Tennessee Lawmakers Approve State Budget

(WVLT) - Tennessee's proposed budget is now a reality.

The 27-billion dollar-plus budget passed with the 105th General Assembly highlighting four main points...education, savings, public health, and public safety.

The budget includes money for 250 new classrooms across the state, and increases lottery scholarships to four-thousand dollars.

The "rainy day" savings fund is up to a record 750-million dollars.

Some of the biggest debates were the passage of a cigarette tax increase of 42-cents, and a smoking ban that applies to most businesses, including restaurants.

That ban goes into effect in July, but will not be enforced until October.

The legislature also approved 38-million dollars in new money for improvements to the state's criminal sentencing laws and other programs.

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