Bredesen Convenes Annual Departmental Open Budget Hearings

Governor Phil Bredesen says he’ll hold another round of budget hearings before presenting a spending plan to the legislature early next year. That’s because cuts deeper than the three-percent he originally asked department heads to prepare will be necessary to balance the current budget. Bredesen says there wasn’t time to ask for drastic revisions to reflect the necessary ten-percent spending reductions. The state is faced with an anticipated 800-million-dollar budget shortfall due to the weak national economy. Bredesen says some personnel reductions will also be necessary. The governor hopes to cut the state’s workforce through natural attrition and a hiring freeze, but says he hasn’t ruled out involuntary layoffs if necessary.