Even though the state of Tennessee has a budget surplus over over $1 billion, state legislators from Hamilton County are warning against investing those funds into ongoing programs.
At a Tuesday Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce event, State Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga-District 10) showed up wearing a tie featuring the Grinch.
“I wore this today because I know somebody here is going to ask for money,” Gardenhire told those in attendance. “I think one of the biggest challenges we’re going to have in the Legislature is how you allocate your money and balance your expenses with recurring revenue. Everybody wants a tax cut, but if we’re going to provide the services on a recurring basis to the citizens of this state, we’ve got to be careful how we spend our money and not spend one-time money on recurring projects.”
According to State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson-District 11), the state is dealing with increasing costs that come along with the increasing revenue. Inflation has led to the pressure to increase wages to maintain a staff of qualified employees in state government.