The Tennessee General Assembly ended its regular session Saturday after passing a $30.8 billion budget for fiscal 2012.
Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican elected last fall, had recommended a $32 billion spending plan.
The current budget as originally approved was $29.9 billion, but the results of a budget amendment during the recent session were not immediately available.
The spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 includes authorizations for up to $529.4 million of general obligation bonds for several major economic development initiatives as well as transportation and other state projects.
The upcoming budget includes a 1.6% pay hike for state employees and teachers — their first increase in four years — along with $71 million for relief measures related to recent storms and flooding.
It also includes $5 million for the first year of operating expenses that may be incurred by the University of Memphis if it takes over the Methodist-affiliated Lambuth University in Jackson.
According to published reports, the city of Jackson, Madison County, the Jackson Energy Authority, and West Tennessee Healthcare are negotiating to pay some of Lambuth’s debt. About half of the university’s $10.5 million of bills are outstanding bonds.
While terms of the takeover by the University of Memphis are not yet available, UM officials reportedly have said they will not be responsible for Lambuth’s debts.
On Lambuth’s website, president Bill Seymour has said that the campus needs to be sold in order to pay off its debts.