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Herbert L. Blevins, Danny F. Cantwell, and Steve P. Recio were unanimously appointed as Judicial Commissioners for Cumberland County. Their terms are for four years and will expire May 18, 2019 according to County Commissioner Allen Foster. Kenny Rosser and Nick Hedgecoth were unanimously appointed as members of the Cumberland County Health and Safety Standards Board with terms that expire on May 15, 2019. Daniel Lynn Husk was unanimously approved to serve as a member to the Cumberland County Board of Equalization for a term that expires on April 30, 2016.
At Monday’s Cumberland County Commission meeting, the Register of Deeds requested $1,000 from a designated reserved fund for improving and maintaining technology in the office. County Commissioner Allen Foster reports that this money will be used to purchase additional office equipment and was unanimously approved. The Highway Fund received miscellaneous refunds in the amount of $5,573. This money, along with a decrease of $6,200 in the cold mix line item resulted in an increase of $11,773 to several line items including equipment and machinery parts, and communication. This resolution was also unanimously approved. The Health Department received State Tobacco Settlement money in the amount of $47,473. A resolution was unanimously passed to increase revenues as well as to increase expenditures in the instructional supplies and materials line of the Health Department budget.
Several typical, routine, end of year budget amendments were the first focus of Monday night’s Cumberland County Commission meeting. Fourth District Commissioner Allen Foster reports that this type of budget cleanup is a normal process this time of year. Although the Budget Committee unanimously passed each of these routine adjustments after questioning the BOE Chief Financial Officer, passage would prove more difficult in the full Commission meeting. The first resolution was for the Board of Education in the amount of $15,100 to reduce substitute teacher spending and increase homebound teaching expenditures, more accurately reflecting school system need. The vote was unanimous. Next, a school resolution for $19,550 to transfer funds from an over budgeted line item to cover taxes and insurance expenses was approved in a 11-7 vote, with Commissioners Scarbrough, Hyder, Isham, Wilson, Farley, Rimmer and Geisler voting against. BOE Unemployment compensation expenses were lower than expected, so a resolution was passed to move $21,450 to various items that were under budgeted such as clerical personnel, office supplies, and dues and memberships. This vote was 11-6-1 with Commissioners Scarbrough, Hyder, Isham, Claflin, Rimmer and Geisler voting against and Commissioner Wilson passing. Another BOE cleanup resolution in the amount of $23,592 was passed moving funds from a secretary to a clerical position. Both positions had inadvertently been paid from the same line item and this resolution was intended to clean up the accounting. A similar issue in the amount of $51,700 was also cleaned up. Both of these budget amendments resulted in a 10-8 vote with Commissioners Scarbrough, Hyder, Isham, Wilson, Farley, Claflin, Rimmer and Geisler voting against. These items have been accurately resolved and allocated in the fiscal year 2015 – 2016 budget.
Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill that overhauls how severely disabled children are educated in Tennessee. The Individualized Education Act will turn over roughly $6,600 in education funds to parents to help their children. Traditional vouchers give families whose children attend poor-performing public schools a way to pay for private schools. This law gives parents much more freedom to determine how to spend the money. Under the law, parents will be able to spend the $6,600 on private school tuition or approved therapies
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill into law creating a mandatory waiting period before getting an abortion in Tennessee. Under the new law signed Monday, women would need to wait at least 48 hours before undergoing the procedure. The legislation came after voters in November approved a constitutional amendment giving state lawmakers more power to regulate abortions. The ballot measure overturned a 2000 Supreme Court ruling that had thrown out laws imposing similar restrictions.