$35B state budget ready for floor votes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are planning to vote Thursday on the state’s nearly $35 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1.

While hot button topics like social issues and guns tend to draw much attention during the legislative session, passing a balanced budget is the chief responsibility for members of the General Assembly.

Lawmakers have spent much of this week hammering out agreements over smaller budget items, while leaving intact most of the spending plan Republican Gov. Bill Haslam proposed at the start of the session.

Among the final issues to be worked out is 1 percentage point reduction in the Hall tax on income on stocks and bonds.

The Senate is expected to vote on the budget on Thursday morning, followed by the House in the afternoon.