Gov. Bredesen recently said he would not dip into the rainy day fund to make up for a soft economy:
Now, he is saying that despite not knowing how long the economic downturn will last, he is going to dip into the rainy day fund:
The governor said he would not, however, approve using the reserves to balance the budget.
"I'm very serious about finding some ways to cut back on our spending over the next few months so that we don't build ourselves a big hole," Bredesen said.
"You never can do it quite as fast as revenues dip, just because it takes time to make these changes," Bredesen said.
Bredesen said he can likely find ways to make the cuts necessary to fill up to a $300 million spending gap.
"But when you get much above $300 million you're talking either about legislative action, or dipping into reserves somewhat," Bredesen said.
The governor has previously expressed reluctance about tapping the state's $750 million rainy day reserves until an end to the downturn was in sight.