Gov. Bill Haslam signs grocery sales tax reduction at Sloan's Grocery in Vonore, TN. Frame taken from video footage. (Lorena Estrada / WVLT)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The state Senate is poised to vote on a $32.4 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning in July.
The Senate Finance Committee voted 9-2 on Wednesday to advance the budget plan to a full Senate vote. The plan removes previously planned salary increases for teachers and state employees to make up for flagging state revenue collections.
Senate Democratic leader Jim Kyle of Memphis argued that the spending cuts would not have to be as deep if officials were willing to tap the more than $1.7 billion stored in various reserve funds.
The House version of the budget is also awaiting a floor vote.
Lawmakers are required by the state constitution to pass a balanced budget each year.