Bredesen outlines his proposals tonight before Legislature

Governor Bredesen will outline his budget requests to legislators tonight. Among his priorities is plan to more than triple state spending on pre-kindergarten. Since he wants to use state lottery money to fund the initiative, it could be tough sell. The state now spends about ten million dollars on three-thousand preschool students. The governor's proposal would try to reach another nine-thousand, with the aim of reaching "at risk" children. During its first year, the lottery is bringing in more money than is being used for the college scholarship program, with officials predicting a 60-million dollar to 70-million-dollar surplus. Officials of Tennessee's local governments will be listening to the speech, hoping to hear about restoring shared revenue. The Tennessee Municipal League says the state reduced those funds to local governments by more than eight percent to help balance the budget. Lookout Mountain Commission member Ward Petty says the governor and the Legislature have both agreed to restore state shared taxes. Governor Bredesen unveils his budget package in a State of the State speech, beginning at six p-m Central time.

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