In an amendment to his budget for the upcoming fiscal year, Gov. Bill Haslam has suggested $25 million in changes to the $30.2 billion plan.
The changes, revealed Monday, help restore a total of $110 million to the $160 million in cuts to "core services" first identified as reductions in last year's budget that had been delayed to this year because of the use of one-time federal money.
In a news release, Haslam said he was pleased to be able to restore funding to several programs.
"It is state government's job to provide services that citizens can't get on their own," Haslam said. "Our budget proposal earlier this year reflected a thoughtful and strategic process to allocate taxpayer dollars to serve Tennesseans in the most customer-focused, efficient and effective way possible."
The amendment includes a slight decrease in the state tax on groceries, moving it from an original suggestion of 5.3 percent to 5.25 percent. Part of the reason the cut was suggested was because of cash registers being able to only be set in quarter-percent increments.
According to TN Report, the measure would save a family of four buying $884 worth of groceries each month $26.52 a year, $5.30 more than the governor's initial proposal.
The amendment also restores $4 million to increase the daily per diem payment to local jails from $35 to $37 per prisoner.
Other restorations to state programs are as follows:
—$1.4 million for mental health peer support centers across the state.
—$1 million for continued statewide family support services through the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (in addition to $4.5 million of restoration in the initial budget proposal).
—$300,000 for maintenance of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority.
—$3 million to fund family resource centers across the state.
—$3.9 million to fund healthy start and child health and development programs across the state.
—$250,000 for child advocacy centers in Tennessee.
—$250,000 to support the Amachi mentoring program for children of inmates through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.
—$375,000 to fund a poison control center that provides statewide services.
—$5 million for Tennessee career centers to address the past practice of funding annual operating expenses with nonrecurring federal dollars.
—$122,000 to fund legislation that requires unemployment recipients to verify their job search efforts.
—$115,500 to fund an online system to send businesses unemployment insurance notices electronically and to allow employers to submit relevant information electronically.
—$1 million for land acquisition and maintenance efforts at Radnor Lake State Park in Nashville.
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