Governor’s Budget Contains Significant Higher Education Investments

Governor Haslam Delivers the Annual State of the State Address

Governor Bill Haslam delivered his sixth State of the State Address tonight before a joint session of the 109th General Assembly, where he outlined his policy and budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2016-2017.  The Governor’s $34.8 billion spending plan contains significant investments in public higher education.  Such investments include $50 million for the state’s Complete College funding formula, an outcomes based model that rewards colleges and universities for their performance. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) had previously requested $41 million to fully fund the formula.  Haslam’s proposal exceeds this request and would provide even greater outcomes funding for public higher education institutions.

The Governor’s plan also includes funding for two of UT’s top capital projects—$36 million for an academic classroom building renovation at UT Chattanooga (Lupton/Fine Arts) and $39 million for a new dentistry building at the UT Health Science Center in Memphis.  As required by the state, UT already has successfully raised millions in matching dollars to round out the needed funding for these facilities.  The budget proposal also makes significant investments in deferred maintenance projects for higher education (totaling $29.36 million for the UT System).

UT’s Government Relations and Advocacy team continues to analyze proposed figures and their impact on various parts of the University of Tennessee System.  We will provide a more detailed update regarding the budget as soon as possible.

Ultimately, the legislature must approve any state spending plan prior to adjourning.

More information on the Governor’s proposed budget is available here. 


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