Tennessee Lawmakers pleased with accomplishments in tight budget year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State legislative leaders say they went a long way toward achieving their goals for the legislative session even in the middle of having to cut state spending.

Lawmakers adjourned for the year Wednesday night after passing a $27 million budget that represented nearly a half-billion dollars cut from state spending.

But that budget still includes initiatives that will help students retain their lottery scholarships and provide more long-term care options for the elderly.

Gov. Phil Bredesen credits legislators for working together and working with him to find ways to trim the budget without needing to raise taxes or dip into the state's so-called "Rainy-Day Fund."

He says the voluntary buyouts that will be offered to state employees in an effort to cut 2,000 jobs was a good way of reducing expenses without hurting employees.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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