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House Lawmakers to Discuss Transportation Funding

Tennessee Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely is scheduled to talk agency budget issues with a legislative committee study group this afternoon.

About $899 million of the roughly 1.8 billion proposed transportation department budget derives from state funds, $844 million from the federal government, and $37.8 million comes from other sources, Nicely said during Gov. Phil Bredesen’s budget hearings last month.

Tennessee state transportation funding is gleaned primarily from motor vehicle registration fees, the 21.4 cent gas-tax and the 18.4 cent tax on diesel.

“Our overall budget is showing a decrease of just over $7 million from the 09-10 budget,” Nicely said.

Nicely said the department is planning to reduce administrative costs by eliminating 200 vacant positions. He said 80 other positions were eliminated through employee buyouts.