On February 6, Gov. Bill Lee delivered his annual State of the State address to the General Assembly and fellow Tennesseans. Some of the investments in the governor’s proposed budget include:
- A 5% salary pool increase for state employees, as well as investments in employee health insurance and 401k contributions.
- Full funding for the higher education funding formula.
- An 8.1% total operating increase for the UT System.
- $28 million to construct the Tennessee Water Education and Training (WET) Center, which will be a first-of-its-kind facility housed at UTIA’s Lone Oaks Farm. The WET Center will provide opportunities for hands-on training programs in hydraulics, hydrology, erosion, and flood management. The West Tennessee River Basin Authority, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and the UT Institute of Agriculture partnered in this effort.
- $5.1 million recurring for the critical Grow Your Own partnership UT has with the Tennessee Department of Education.
- $5 million nonrecurring for the Transportation Network Growth and Opportunity Initiative, known as TN GO. TN GO’s focus is to strategically grow and sustain Tennessee’s future mobility innovation economy through research and development partnerships, which will bolster our university research efforts.
- $30 million in capital maintenance for projects across the UT System.
- Additional operating funds for the UT Health Science Center and UT College of Veterinary Medicine.
We are grateful for Gov. Lee’s support and look forward to working with his Administration and the legislature as they consider this budget proposal.
UT will continue advocating for critical new operating funding for the UT Health Science Center and funding for UT’s capital project requests, especially our top capital priority, the addition and renovation of UT Chattanooga Fletcher Hall.