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Haslam drops raises for teachers, state workers

March 31st, 2014 9:56 pm by Chas Sisk, The Tennessean

Haslam drops raises for teachers, state workers

Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to boost pay for teachers will be put on hold for at least a year, the governor announced Monday, as he works to close a $160 million gap in the state budget.

Haslam said Monday that he will put off a proposal to give raises to teachers and other state workers, blaming poor sales and business tax collections. A one-year delay will save the state about $72 million in next year’s budget.

The Republican governor said last fall that he wanted to give Tennessee teachers the biggest raises in the country over the next five years, and his initial $30 billion budget proposal released in February included a 2 percent across-the-board increase. The governor said he had not abandoned that goal.

“My priorities haven’t changed at all,” he said. “If the funds were there, that was our full intent.”

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