State Rep. Shelia Butt, R-Columbia, provides an interesting and informative column under the headline, “A day in the life of a Tennessee legislator.” A couple of excerpts from the Columbia Daily Herald:
At 11 a.m., I had a meeting with Lauren Plunk and Deborah Loveless from the Comptroller’s Office, trying to find ways for Tennessee to be financially ready if and when the 45 percent of our State Budget that is sent to us by the federal government dries up. I believe that eventually the federal government will quit sending money back to Tennessee for many of our programs, because they are already borrowing 40 cents of every dollar they send back to us. I am also trying to find out how much it costs our programs to take the federal dollars. Many times, I believe, it costs us more in mandates than we receive.
…At 1:30 p.m., I met with David Thurman from the Budget Office to discuss with him our contingency plan for Tennessee to remain fiscally sound when the federal money disappears. I am finding great resources and people who understand my concern. I know we can get prepared. As I have told them, I am concerned only for the stability of the great State of Tennessee when the “house of cards” crumbles.