Haslam finance chief Emkes to retire

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State finance chief Mark Emkes is retiring after presiding over three annual spending plans for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's administration.

Emkes, formerly the CEO of Nashville-based tiremaker Bridgestone Americas, was one of Haslam's highest-profile Cabinet choices following the 2010 election.

As Department of Finance and Administration commissioner, the 60-year-old Emkes has been responsible for budget matters and managing the state's day-to-day finances.

Emkes' retirement comes following Haslam's decision to forgo -- at least for the time being -- $1.4 billion in federal money in the upcoming budget year for Medicaid expansion while pursuing a special arrangement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Emkes will be the third Haslam Cabinet member to leave this year, after Children's Services Commissioner Kate O'Day and Labor Commissioner Karla Davis.


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