House gets budget back on track with $55M boost in county highway funding

Gov. Bill Haslam’s $37 billion state budget bill got back on the tracks Friday after a derailment on the House floor Thursday.

The House approved the measure (HB511) by a lopsided 83-2 vote after a round of good will speeches that contrasted to cranky commentary the day before.

Approval came after all amendments adopted on Thursday were stripped off the bill and one major new one added that its sponsor, Republican Rep. Judd Mathney of Tullahoma, said was “negotiated long and hard last night.”

The amendment takes $55 million of surplus money that Haslam wanted to send to the state Department of Transportation for extra road construction money and instead sends the $55 million to all 95 counties, divided among them according to the formula now used to distribute state highway funds to the counties. It’s similar to an amendment proposed on Thursday by Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, that failed by one vote at the time.

House approval sets up a Senate vote on the budget bill Monday and, with approval there, both chambers will be in positon to adjourn the 2017 legislative session by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

One Response to House gets budget back on track with $55M boost in county highway funding

  • Michael Lottman says:

    Good to see $55 million more allocated to infrastructure one way or another, but very unfortunate if Craig Fitzhugh’s negotiated amendment to provide a $150 million “endowment” for unforeseen educational needs got lost in the shuffle.

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