      The current state budget can be found here.

      Find the legislative session calendar here.

      Find the current legislative leaders here.

      TN Gov Haslam

      Gov. Bill Haslam
      Office of Governor Bill Haslam
      State Capitol
      Nashville, TN 37243-0001
      Phone: (615) 741-2001
      Fax: (615) 532-9711
      http://www.tennessee.gov

       

       

       

      David Thurman, Director
      Division of the Budget
      312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
      16th Floor Tennessee Tower
      Nashville, TN 37243
      Phone (615) 741-4806
      http://www.state.tn.us/finance/bud/budget.html

       

      Want a more robust, long-term look at your state's fiscal health, beyond the budget? There are two parts: Click here for the FY2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government, and click here for information on the state's pension liabilities.

       

      Tennessee is required to pass a "balanced budget." Article II, Section 24 of the 1870 Constitution states that for any fiscal year State's expenditures shall not exceed the State's revenues and reserves, including the proceeds of any debt obligation, for that year. Tennessee law forbids the carrying over of a deficit from one year to the next.

       

      The Tennessee Constitution also provides that in no year shall the rate of growth of appropriations from State tax revenues exceed the estimated rate of growth of the State's economy as determined by law. No appropriation in excess of this limitation shall be made unless the General Assembly shall, by law containing no other subject matter, set forth the dollar amount and the rate by which the limit will be exceeded. Although Tennessee has all of these balance budget provisions, its Budgetary Comparison Schedules reported budget deficits (negative net transactions) for each of the three years reviewed.

       

      The State maintains the following funds: the General Fund, the Education Fund, 25 Special Revenue funds, a Debt Service Fund, a Capital Projects Fund, and 3 Permanent funds. Budgeted funds include: the General Fund, the Education Fund, and 22 non-major special revenue funds, and the Debt Service Fund. The Capital Projects Fund was not budgeted and neither were any Permanent funds. There is a noticeable difference between budgeted and actual figures (revenues and expenditures) as reported in the State's annual reports. All information necessary for budgetary analysis was presented efficiently within the Budgetary Comparison Schedules.  [from the Institute for Truth in Accounting]

       

      Find the state's bond ratings here.

      Beacon Logo

       

    • K-12 Education :

    • HEADLINES: Tennessee

      Tennessee House approves Common Core delay

      Tennessean | by Chas Sisk | March 14, 2014

      Tennessee lawmakers voted to delay the Common Core education program for two years, as opponents staged an ambush Thursday morning on the floor of the state House.

    • HEADLINES

      Common-Core Tensions Cause Union Heartburn

      Education Week | by Andrew Ujifusa and Stephen Sawchuk | February 20, 2014

      From the early days of the Common Core State Standards, the two national teachers' unions have been among the initiative's biggest boosters, helping to make the case to the nation's 3.5 million teachers for the tougher expectations and putting significant money into the development of aligned curricula and tools.

      But in some union quarters, that support is starting to waver—the product of flawed implementation in states, concerns about the fast timeline for new testing tied to the standards, and, in at least one instance, fallout from internal state-union politics.

    • View All Tennessee articles
    • Unions :

    • HEADLINES

      Some state pensions in dire straits

      USA Today | by Dustin Racioppi | March 21, 2014

      Not making payments to the pension funds, or only paying a portion of what an actuary has recommended, is largely what got these debt-burdened states to where they are today, experts say.

    • HEADLINES

      Common-Core Tensions Cause Union Heartburn

      Education Week | by Andrew Ujifusa and Stephen Sawchuk | February 20, 2014

      From the early days of the Common Core State Standards, the two national teachers' unions have been among the initiative's biggest boosters, helping to make the case to the nation's 3.5 million teachers for the tougher expectations and putting significant money into the development of aligned curricula and tools.

      But in some union quarters, that support is starting to waver—the product of flawed implementation in states, concerns about the fast timeline for new testing tied to the standards, and, in at least one instance, fallout from internal state-union politics.

    • View All Tennessee articles
    • Higher Education :

    • HEADLINES

      Education spending balloons, but students in some states get more money than others

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Reid Wilson | January 27, 2014

      There is disagreement within education circles over whether spending more money per pupil leads to better results. But there is no disagreement that the amount of money states spend on education has erupted in recent years.

    • HEADLINES

      The price of college is rising faster for public schools than private ones

      Washington Post | by Niraj Chokshi | November 13, 2013

      Over the last decade, the price of a four-year college education has risen faster for public schools than private ones in every region of the country.

    • View All Tennessee articles
    • Solutions

      How Reality-Based Budgeting Can Permanently Resolve State Budget Gaps

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | November 7, 2012

      State Budget Solutions recommends that state legislators take action in 2013 to resolve the serious state financial crises by changing their focus from inputs to outcomes by redesigning budgets from the ground up based on priorities and performance.

    • Solutions

      How to Prevent Future Pension Crises

      by Cory Eucalitto | November 1, 2012

      The time for state and local governments to offer defined contribution retirement plans that protect both taxpayer dollars and public employee retirement security is now.

    • Solutions

      State Lawmakerís Guide to Evaluating Medicaid Expansion Projections

      The Heritage Foundation | by Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski | October 17, 2012

      Supporters of Obamacare claim that expanding Medicaid will entail little to no cost to state governments, since the federal government will fund the vast majority of the additional costs. Indeed, some analyses project states achieving savings from adopting the expansion. However, state lawmakers should be wary of accepting such analyses at face value.

    • Solutions

      Medicaid Is BrokenóLet the States Fix It

      The Wall Street Journal | by Paul Howard and Russell Sykes | October 15, 2012

      Block-granting Medicaid is the best way to deliver better, cost-effective care to the most vulnerable Americans.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Prisons

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012

      Prisons are supremely important, but they are also a supremely expensive government program, and thus prison systems must be held to the highest standards of accountability.

    • Headlines

      Pace of pension reform ebbs after 49 states change laws

      Hazel Bradford | by Pensions & Investments | April 15, 2014

      While the sense of urgency has diminished, reform attempts have become a legislative staple, as public retirement systems continue to grapple with unfunded liabilities and political pressure to change.

    • Pace of pension reform ebbs after 49 states change laws

      Hazel Bradford | by Pensions & Investments | April 15, 2014

      While the sense of urgency has diminished, reform attempts have become a legislative staple, as public retirement systems continue to grapple with unfunded liabilities and political pressure to change.

    • Headlines

      State government dependence on federal funding growing at alarming rate

      The Washington Examiner | by David Freddoso | April 15, 2014

      This trend of increased state dependency on Washington reduces state and local control, while threatening the states' long-run autonomy.

    • Headlines

      Rich States, Poor States

      ALEC | by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams | April 15, 2014

      Using years of economic data and empirical evidence from each state, the authors identify which policies can lead a state to economic prosperity. Rich States, Poor States not only identifies these policies but also makes sound research-based conclusions about which states are poised to achieve greater economic prosperity and those that are stuck on the path to a lackluster economy.

    • Headlines : Tennessee

      Tennessee House passes budget without state raises

      The Tennessean | by Chas Sisk | April 11, 2014

      The Tennessee House of Representatives approved the state's $32 billion budget Thursday afternoon, without once-promised raises for teachers and other state workers.

    • Headlines

      Rebounding economy fills state coffers with record tax revenues

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Reid Wilson | April 10, 2014

      State governments collected more than $846 billion in tax revenue in the last fiscal year, the highest amount ever reported, as a rebounding economy boosted coffers hit hard by the recession.

    • Headlines : Tennessee

      State House sets up budget floor vote, kills Democrat amendments

      The Tennessean | by Tom Humphrey | April 9, 2014

      A House floor vote has been set for Thursday on Gov. Bill Haslam's $32 billion state budget for the coming year after Republicans rejected in committee a Democratic attempt to use reserve fund to provide pay raises for state employees and teachers.

    • Headlines

      Pew's latest pension report understates unfunded liabilities, but still shows growing pension problem

      by Cory Eucalitto | April 4, 2014

      While Pew's report relies directly on state-reported numbers that understate the size of unfunded liabilities, it nonetheless shows tremendous growth in unfunded liabilities since 2008.

    • Pew's latest pension report understates unfunded liabilities, but still shows growing pension problem

      by Cory Eucalitto | April 4, 2014

      While Pew's report relies directly on state-reported numbers that understate the size of unfunded liabilities, it nonetheless shows tremendous growth in unfunded liabilities since 2008.

    • Headlines

      U.S. public pension gap widened to nearly $1 trillion in fiscal year 2012

      Reuters | by Robin Respaut | April 2, 2014

      The unfunded liabilities of public-employee pension plans rose by 10 percent in fiscal 2012 to a record $914 billion, hit by low investment returns, missed contributions and unfunded benefits, underscoring the pension funding crisis in U.S. states and cities, a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts said.