News release from Department of Finance and Administration:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee revenue collections continued to exceed budgeted expectations in March. Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes reported today that overall March revenues were $936.1 million, which is $33.1 million more than the state budgeted. Total tax collections in March were 2.2% above the previous year.
“March collections continued to reflect strong corporate profits from last year, but also reflect very modest retail activity for the month of February, when spending occurred,” Emkes said. “We believe the slowdown in retail spending reflects the two percent increase in the federal payroll tax in January and temporary erosion in consumer confidence, most likely brought about by the federal budget sequestration process.
“While year-to-date corporate tax collections remain very encouraging, we must remember that about a fourth of them typically – but not always – occur in the month of April. Due to the volatility of our corporate tax collections, we will be extremely diligent in monitoring our spending patterns for the remainder of this year, maintaining a balanced budget and financially posturing ourselves for the future.”
On an accrual basis, March is the eighth month in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
The general fund was over collected by $35.4 million and the four other funds were under collected by $2.3 million.
Here is a list of bills signed by Gov. Bill Haslam for the week ending March 22:
This bill redefines the functions and duties of the office of local government in the office of the comptroller of the treasury.
(Passed House 96-0; Passed Senate 31-0)
This bill designates the third week of June each year as “Lymphedema Awareness Week”.
(Passed House 93-0; Passed Senate 31-0)
This bill requires the return or destruction of any protected health information obtained by defendant during an interview with the relevant patient’s treating healthcare providers in a healthcare liability action.
(Passed House 94-0; Passed Senate 30-0)
This bill extends the board of funeral directors and embalmers to June 30, 2018.
(Passed House 95-0; Passed Senate 31-0)
The latest list of bills signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam, as provided by his office on March 15, 2012:
This bill expands the current confidential records statute and deems as confidential all information and records received or generated by the comptroller containing allegations of unlawful conduct, fraud, waste or abuse.
(Passed House 90-1; Passed Senate 30-0)
This bill allows the holder of a valid handgun carry permit to store a firearm or firearm ammunition in the permit holder’s privately owned motor vehicle subject to certain restrictions.
(Passed House 77-22; Passed Senate 28-5)
This bill requires that teachers who teach in multiple subject areas in which end of course examinations are required for a student to satisfy graduation requirements to pass the content specific licensure exam test for each content area in which they are teaching by January 1, 2014.
(Passed House 92-0; Passed Senate 29-1)
This bill extends the Investment Advisory Council to June 30, 2018.
(Passed House 92-0; Passed Senate 31-0)
This bill extends the Tennessee interagency cash flow committee to June 30, 2017.
(Passed House 90-0; Passed Senate 30-0)
This bill, pursuant to the request of the Gibson County Special School District, permits the district to issue and sell bonds or notes, participate in federal or state matching grants or loans, or enter into loan agreements with the state in an amount of $3 million or less.
(Passed House 95-0; Passed Senate 32-0)
This bill extends the Tennessee auctioneer commission to June 30, 2018.
(Passed House 93-0; Passed Senate 32-0)
When Pigeon Forge votes yet again on liquor by the drink, the News Sentinel reports that opponents plan a very different campaign, while supporters plan to concentrate on getting the vote out.
And the anti-liquor group Concerned Churches and Citizens of Pigeon Forge says it wants to find an independent agency to monitor the election.
The Sevier County Election Commission voted on Thursday to set March 14 for the new referendum.
Liquor by the drink was approved on Nov. 6, but that referendum was voided by Chancellor Telford Forgety after a lawsuit brought by CCCPF. Liquor was defeated in referendums in 2009 and 2011. On Nov. 6, it passed by 100 votes, but nearly 300 votes were cast by people who were ineligible to vote in the referendum because they were not residents of or owners of property in Pigeon Forge. The election commission ultimately admitted that the results vote were “incurably uncertain.”
“We are going to rephrase our message,” said CCCPF Chairman Jess Davis. Besides campaigning against liquor by the drink, he said, “we are going point out that it was our city officials that got us into this mess.”
Davis was referring to a request in March by the Pigeon Forge City Commission to the state Legislature to override the normal two-year vote between referendums on the same issue, and add the liquor question to the Nov. 6 election. The bill was handled by lawmakers from outside Sevier County and approved.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The March unemployment rate in Tennessee has dropped .01 percent to 7.9 percent, the eighth straight month of decline.
Karla Davis, commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development, said Thursday it’s the lowest rate since November 2008.
The national figure for March was 8.2 percent, down 0.1 percent from February.
Davis said the state lost jobs in March, but the number of unemployed declined at a faster rate.
News release from Department of Finance and Administration:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee revenue collections continued to exceed budgeted expectations in March. Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes said today that overall March revenues were $916.1 million, which is $78.6 million more than the state budgeted.
“March sales tax collections, representing February spending, recorded the 24th consecutive month of positive growth,” Emkes said. “We believe this to be a clear indication of continued consumer optimism, and represents an upswing in the state’s economy.
“Year-to-date corporate tax collections are very encouraging. However, this item needs to be carefully followed because about one-fourth of all collections typically occur in the month of April and these numbers have been extremely volatile in the recent past.
“In addition, we need to monitor a number of national and global issues, including resolution of the federal budget and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, escalating gas prices and potential for rising inflation as well as the European financial crises and turbulence in the Middle East. We’ll need to be extremely diligent for the remainder of this year in order to keep the budget in balance and financially posture ourselves for the future.”
On an accrual basis, March is the eighth month in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
The general fund was over collected by $79.2 million and the four other funds were under collected by $600,000.
Sales tax collections were $34.6 million more than the estimate for March. The March growth rate was positive 7.58%. For eight months revenues are over collected by $140.5 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eight months was positive 7.06%.
Franchise and excise taxes combined were $50.2 million above the budgeted estimate of $141.8 million. For eight months revenues are over collected by $198.6 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eight months was positive 26.65%.
Gasoline and motor fuel collections for March increased by 5.30% but were $157,000 below the budgeted estimate. For eight months revenues are under collected by $3.7 million.
Tobacco taxes collections were $1.0 million under the budgeted estimate of $25.1 million. For eight months revenues are under collected in the amount of $12.0 million.
Inheritance and estate taxes were under collected by $4.2 million for the month. Year to date collections for eight months are $284,000 less than the budgeted estimate.
Privilege tax collections were $1.4 million more than the March estimate, but on a year to date basis, August through March, collections are $470,000 below the estimate.
All other taxes were under collected by a net of $2.2 million.
Year-to-date collections for eight months were $330.1 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was over collected by $316.9 million and the four other funds were over collected by $13.2 million. The FY 2012 budget assumed an overcollection of $209.6 million in General Fund taxes. Therefore, the amount overcollected above and beyond what’s already in the budget is $107.3 million ($316.9 million minus $209.6 million).
The budgeted revenue estimates for 2011-2012 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of April 15, 2011 and adopted by the first session of the 107th General Assembly in May. They are available on the state’s website at http://www.tn.gov/finance/bud/budget.shtml.
The State Funding Board met on December 9th and 14th to hear updated revenue projections from the state’s various economists. The board met again on December 19th and adopted revised revenue ranges for 2011-2012. The revised ranges assume an over collection of $187.8 million to $220.5 million in total taxes and $177.0 million to $209.6 million in general fund taxes from the fiscal year 2011-2012 budgeted estimate.
Here is the latest bacth of bills signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam, as provided by the governors office on March 30:
House Bill No. 2830 (Ryan Williams)
This bill permits private probation providers who meet certain qualifications to contract with the department of correction to supervise Class E felony offenders who are granted probation.
(Passed House 78-13; Passed Senate 27-3)
House Bill No. 3053 (McDaniel)
This bill designates as confidential and not subject to open records laws any records obtained by or disclosed to a municipality or county by a cable or video service provider for the purpose of an audit or review.
(Passed House 93-0; Passed Senate 33-0)
Here is a list of bills recently signed by Gov. Bill Haslam, released late Friday by the governor’s office:
Senate Bill No. 2175 (Johnson)
This is the Comptroller’s TIF bill, which is referred to as the “Uniformity in Tax Increment Financing Act of 2012.”
(Amended Bill Passed Senate 31-0; House Passed Amended Bill 95-0; Senate concurred in House Amendment 31-0)
Senate Bill No. 2192 (Southerland)
This bill makes the appropriate changes to the code to reflect the renaming of the Senate Environment, Conservation and Tourism committee as the “Senate Energy and Environment committee.”
(Passed Senate 22-9, present not voting-2; House Concurred in Senate Bill 92-0, present not voting-2)
Senate Bill No. 2205 (Norris, Yager, Faulk)
This is an administration bill. It grants certain employees of the Department of Corrections law enforcement authority, including the authority to carry firearms, where previous law did not.
(Passed Senate as Amended 31-0; Passed House as Amended 95-0; Senate concurred in House Amendment 32-0)
Senate Bill No. 2242 (Norris, Bell)
This is an administration bill. If revises current code regarding highway- utility relocation plans, which under current law required that when the department of transportation is informed of an existing utility facility, the department had to provide the owner of the facility with at least two (2) sets of complete project plans by certified mail or hand delivery.
(Passed House 91-0; Passed Senate 33-0)
Here’s a list of bills, provided by the governor’s office, that were signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam Tuesday and Wednesday.
Senate Bill No. 1680
This bill is the Carmen Burnette Act of 2012. The intent of the bill is to clarify an existing provision of the code regarding the teaching of CPR in lifetime wellness class in Tennessee junior and high schools. This bill does not require that students become certified in CPR, but it states that they should simply become familiar with the techniques of CPR.
(Passed Senate 31-0; Passed House as amended; Senate concurred in House amendment 30-0)