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Partial Recap of 2023 Legislative Session

This information is provided by 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, who represents. Giles, Lewis, Maury and Marshall counties.

"The 113th General Assembly has adjourned for 2023, and it was a very successful year. We have taken measures for Tennessee to be a better place to live, work and to raise a family in," according to Hensley.

The $55.6 billion no-debt budget addresses needs of Tennesseans while advancing efforts to strengthen families, bolster safety, improve education, create new opportunities for economic development and modernize transportation, according to Hensley.

The balanced budget maintains Tennessee's commitment to responsible fiscal management and deposits $250 million into the state’s Rainy-Day Fund, which serves as the state’s savings account to help withstand economic downturns, bringing the fund to a historic balance of more than $2 billion.

Tax Cuts

• $407 million in tax cuts

• $288 million for a 3-month sales tax holiday on food from Aug. 1 - Oct. 31, 2023

• $64 million to simplify administration and conform with federal bonus depreciation provisions, allowing businesses to more quickly recover costs and further incentivize investment in Tennessee production

• $37.8 million for Small Business Excise Tax Relief

• $20.3M for Small Business Franchise Tax Relief

• $7.9M for Small Business Relief from the Business Gross Receipts Tax

• $7.3M to establish a state paid family leave tax credit against franchise and excise tax for a two-year pilot

School Safety

• $223 million to improve school safety

• $140 million to establish a School Resource Officer (SRO) grant fund to place an on-duty law enforcement officer at every public school

• $30 million to expand a statewide homeland security network with 122 agents serving students at both public and private schools

• $40 million for public school security upgrades

• $14 million for private school security upgrades

• $8 million for additional school-based behavioral health liaisons across the state

Transportation Modernization

• $3B to the Transportation Modernization Fund to alleviate urban congestion and fund rural road projects across the state

• $750M allocated to each of TN’s four TDOT regions

• $300M to expand the State Aid Program for local road projects

Department of Children’s Services

• $15.9 million for salary increases for case managers

• $13.8 million to increase placements at private providers

• $33 million to increase bed capacity in DCS

• $1.1 million to DCS to improve adoption and foster care process

• $5 million for provider network development for children in DCS custody or foster care but require specialized institutional/residential care

• $61 million to replace the Tennessee Family and Child Tracking System (TFACTS), the DCS case management and payment system

• $11 million to contract with short-term private case managers to alleviate burden on DCS case managers

Skilled Workforce / TCATs

• $952 million to fully fund the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology Masterplan

• $370 million to update outdated facilities in seven TCAT campuses state-wide

• $386.2 to invest in new buildings, expansion and improvement to sixteen current TCAT campuses

• $147.5 million to build six new TCATs to better serve more students across Tennessee

Education

• $350 million in additional funding to LEAs through TISA

• Includes $125 million for teacher pay raises

• $60.8 million to extend summer learning camps and expand eligibility age from 4th grade to K-9th grade

• $10 million for Summer Bus Transportation

Public Safety and Law Enforcement

• $4.5 million for 25 new forensic service positions within the TBI to help address the backlog in rape testing kits

• $28.7 million for 142 new Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper positions

• $24.7 million for 122 new agents in the Department of Safety’s Homeland Security Office

• $357 million for the Tennessee Advanced Communications Network

• $17.5 million to increase pay for assistant district attorneys, public defenders and criminal investigators

• $50 million set aside for new prison, which will be needed in the next decade

Economic and Community Development

• $103 million for the Jobs4TN program in ECD to create new opportunities for Tennessee’s workforce and support the growth and retention of the state’s traditional job base

• $340 million for the Jobs4TN program for new development projects

• $45 million for grants and services to assist rural communities and distressed counties with site development, community asset improvement, marketing, strategic planning, downtown revitalization and technical assistance

• $50 million for a nuclear energy supply chain investment fund

Strong and Healthy Families / Healthcare

• $190 million for the Tennessee Strong Families initiative

• $110 million of TennCare reserves for hospital grants to cover services provided under the hospital assessment for rural and distressed hospitals

• $16.3 million to increase pay for Direct Service Providers to $15 per hour

• $9 million to Department of Mental Health to increase provider rates

• $16 million to Department of Health to continue pilot program to address unmet dental service needs and increase dentists in state

• $18.7 million for 6-weeks paid leave for state employees after birth or adoption of child

• $15.5 million for 6-weeks paid leave for teachers and LEA employees after birth or adoption of child

Preserving Outdoor Heritage

• $328 million for state parks, natural areas, and forests

• $41 million for trails

• $82.7 million for environmental cleanup

Hensley may be contacted at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville, Tenn., 37243, or call 615-741-3100, or call toll free 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100 or fax 615-253-0231. His district adddress is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald ,Tenn., 38462. His telephone number is 931-796-2018, his cell phone is 931-212-8823, or email: sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov

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