A Tennessee Senate panel has approved a bill intended to help protect road funds.
The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee voted 7-2 to advance a bill to the full Senate that would make it more difficult for the state to route fuel tax money to other budgets.
Critics said it would restrict the governor’s ability to cope with budget crunches in the state.
Sen. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, said that is the intent of her legislation. Gov. Phil Bredesen diverted about $280 million from the road fund during his first term to support other programs.
The measure – SB3345 – would require the Legislature to specifically approve any money diverted from the state’s road fund. No longer would the governor simply be able to write any such changes into the state spending plan.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Tennessee in 2008, click here.
– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor