According to the Tennessean a deteriorating economy is forcing the state to once again consider laying off state employees or cutting work hours, despite billions in aid from the federal government.
State revenue dropped for the ninth straight month in April, falling even more than expected. As a result, state officials said Thursday that they now have to reconsider assurances made by Gov. Phil Bredesen that the $4.5 billion fiscal stimulus plan had saved the state from painful cuts.
"Certainly layoffs or furloughs or something like that would have to be on the table at this point," Bredesen said Thursday. "The stimulus money with the original budget allowed us to take layoffs off the table — in the short term anyway — and they probably are going to have to be back on the table."
The change in course comes as lawmakers take up debate on next year's $29 billion state budget, which Bredesen presented in late March.
At that time, Bredesen said that most reductions in the state work force could come through attrition. But state Republicans have pushed for deeper cuts in the budget.
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