• Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Tennessee Senate passes budget without funds to move schools to floodplains

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Apr 22, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) — Governor Bill Lee’s budget passed the Tennessee Senate on Thursday afternoon and he left out proposed funds for Tennessee floodplain schools.

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

The budget passed by the Senate removed $200 million that was proposed in the governor’s budget to move schools out of Tennessee’s floodplains.

The budget included several amendments passed by state senators with the budget. One of those amendments removed proposed funding to protect classrooms from the risk of catastrophic flooding.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, about 14 schools in the state are at risk of severe damage or destruction from future flooding.

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

Parents at Sumner County Schools told News4 they were surprised to learn the school was in a floodplain and they had no idea the school was in a floodplain.

News4 reached out to schools in Williamson County that had a school in a floodplain, Nolensville Elementary. The school district said the building is now used for something else.

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

“It’s a balanced budget, as required by the Constitution. It is a budget that cuts taxes. This is a budget that contributes enormously to our rainy day fund,” said Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin.

“Additional $200 million to the Rainy Day Fund that the Chief has already acknowledged, bringing our contribution to the Rainy Day Fund, our state savings account to $250 million,” said the Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson.

Watson said the budget passed by the House will provide approximately $281 million in financial relief to Tennesseans in a variety of ways.

Watson said the relief for Tennesseans includes $68 million in one-time broadband tax credit, $111 million one-time provider compensation, $2.8 million for rural community, especially in the farming community.

The budget passed by the Senate also did not include money for a new Titans stadium. The House also addressed its version of the budget on Thursday.

Copyright 2022 WSMV. All rights reserved.