Haslam Lobbies Wall Street

Gov. Bill Haslam is wrapping up a series of meetings in New York to make the case for Tennessee to keep its high debt ratings.

Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes held preliminary meetings with two of the three major ratings agencies last month after Standard and Poor’s downgraded the federal government’s credit.

Following those meetings, Emkes had each state department draw up how they would respond to federal funding cuts of 15 percent to 30 percent. Under the worst-case scenario, the state would have to shed more than 5,000 jobs.

Each agency is also planning for cutting 5 percent in the state funding.

Emkes has said the planning for spending cuts should underscore the state’s political will to cope with changing economic conditions.