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House and Senate send approved budget to Governor’s desk

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 7:34 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Governor Bill Lee’s budget passed in the Tennessee Senate on Thursday afternoon and it left out proposed funds for Tennessee schools in flood plains.

The $52.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2022-23 budget was introduced in January by the governor during his State of the State address.

The budget the senate passed took out $200 million that was proposed in the governor’s budget to relocate schools out of flood plains in Tennessee.

The budget included several amendments passed by state senators along with the budget. One of those amendments took out the proposed funding to get classrooms out of risk of catastrophic flood.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, there are about 14 schools in the state that are vulnerable to being severely damaged or destroyed by future flooding.

Some of the schools in Middle Tennessee, which includes Station Camp Middle in Sumner County, which has approximately 875 students, according to the Tennessee Department of Education.

Parents in Sumner County Schools told News4 they were surprised to hear that school is in a flood plain and they didn’t know the school was within a flood plain.

News4 reached out to Williamson County Schools which did have a school in a flood plain, Nolensville Elementary. The school district said that building is now used for something else.

Senate lawmakers on Thursday said overall the budget was good and balanced.

“It is a balanced budget as is constitutionally required. It is a budget that cuts taxes. It’s a budget that makes an enormous contribution to our rainy-day fund,” Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, said.

“$200 million additional to the rainy-day fund which the leader has already recognized brining our contribution to the rainy-day fund, our state savings account to $250 million,” Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, said.

Watson said the budget passed by the house will bring financial relief of about 281 million to Tennesseans in various ways.

Watson said the relief for Tennesseans includes $68 million in non-recurring in broadband tax credit, $111 million nonrecurring for vendor compensation, $2.8 million for the rural community, particularly in the farming community.

The budget passed by the Senate did not include money for a new Titans stadium but the funds were put back in by a vote as the House worked through their version of the budget on Thursday.

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