Governor Bill Lee’s 2023 State of the State address will be Monday, February 6, at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT, when he will announce his legislative priorities for the year. The State of the State also marks the official release of the first draft of the governor’s proposed budget.
One of the University’s top budget priorities this year is to secure an operating increase for the UT Health Science Center. As the state’s largest educator of healthcare professionals in Tennessee, the UT Health Science Center plays a critical role in promoting health, preventing diseases, and delivering healthcare services to Tennesseans statewide. This funding will be essential to support core instructional programs and keep up with the cost of advancing medical procedures and technology. In addition, the University is requesting funding to expand the Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource for Tennessee (SMART) Initiative to implement a county-level technical assistance program and support for graduate medical education (GME).
Top requests also include for the state to fully fund the higher education outcomes funding formula and advance the University’s capital project priorities. Capital project priorities include funding for the renovation and expansion of the business building at UT Chattanooga, a chemistry building at UT Knoxville, and a gross anatomy lab at the UT Health Science Center.
Finally, the University is working with coalition partners to advance the following projects and proposals:
- Knoxville Pedestrian Bridge – UT is supporting the City of Knoxville’s request for a state investment to help leverage federal infrastructure dollars to construct a pedestrian bridge that would stretch across the Tennessee River from the UTK campus into South Knoxville.
- TN GO (Transportation Network Growth and Opportunity) – TN GO is a coalition led by UT, ORNL, TVA, and Vanderbilt University focused on strategically growing and sustaining Tennessee’s future mobility innovation economy. TN GO will build upon the state’s success in manufacturing by creating a platform and incentives for mobility research, innovation, and design—leading toward better jobs, better skills, and better wages for all Tennesseans.
- Tennessee WET Center – Stormwater and flooding from heavy rain events cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage annually in Tennessee and pose a significant threat to human health, infrastructure, and safety. To address this grand challenge, the West Tennessee River Basin Authority, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and UT are partnering to request funding to develop and operate the Water Education and Training (WET) Center at Lone Oaks Farm in Hardeman County.