Sen. Yager Applauds Gov Lee’s State of State / Budget Address

Tennessee State Capitol - Nashville, TN (photo contributed)

NASHVILLE – Senator Ken Yager made the following statement following Governor Bill Lee’s State of the State / Budget Address:

“I applaud Governor Lee for presenting a balanced budget which addresses critical needs in this state and restores many of the cuts which were made in last year’s budget due to COVID-19.  This includes a strong commitment to public education, at both the K-12 and higher education levels.”

“I am particularly pleased to see the first installment of funding for the Oak Ridge Institute, a joint venture between the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  It will enhance the university’s status as a world premier research institute and provide at least 500 jobs for East Tennesseans.  This institute, which will address top-tier industry and workforce needs, will be a tremendous asset to our region and state.”

“I am also delighted that this budget provides $200 million for broadband, a huge increase over last year’s $15 million appropriation.  Broadband connectivity is a critical investment in this state, particularly for our rural communities.  This investment will greatly enhance education and job growth by providing students with the ability to perform their assignments online and businesses with the essential access needed for 21st century jobs.  In turn, this will strengthen our ability to recruit high quality jobs and advanced industries to our state.”

“In addition, I was very glad to see sizeable investments to help our local governments, including $200 million in funds for long-term infrastructure projects like IT hardware upgrades, capitol maintenance, utility system upgrades, and road projects.  They will also benefit from $16.49 million in funds which will be available to assist our local jails with programs which I have advocated to help inmates prepare for life outside of prison.  These evidenced-based programs are essential to break the revolving door of crime and imprisonment by helping inmates obtain employment and become good and productive citizens.”

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