Bredesen putting finishing touches on budget proposal

NASHVILLE, TN (WMC-TV) - Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen said he is prepared to make some tough budget choices.

This weekend he put the final touches on his budget proposal.

Hundreds of millions of dollars need to be cut from this year's spending plan.  Many departments will see 9 percent cuts.  Others, such as the state prison system and state troopers, will see less of a reduction.

Bredesen said that even his own programs will see budget cuts.

"I am definitely cutting things that I support," Bredesen said.  "I am cutting things that I put in place as my initiatives."

Bredesen also said that Tennessee has a healthy savings account, with roughly $550 million in a rainy day fun.  Bredesen said he plans to use about $120 million of that fund to soften the blow.

Bredesen does not expect any large new initiatives, and he's working to limit state employee layoffs.

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