New Fiscal Year Starts With Revenue Bump

The numbers are in for the first month of the State’s new fiscal year.

The State Department of Finance and Administration announced last week that revenue collections have ticked upwards, with overall August revenues $31 million above collections one year ago.  The revenues are better than anticipated– coming in at $24.4 million above the State’s budgeted estimate.

“Sales taxes collected by retailers in July grew 6.73 percent, the largest month-over-month growth we have experienced in the past 27 months,” Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin said.  “Corporate tax collections grew by 9.25 percent, but were still slightly under budgeted expectations.  All other taxes, taken as a group, had negative growth of 5.33% but were $6.1 million above the budgeted estimate for August.

“While we are encouraged by the August numbers, we continue to be concerned about the relatively slow economic recovery in Tennessee. It is important for us to maintain our close controls on state spending and to carefully monitor revenue trends.”

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2014-2015 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of December 17th, 2013 and adopted by the second session of the 108th General Assembly in April 2014. They are available at http://www.tn.gov/finance/bud/Revenues.shtml.

UT Board of Trustees Kicks Off Discussion on Multi-Year Initiative

Benchmarking, economic forecasts and hypothetical strategies to overcome declining state appropriations and make the University of Tennessee more effective, efficient and entrepreneurial was the subject of the UT Board of Trustees’ Wednesday workshop.

UT President Joe DiPietro had set the stage for Wednesday’s discussion about funding at the trustees’ annual meeting in June. The board’s workshop covered the issue more in depth and allowed trustees to ask questions. The purpose of the discussion was not to devise strategy but gain a better understanding of the issue in order to plan a multi-year initiative.

Projections are that the University could face a gap in state funding of more than $150 million over the next decade–assuming the University could limit tuition increases to 3 percent annually, inflation did not exceed 3 percent annually, and state funding did not increase. To cover such a gap, tuition would need to be compounded to 55 percent or 4.5 percent each year.

DiPietro has said that continuing to increase tuition to cover declining state appropriations is a business model that is struggling, and it is not sustainable to continue to pass along additional costs to students and their families. The University has three options: take no action, get smaller or start on a bold initiative to fix the problem, he said.

“We own this problem. We have to fix it,” DiPietro told trustees. “Change is normally painful for everybody. We will seek broad input. We will make tough decisions.”

Dr. Bill Fox, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at UT Knoxville, provided the trustees a forecast of state revenues, and each chancellor presented initial thoughts on ways to streamline operations and increase revenues.

The trustees looked at data comparisons with other university systems and heard the president talk about ways other university systems and universities have addressed similar funding issues. UT has been using cost-saving measures since the 2008-09 recession and identifying lean processes. Ideas pitched included increasing enrollment of out-of-state students to raise revenue, reviewing academic portfolios, and analyzing better uses of campuses’ space.

“The current funding model of the University of Tennessee is perilously close to broken. Given the fiscal constraints on the state budget, which includes a structural budget deficit, it is unlikely that significant increases in state appropriation to the University of Tennessee will be forthcoming unless the sense of priority for funding higher education becomes widespread and improves. Thus, it is incumbent upon the University to be become more entrepreneurial, efficient and effective, by enhancing existing revenue streams, reducing expenditures, and reallocating existing resources to better achieve system/campus goals and objectives,” according to a UT benchmarking analysis submitted to the trustees.

The board next meets Oct. 2-3, when the discussion will continue. A more set strategy is expected to be revealed at the winter meeting Feb. 25-26 in Memphis.

2014 Primary Election Results

With over a half million votes cast in the early voting period alone, this election marked the highest voter turnout in an August election in Tennessee’s history.  It was also perhaps the longest ballot in the State’s history, containing a retention vote on judges across the state, state and federal primaries, and county general elections. As a result of the lengthy ballot, election results did not come in until late Thursday night.

With regard to Congressional races, Senator Lamar Alexander beat his challenger, State Representative Joe Carr.  All of Tennessee’s members of the House won their primary reelection bids.

With regard to State results, Governor Bill Haslam overwhelmingly won the Republican Primary for Governor. All three Tennessee Supreme Court Justices up for “Replace/Retain” elections were retained.

With regard to the Tennessee General Assembly, eight incumbents lost their seats as a result of the Primary.  In the Senate, this includes Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) who was ousted by County Commissioner and surgeon Dr. Richard Briggs, Senator Jim Summerville (R-Dickson) who lost to former Senator Kerry Roberts in a three-way Republican Primary, and Senator Ophelia Ford (D-Memphis), who was beat by Lee Harris, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Memphis.

In addition, Senator Jim Kyle (D-Memphis) was elected to Shelby County Chancery Court, paving the way for a special election in Tennessee’s 30th Senate District.

In the House, Representative Tony Shipley (R-Kingsport) lost his reelection bid to Bud Hulsey, a retired City of Kingsport policeman, along with longtime incumbent Representative Dennis “Coach” Roach (R-Rutledge) who lost to Jerry Sexton. Also losing bids for reelection were Representative Steve Hall (R-Knoxville), who was defeated by Martin Daniel.  Longtime Representative Gary Odom (D-Nashville) was unseated by attorney John Ray Clemmons, and Representative Vance Dennis (R-Savannah) was ousted by David “Coach” Byrd.

A breakdown of unofficial primary election results is provided below for Tennessee Senate and House races. For more on unofficial primary election results, please visit the Secretary of State’s website.

State Senate Races (Unofficial Results)

District

Results

1

Senator Steve Southerland was uncontested and has no General opponent.

3

Senator Rusty Crowe was uncontested and has no General opponent.

5

Senator Randy McNally was uncontested and has no General opponent.

7

Commissioner Richard Briggs beat incumbent Senator Stacey Campfield with 67 percent of the vote.  He will face democrat Cheri Siler in the General.

9

Senator Mike Bell was uncontested and has no General opponent.

11

Senator Bo Watson was uncontested and has no General opponent.

13

Senator Bill Ketron was uncontested and has no General opponent.

15

In the race for retiring Senator Charlotte Burks’ seat, Representative Paul Bailey defeated his Republican challengers and will face Betty Vaudt in the General Election.

17

Senator Mae Beavers defeated her Republican challenger and has no General opponent.

19

Senator Thelma Harper defeated her Democratic challenger and will face Sterlina Inez Brady in the General Election.

21

In the race for retiring Senator Doug Henry’s seat, Jeff Yarbro defeated his Democratic challenger Mary Mancini.  Yarbro will face Republican Diana Cuellar in the General Election.

23

Senator Jack Johnson was uncontested and has no General opponent.

25

Former State Senator Kerry Roberts beat incumbent Senator Jim Summerville.  Roberts will face Democrat Tony Gross in the General.

27

In the race for retiring Senator Lowe Finney’s seat, Ed Jackson won the Republican Primary and will face Democrat Randy Lamb in the General.

29

Senator Ophelia Ford lost to democratic challenger Lee Harris.  Harris will face Republican Jim Finney in the General.

31

Senator Brian Kelsey was unopposed and has no General opponent.

33

Senator Reginald Tate was unopposed and has no General opponent.

State House Races (Unofficial Results)

District

Results

1

Representative Jon Lundberg was uncontested and has no General opponent.

2

Representative Tony Shipley lost to retired City of Kingsport Policeman Bud Hulsey, who won by 1,655 votes.  Hulsey has no General opponent.

3

Representative Timothy Hill won his race and has no General opponent.

4

Formerly the seat held by Representative Kent Williams, John B. Holsclaw, Jr. won the Republican Primary and will face Rob Martin in the General.

5

Representative David Hawk defeated Republican challenger Ted Hensley and faces an Independent challenger, Kermit Steck, in the General.

6

Representative Micah Van Huss defeated his Republican challenger Clayton Stout.  He has no Democratic challenger in the General.

7

Representative Matthew Hill won a three-way Republican Primary by roughly 700 votes.  He has no General opponent.

8

Representative Art Swann was uncontested and has no General opponent.

9

Representative Mike Harrison was uncontested and has no General opponent.

10

Representative Tilman Goins was uncontested and has no General opponent.

11

Representative Jeremy Faison had no Republican challenger but will face Democrat Marjorie Ramsey and one Independent candidate, Roland Dykes, in the General.

12

Representative Dale Carr was uncontested and has no General opponent.

13

Representative Gloria Johnson was uncontested in the Democratic Primary but will face Republican Eddie Smith in the General, who defeated challenger Jason Emert in the Republican Primary by 34 votes.

14

Representative Ryan Haynes was uncontested and has no General opponent.

15

Representative Joe Armstrong was unopposed and will face Independent candidate Pete Drew in the General.

16

Representative Bill Dunn was uncontested and has no General opponent.

17

Representative Andrew Farmer was uncontested and has no General opponent.

18

Representative Steve Hall was defeated by Martin Daniel and has no General opponent. Hall lost by 165 votes, per unofficial returns.

19

Representative Harry Brooks was uncontested and has no General opponent.

20

Representative Bob Ramsey was uncontested and faces Democrat John Ross Conley in the General.

21

Representative Jimmy Matlock was unopposed and will face Democrat Pamela Weston in the General.

22

Formerly represented by Representative Eric Watson, Dan Howell will now represent District 22.  He defeated Republican challenger J. Adam Lowe and has no General opponent.

23

Representative John Forgety was uncontested and has no General opponent.

24

Representative Kevin Brooks was uncontested and has no General opponent.

25

Representative Cameron Sexton was unopposed in the Republican Primary.  He faces Democrat Judy Barnett in the General.

26

Representative Gerald McCormick was uncontested and has no General opponent.

27

In the race to replace retiring Representative Richard Floyd, Patsy Hazelwood defeated two Republican challengers and will face Democrat Eric McRoy in the General.

28

Representative JoAnne Favors was uncontested and has no General opponent.

29

Representative Mike Carter was uncontested and has no General opponent.

30

Marc Gravitt was uncontested and has no General opponent.  Gravitt will replace retiring Representative Vince Dean.

31

Incumbent Representative Ron Travis beat former Republican Jim Cobb and has no General opponent.

32

Representative Kent Calfee was uncontested in the Republican Primary and will face Democrat Joe Kneiser in the General.

33

Representative John Ragan beat Caitlin Nolan and will face Democrat Misty Neergaard in the General.

34

Representative Rick Womick was uncontested and has no General opponent.

35

Incumbent Representative Dennis “Coach” Roach lost to Republican Jerry Sexton.

36

Representative Dennis Powers was unopposed in the Republican Primary.  He faces Democrat James Virgil Kidwell in the General Election.

37

Representative Dawn White defeated her challenger and faces no opponent in the General.

38

Representative Kelly Keisling was unopposed and has no General opponent.

39

Representative David Alexander defeated his opponent and will face Democrat Matthew Huffer in the General.

40

Representative Terri Lynn Weaver was unopposed and will face Democrat Sarah Marie Smith in the General.

41

Representative John Mark Windle was uncontested and has no General opponent.

42

Representative Ryan Williams was unopposed in the Primary.  He will face Democrat Michael Walsh in the General.

43

Robert Dunham was uncontested in the Republican Primary and will face Kevin Dunlap, the winner of a three-way Democratic Primary, in the General for the seat formerly held by Representative Charles Curtiss.

44

Representative William Lamberth was uncontested and has no General opponent.

45

Representative Courtney Rogers beat opponent Len Silverman and will face Democrat Steven Puckett, Jr. in the General.

46

Representative Mark Pody was uncontested and will face Democrat Candace Reed in the General.

47

Representative Judd Matheny was uncontested and has no General opponent.

48

In a three-way primary race, Republican Bryan Terry emerged as the winner and will face Democrat William Campbell in the General.  Representative Joe Carr currently represents District 48.

49

Representative Mike Sparks won his race and will face Democrat Mike Williams in the General.

50

Representative Bo Mitchell was unopposed in the Democratic Primary and will face Republican Troy Brewer in the General.

51

In a crowded field to replace retiring House Democratic Caucus Chair Representative Mike Turner, Bill Beck won the three-way Democratic Primary and will face Republican Brian Mason in the General.

52

Representative Mike Stewart was uncontested and has no General opponent.

53

Representative Jason Powell will face Republican John Wang in the General.

54

Representative Brenda Gilmore was uncontested and has no General opponent.

55

Nashville attorney John Ray Clemmons unseated democratic Representative Gary Odom.  Clemmons is a former Political Director for the Tennessee Democratic Party and has no General opponent.

56

Speaker Beth Harwell was uncontested and has no General opponent.

57

Representative Susan Lynn was uncontested and will face Democrat Jesse McLevain in the General.

58

Representative Harold Love was uncontested and has no General opponent.

59

Representative Sherry Jones was uncontested and has no General opponent.

60

Democratic Representative Darren Jernigan was uncontested and will face former Republican Representative Jim Gotto in the General.

61

Representative Charles Sargent, who chairs the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee, defeated challenger Steve Gawrys.  Sargent does not have an opponent in the General.

62

Representative Pat Marsh was uncontested and has no General opponent.

63

Republican Representative Glen Casada defeated challenger Cherie Hammond and faces no General opponent.

64

Representative Sheila Butt was unopposed.  She faces an Independent candidate, James Gray, in the General.

65

Representative Jeremy Durham was uncontested and will face Democrat Bill Peach in the General.

66

For the seat being vacated by Representative Joshua Evans, Sabi (Doc) Kumar won a four-way Republican Primary and will face Democrat Kyle Roberts in the General.

67

Democratic Representative Joe Pitts was unopposed and faces challenger Mike Warner of the Constitution Party in the General.

68

Representative Curtis Johnson was uncontested and has no General opponent.

69

Democratic Representative David Shepard was unopposed and will face Republican Michael Curcio in the General.

70

Republican Representative Barry Doss was uncontested and has no General opponent.

71

Republican Representative Vance Dennis lost his seat to challenger David “Coach” Byrd.

72

Representative Steve McDaniel was uncontested and has no General opponent.

73

Representative Jimmy Eldridge will face Democrat Sheila Godwin in the General.

74

Democratic Representative John Tidwell will face Republican Jay Reedy in the General.

75

Representative Tim Wirgau was unopposed and will face Democrat Randy Patton in the General, as well as Independent candidate James Hart.

76

Representative Andy Holt was unopposed and will face Democrat Joyce Washington in the General.

77

Representative Bill Sanderson was unopposed and has no General opponent.

78

Representative Mary Littleton was unopposed and will face Democrat Jane Crisp in the General.

79

Representative Curtis Halford was unopposed.  He will face Democrat Bobby Barnett in the General.

80

Representative Johnny Shaw was unopposed and has no General opponent.

81

Representative Debra Moody defeated her Republican challenger and has no General opponent.

82

House Minority Leader Representative Craig Fitzhugh was unopposed and has no General opponent.

83

Representative Mark White was unopposed and has no General opponent.

84

Representative Joe Towns easily defeated his challenger and does not have an opponent for the General.

85

Representative Johnnie Turner was unopposed and does not have a General opponent.

86

Representative Barbara Cooper was unopposed and will face Republican George Edwards in the General.

87

Representative Karen Camper was uncontested and has no General opponent.

88

Representative Larry Miller was unopposed and will face Republican Harry Barber in the General.

89

Representative Roger Kane was unopposed and has no General opponent.

90

Representative John DeBerry, Jr. was unopposed and has no General opponent.

91

Representative Raumesh Akbari defeated her challenger and will face Republican Sam Watkins in the General.

92

Representative Billy Spivey was unopposed and will face Democrat Vicki Cain in the General.

93

Representative G.A. Hardaway was unopposed and will face Republican Colonel Gene Billingsley in the General.

94

Leigh Rosser Wilburn won a three-way Republican race to replace retiring Representative Barrett Rich.  She has no opponent in the General.

95

Representative Curry Todd was unopposed and has no General opponent.

96

Representative Steve McManus was unopposed and will face Democrat Dwayne Thompson in the General.

97

Representative Jim Coley was unopposed and has no General opponent.

98

Representative Antonio Parkinson was unopposed and has no General opponent.

99

Representative Ron Lollar was unopposed and has no General opponent.

 

Pledge to vote this election season

Election season is officially upon us:  Early voting for the state and federal primaries and county general election begins today and will continue until Saturday, August 2.

Voter turnout in state primary elections is typically much lower than in general elections.  Take 2012 for example.  Voter turnout for the primary reached just 18.6 percent.  In contrast, voter turnout for the general election reached 62 percent.

We think voting is so important that we are asking our advocates to join us in Pledging To Vote this election season.  We believe this is an important way to build awareness about one of our key responsibilities as American citizens.

Fill out my online form.
Online contact and registration forms from Wufoo.