108th General Assembly adjourns for the year
LUCAS L. JOHNSON II Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The 108th Tennessee General Assembly has adjourned after a session that included the passing of a $32.4 billion spending plan that doesn’t give pay increases to state employees and teachers.
Gov. Bill Haslam had planned to give a 1 percent pay increase to state employees and 2 percent to teachers but later said he wouldn’t be able to because of poor revenue collections. The budget is expected to have a shortfall of about $277 million.
Criticism for reneging on the pay hikes added to a tough session for the Republican governor, who also saw the second consecutive defeat of a proposed school voucher program in Tennessee.
Legislation passing included measures to allow wine sales in grocery stores, fight methamphetamine production and give high school graduates free tuition at community colleges, which was a signature proposal of the governor.