Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bredesen says NO to tapping State reserves

Link and Photo from Greeneville Sun

Bredesen said in spite of the sluggish revenue collections the state is in sound financial shape because of substantial reserves.

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.

In a previous visit to Rogersville, the governor said that during 2001 state officials had not reacted to a recession and declining revenues, forcing the state to deplete reserves.

Earlier this year Bredesen proposed an early-retirement incentive for state employees in an effort to trim personnel expenditures.

"We got most of the way home. I wanted to save $64 million in state money and we ended up about $16 million short of that," Bredesen said, adding that the remainder of the savings might come from leaving positions vacant.

"I would really like to avoid, especially in these kind of economic times, any involuntary layoff," the governor said.