Lee lists 5 focal areas as budget hearings start

Friday, January 25, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 4

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's administration plans to focus on K-12 education, criminal justice reform, mental health, health care and rural economic development as agency hearings begin on the new governor's state budget.

The Republican told reporters Thursday that targeting those areas may mean increasing spending on them, but that's not a guarantee.

Lee also said he wants to stow away more money in state reserves.

Lee is asking state agencies to map out theoretical 2 percent budget cuts, but hasn't decided whether he'll request them. Budget hearings begin Friday.

Tennessee officials are projecting growth in general state revenue to range from 2.7 to 3.2 percent in the budget year starting in July.

Lee said remaining conservative in prosperous times helps prepare for possible future downturns.