Gov. Haslam restores full funding for mental health

NASHVILLE (WATE) – Governor Bill Haslam said he will not cut mental health in his fiscal year 2016 budget.

Originally mental health care was one of the biggest areas seeing cuts. However, Haslam’s office said tax collections exceeded estimates, along with other savings, to add a nearly $300 million more than anticipated in non-recurring funds.

Previous story: Gov. Haslam considering cutting funds for mental health

Haslam said the administration will continue to review the program and look at possibilities for efficiencies in the process.

Other non-recurring investments include:

  • $120 million to fund the state’s commitment to a new $160 million Tennessee State Museum, $40 million of which will be raised through private funds;
  • $50 million for economic development projects
  • $40 million to complete renovations of the Cordell Hull building
  • $36.5 million for the Rainy Day Fund in addition to the $36.5 million proposed in the original budget bringing the total reserve to 4.5 percent of state revenues;
  • $12 million for maintenance and improvements to higher education facilities across the state;
  • $5 million to fund new equipment in our Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology to meet job training demands across the state;
  • $1.9 million for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to fund adolescent residential alcohol and drug treatment grants.

The budget will be presented to finance committees Tuesday. The budget amendment is scheduled to be filed Tuesday, April 7.

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