NASHVILLE — The Senate today approved its version of the state’s budget after Republicans successfully beat back efforts by state Sen. Eric Stewart to save Taft Youth Development Center from being closed by Gov. Bill Haslam.
Stewart’s amendment to restore $12 million in funding for the Bledsoe County facility, which serves as home for older, tougher teens, was tabled on a 19-14 vote.
Stewart, D-Belvidere, said Taft functions as the state juvenile system’s maximum-security prison for serious offenders between the ages of 16 to 19, yet has been successful in rehabilitating many of them.
Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled Senate’s version of the budget retaliates against the GOP-controlled House’s decision to cut some Senate pet projects by slashing millions of dollars in funding for other programs and projects.
The bill now goes back to the House where leaders will decide whether to concur with the changes or stand by their previous actions.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, estimated the 2012-2013 spending plan at $31.1 billion.
Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...