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Lee Lays Out Plans for 2022

This information comes from 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley R-Hohenwald who represents Giles and five other counties in the 112th General Assembly.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has delivered his fourth State of the State address and presented budget and legislative priorities to a joint session of the General Assembly.

“Tennessee stands as a beacon to the rest of the country for how we can change lives when we control the size of government, prioritize efficiency, and make smart and responsible investments,” Lee said.

“I am proud to propose a budget and America at Its Best policies that reinforce freedom, innovation, exceptionalism and optimism.”

The proposed $52.6 billion budget includes strategic investments in education, transportation infrastructure, law enforcement, rural communities, and more.

K-12 Education

· Committing to crafting an updated K-12 education funding formula

· $750M recurring increase for new K-12 education funding formula

Since the new formula will not commence until fiscal year 2024, these funds will be utilized in fiscal year 2023 for: CTE improvements in all high schools and middle schools( $500M), moving 14 public schools out of flood plains ($200M) and GIVE and SPARC grants ($50M)

· Proposing a law to ensure parents know what materials are available to students in their libraries

· Proposing new legislation to make computer science and coding available to every high school student in Tennessee.

· $2.5M to expand the Future Workforce Initiative

· Formalizing a partnership with Hillsdale College to expand its approach to civics education and K-12 education in Tennessee

· $124.7M to provide a well-deserved increase into the teacher salary pool

· $25.5M in recurring funding to continue successful summer learning camps

· $16M recurring and $16M nonrecurring to the Charter Schools Facility Fund to increase the number of high-quality Charter Schools

Higher Education

· $90M to fully-fund the outcomes-based formula, enabling a zero percent tuition increase for public universities

· $200M for TCAT infrastructure investments to help double the skilled workforce by 2026

· $72M to complete the Oak Ridge Innovation Institute, a partnership with the University of Tennessee to invest in data science and technology, advanced materials, and outcomes-based applications

· $6M to establish the Institute of American Civics at the University of Tennessee

· $50M to a Carnegie R1 research fund at the University of Memphis, matched by private donors, to sustain the University’s R1 designation

· $250M in infrastructure improvements at Tennessee State University to mitigate life-safety issues and help improve academic and student campus buildings

· $170M to invest in a statewide Enterprise Resource System for the University of Tennessee and the Locally Governed Institutions, permitting more streamlined access to information aimed at better serving students in 21st century educational settings

· $75.2M to increase the 4-year HOPE Award to $5,100 per student, per year, and the 2-year HOPE Award to $3,200 per student, per year

· Four percent salary pool increase for higher education employees to ensure they attract and retain the best employee base possible

Safe and Secure Tennessee

· Adding 100 Highway Patrol Troopers, 20 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agents, and 25 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Forensic Science Personnel

· Directing the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to create a plan so every house of worship in Tennessee can receive high-quality safety training

· $355.6M in a Multi-Agency Law Enforcement Training Academy

· $28.4M to fully fund the Correctional Officer salary changes

· $66M for the TN Law Enforcement Hiring, Training, and Recruitment program

· $179M to complete full construction of Tennessee Advanced Communications Network coverage, ensuring full mobile connectivity across all Tennessee for emergency communications and law enforcement

· $150 million to create the Violent Crime Intervention Grant Fund

Rural Tennessee

· $82M to reimburse public hospitals for uncompensated care, primarily in rural communities

· $26M for Rural Opportunity Grants, helping to get communities ready for corporate investment

· $55M to increase access to services across each of the Medicaid Pathways to Independence programs

Healthy Tennessee

· $25.5M to provide adult dental benefits for 610,000 Tennesseans eligible for TennCare

· $11.8M toward a multiyear commitment to recruit and retain dental providers, as well as provide much-needed dental care for prosthodontic services

· $18.6M to attract over 150 new primary care residents

· $7M for substance abuse clinical treatment and addiction recovery programs

Supporting Families

· Expanding TennCare’s Health Starts Initiative to put an even greater emphasis on maternal health and holistic care for mothers and children

· Expanding funding for relative caregiver placements for children in foster care

· Establishing a childcare support program for all foster families, regardless of their DHS eligibility

Infrastructure Modernization

· $619M to accelerate projects listed in the IMPROVE Act and invest in transportation projects to ensure economic opportunity

· $3.5M to support the Transportation Equity Fund

· $4M to enhance litter cleanup on Tennessee highways

Growing Tennessee

· $103M for the FastTrack program, ensuring the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has the tools to recruit and retain top companies to call Tennessee home

· Formalizing a long-term strategy to develop the Clinch River Nuclear Site

Beautiful Tennessee

· $40M to invest in environmental cleanup, including National Priority List sites

· $28M to eliminate the deferred maintenance backlog at State Parks

· $25M for West TN River Basin projects

This proposed budget and will need to be approved by the legislators through the legislative process.

Tennessee is among the states with the lowest debt in the country, and is ranked number one in the nation for long-term fiscal responsibility by U.S. News and World Report.

Hensley may be reached at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville TN 37243, at 615-741-3100, toll free at 1-800-449-8366 extension 13100 or by fax at 615-253-0231.

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald TN 38462, by telephone at 931-796-2018, by cell phone at 931-212-8823 or by e-mail: sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov


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