published Friday, August 19th, 2011

Tennessee agencies looking at 30 percent spending cuts

ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee state agencies have been told to assemble plans for cutting up to 30 percent from their budgets in preparation for expected reductions in federal spending.

A letter sent by Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes calls on agencies to submit their plans for two sets of 15 percent cuts by Wednesday.

Emkes says in the letter that national credit rating agencies have asked the state how it will respond to deep cuts in federal spending, which make up about 40 percent of Tennessee's annual budget.

Finance Department spokeswoman Lola Potter told The Associated Press on Friday that the reductions are "purely hypothetical," because the officials don't know which spending changes Congress will adopt.

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