NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee election officials plan to review a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says states can’t demand proof of citizenship from people registering to vote in federal elections unless they get federal or court approval to do so.
The justices’ 7-2 ruling on Monday complicates efforts in Arizona and other states to bar voting by people who are in the country illegally.
Tennessee passed a law about two years ago that allows state election officials to purge noncitizen residents from election rolls.
Anyone listed as a noncitizen and registered to vote has 30 days to present proof of citizenship or be purged from the rolls.
Secretary of State spokesman Blake Fontenay told The Associated Press on Monday that election officials hadn’t seen the high court ruling, but planned to review it to see if it affects Tennessee.
The White House on Sunday released a state-by=state listing of impact of the sequester. Here is the Tennessee press release, sent with the headline, “Impact of March 1st Cuts on Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security: Tennessee.” White House Press release
Unless Congress acts by March 1st, a series of automatic cuts–called the sequester–will take effect that threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors,people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform. There is no question that we need to cut the deficit, but the President believes it should be done in a balanced way that protects investments that the middle class relies on. Already, the President has worked with Congress to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion, but there’s more to do. ThePresident has put forward a balanced plan to not only avoid the harmful effects of the sequester but also to reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion in total. The President’s plan meets Republicans more than halfway and includes twice as many spending cuts as it does tax revenue from the wealthy…..
Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes so that we can protect investments that are helping grow our economy and keep our country safe. By not asking the wealthy to pay a little more, Republicans are forcing our children, seniors, troops, military families and the entire middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction. The President is determined to cut spending and reduce the deficit in a balanced way, but he won’t stick the middle class with the bill. The President is willing to compromise, but on behalf the middle class he cannot accept a deal that undercuts their economic security. Our economy is continuing to strengthen but we cannot afford a self-inflicted wound fromnWashington. Republicans should compromise and meet the President in the middle. We cannot simply cut our way to prosperity, and if Republicans continue to insist on an unreasonable, cuts-only approach, Tennessee risks paying the price. TENNESSEE IMPACTS
If sequestration were to take effect, some examples of the impacts on Tennessee this year alone are:
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A study says Tennessee’s athletic department has an annual economic impact of approximately $151 million to the state of Tennessee.
The study by the university’s center for business and economic research measured the athletic department’s economic impact for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The study estimated that over 2,900 jobs are created annually as a result of combined annual spending by the athletic department and fans attending Tennessee football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball games.
The report also indicated that the Tennessee athletic department raises over $28 million in state and local revenues each year. That figure includes slightly over $20 million in state and local sales taxes, $1.55 million in amusement taxes on ticket sales at Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena plus $6.3 million in other tax revenues.
Tennessee state government would face a substantial revenue reduction if the federal government goes off the “fiscal cliff,” according to an Andy Sher report. According to Pew, about 18 percent of federal grant dollars flowing to states would be subject to across-the-board cuts. That’s the case in Tennessee.
Using calculations from the Federal Funds Information for States, Pew said federal spending on education, nutrition for low-income women and children, public housing and other programs like special education would be impacted.
Tennessee Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes said the state’s own calculations show a loss of $85 million in calendar year 2013 in federal grant money. Among the hits is about $20 million for Title I, which helps low-income students. Another $20 million would come out of special education.
“Of course it would be easier for us if it did not occur,” Emkes said.
But he noted that the state required agencies last year to sketch out “hypothetical” cuts of 15 to 30 percent, depending on what actions the federal government takes to slash spending.
“We would of course prefer not to lose federal money,” Emkes said. “But we are mentally prepared if it goes away. …. We’ve proven we have what it takes to balance the budget.”
He said Tennessee is still trying to get further clarification on the impacts of cuts and tax increases.
In addition to state government, Tennessee would be hit by anticipated cuts to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other areas. Pew estimates federal spending on procurement, salaries and wages accounted for 4.9 percent of Tennessee’s gross domestic product in 2010.
The staff assigned to assess the impact of legislation on state budgeting has made some miscalculations in the past, according to recent review of bills dealing with such things as martial arts, liquor licenses and traffic offenses.
Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and some other are now proposing that the Fiscal Review Committee begin assessing the impact of bills on business bottom lines, a move that Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle sees as unnecessary and politically motivated.
The Fiscal Review Committee once estimated the cost of such business impact assessments at more than $500,000 for the first year.
The committee this summer followed up on a sample of bills enacted in the past to see what the actual cost of the legislation was in hindsight, as compared to the estimated cost at the time the bills were being considered by the General Assembly.
Regardless of how the debt-ceiling fight is resolved, there’s a consensus that the upshot of this year’s budget wars is less spending by Uncle Sam, according to an Andy Sher article. That’s likely to have a major impact on states such as Tennessee, where federal spending is often derided even as state government, U.S. installations and residents themselves profit from it.
“I really do think that regardless of how this gets resolved, the federal government is going to be sending out less money,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said last week. “And as a state where about 40 percent of our revenue roughly comes from the federal government, we’ll feel it.”
Though Haslam expects what he calls a “big impact” on Tennessee, he still supports curbing federal spending. “The reality is that as a country we’re spending more than we’re bringing in. And that can’t keep going,” he said.
And the following is from a Tennessean piece with a similar theme: Funding cuts due to default or to a deficit-reduction deal could disproportionately hurt Tennessee, where a greater-than-average percentage of residents rely on government aid.
The state received $68.5 billion in federal money in 2009, which averages to $10,887 per resident, compared to the U.S. average of $10,396, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau.
Almost 20 percent of Tennesseans receive Social Security payments, compared to 17.5 percent nationally. The state’s 1,251,947 recipients get benefits totaling $1.3 billion a month, according to December data, the latest available.
Seventeen percent of Tennesseans are on Medicare, compared to 15 percent nationally. Twenty-three percent are on Medicaid, compared to 19 percent nationally.
Tennessee receives more of its Medicaid money from the federal government than other states, which led Moody’s to place the state’s triple-A credit rating on review for a possible downgrade.