Tennessee Attorney General Beefs Up Office To Take On Feds, Cities

May 5, 2023 | Political News

Facing a spate of legal battles with Tennessee cities and the federal government, the Attorney General’s Office enters this year with a new “strategic litigation unit” and heftier budget.

As part of a $56.2 billion budget for fiscal 2023-24, the Legislature approved 10 more positions at a cost of $2.25 million for Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti.

That gives the office a $52.95 million payroll for 363 positions with an average salary of $146,600. Including operating costs, the office’s budget will hit nearly $6.75 million on July 1, up almost 9% from this year’s total. The total includes $5.1 million from a market adjustment recommended by the Ernst & Young study conducted for executive department pay.

That figure also contains $5,078,500 for a grab bag of legal expenses such as filing fees, expert witness expenses and contracts, in addition to outside counsel on a wide variety of cases ranging from opioid litigation to TennCare investigations. The office spent $5 million on those items this fiscal year, matching the amount the state spent this year and $6 million in fiscal 2021-22.