Haslam proposes bigger food tax cut

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing a greater reduction in the states' sales tax on groceries as part of his final amendment to his annual spending plan.

Haslam told reporters Monday that he has included an additional $3.3 million in the budget proposal to drop the state sales tax on groceries from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent. Haslam's plan is to reduce the tax to 5 percent in the following year.

The governor also announced that negotiations with Tennessee State Employees Association have resulted in an agreement over a proposal to dial back civil services laws in the state.

And Haslam added that increasing the state's daily payment to local jails by $2 a day is designed to help pass his proposal for mandatory incarceration for repeat domestic violence convictions.

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