Haslam: State prepared for federal funding cuts, but they won't be painless

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 6:26pm

Gov. Bill Haslam said the state can weather large cuts that could come down from the federal government early next year but said “we shouldn’t kid ourselves” to believe reductions would be painless.

As the governor’s staff begins to build a roughly $31 billion state spending and budget proposal, he said state government coffers won’t make up for large federal cuts included in a threatened sequester, an automatic funding cut for a series of federal programs that will go into effect Jan. 2 unless Congress agrees on an alternative plan.

The result, Haslam said, will mean losing some programs funded in large part by the federal government.

“We think that we’re prepared as well as we can be, but depending on how much money’s lost, to say that we won’t notice that, I don’t think is fair,” Haslam told reporters Monday.

Federal officials are now looking to broker a deal before the new year to reduce the federal deficit, a plan that could include automatically cutting billions of dollars next year in defense spending and domestic programs.

In Tennessee, that could mean up to $85 million in cuts to federally funded portions of the state budget that kicks in July 1, 2013, according to a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration. Medicaid and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs are exempt from sequestration, according to the agency.

“In most of those cases when the federal money is taken away, the program that it’s funding will go away as well because we just literally, don’t have the state dollars to come in and replace all those federal dollars,” Haslam said.

Cuts could come at a variety of agencies and programs, including Title I funding for schools that serve large numbers of low-income students, special education programs, and people on certain unemployment benefits supported by federal funds.

10 Comments on this post:

By: cannoneer2 on 11/20/12 at 6:13

With all of the tough decisions that will need to be made, the Commissioners will need a substantial raise!

By: yucchhii on 11/21/12 at 9:56

HMmmmm, ..... HASLAM......... HAS...LAM.....has a certain CRIMINAL / TERRORIST kind of sound to it. kinda like O BAM A.... O SAM A..... Same thing!! Ahhhh, ya know why? Their POLITICIANS...THAT'S WHY...their born liars and thieves. that includes "ALL" politicians...republicans AND democrats!!! How do you know when a politicain is talking S@#T? When they open their mouth!!! The day I believe "ANY" politician is the day I start to believe the supermarket tabloids!!! If you don't like my comment, then your a CRIMINAL too!! If I'm wrong, PROVE ME WRONG!!!

By: pswindle on 11/21/12 at 11:53

I thought that the GOP wanted the government off of their backs. Maybe this is the right time to see how important the Federal Government really is. Without the Federal Government's money, the State Governments could not function. All of these GOP run states stick out their chest and turn down federal money. Then, when no one is looking go back and beg for it. One example, the GOP run states turned down the money for a cross country rail system, now they see how important it is to the states that accepted the money: Good employmnet and the future travel of Americans. But, TN will be behind the curve on this one. The GOP hatred of this President is hurting the states and its people.

By: rawhide on 11/21/12 at 12:23

Oh, okay . . . did you Dems "hate" Dubya? Or HW Bush? Or Reagan? Put a sock in it. I undoubtedly HATE his policies and how naive and foolish and ignorant and covetous and petty they are. But I don't HATE him. That being said, when govt (Federal in this context) requires you to pay in to the system, then it is not unprincipled to want at least a portion of it back. And of course, it isn't REALLY money that the Federal gov't is sending to the States is it? It is a sham, and heaven forbid an elected official spoil the fun. Like if you own a company and it is operating in the red, and your lead employee has promised his co-workers a lavish Christmas party with year end bonuses, paid for with a company credit card. What do the co-workers care? What does the employee care? What does pswindle care?

By: pswindle on 11/21/12 at 1:33

Rawhide, You missed the point, I stand by everything that I said. You know that it is true. Everytime a red Governor says no, the people of their state suffers. They wanted this President to fail so badly that they cut thier noses off to spite their faces.

By: TOPDOG... on 11/21/12 at 6:25

While they are closing schools and rolling the elderly out of nursing homes they are hiring more police officers and building still more jails and prisons. You can kiss the middle class goodbye. The last major tax increase to fund additional law enforcement staff has made Nashville the most over-policed society in the history of civilization. All this massive over policing will cost way more than even the Feds are willing to pay. The rest of the country is facing a fiscal cliff, Davidson county is facing an abyss.This shows the total irresponsibility of the Mayor and Governors office, along with all the current administration.
You could start by firing the codes directors and assistants along with all the Board and most of the inspectors . These people are doing nothing but drawing high salaries while all their inspectors and staff are allowed to run amok with no supervision or control. These people hide behind their office while no actions are taken against them.

By: Ask01 on 11/22/12 at 7:35

I fear the comment about, "...won't be painless..." does not bode well for many citizens and government employees.

The 'pain' of course, will not be felt by those who truly deserve to experience the sensation; those at the helm of government, over paid comissioners, and others who have led us into the financial abyss.

Those who will suffer will likely be the workers who daily keep departments functioning, and those who depend on the services provided by dedicated employees in the trenches daily.

Would it not be wonderful to witness a world in which those at the very top take the biggest monetary hit? I somehow feel if those at the top of government were docked for incompetence and mismanagement, a dramatic turn around would come about almost overnight.

Of course, such will never happen, as those in charge would never blame themselves. They are perfect, just ask them.

Of course, being a perfect sphincter may not be the descriptive term they imagined.

By: Jughead on 11/26/12 at 2:16

Shut all of government down. Tell the baby-mamas and TennCare oxycontinheads they will have to find work in the private sector.

By: Ask01 on 11/27/12 at 5:19

OK, you heard it folks.

I guess we can presume Jughead is hiring so send all your resumes to him.

By: Jughead on 11/27/12 at 3:59

Gov't is the source of all evil. Ron Swanson is right. Leeches, crooks, and those who sponge off of them...blacks, white trash, and illegals.