TennCare may have to cut enrollee benefits, prisoners released
by Lewis Loflin
Tennessee is suffering $1.5 billion budget shortfall. Typical is the problem with TennCare as officials plan to make a 9 percent reduction in spending due to their endless budget problems. To quote, "While most agencies have been asked to present plans to cut 6 percent from their spending plans for the budget year that begins July 1, the Bredesen administration has asked them to prepare an additional 3 percent cut in case economic conditions persist."
And to further quote the AP, "Officials for TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program, said the extra cuts would require changes to benefits, such as a $10,000 annual cap on inpatient care for non-pregnant adults. TennCare director Darin Gordon said that would affect about 5,100 enrollees and save roughly $51 million. TennCare has about 1.2 million enrollees." Associated Press November 19, 2009. Note that Tennessee has no income tax, but a 10% sales tax which has fallen recently.
The Tennessee Department of Corrections told Gov. Bredesen in order to cut $53 million from his budget they would have to set 3,300 inmates free earlier than expected. This sent "shockwaves" through the state. The prison population was expected to increase by 5000.
For local sheriffs that make housing prisoners a profitable business, they could be in trouble. Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes says, "I realize cost and things are important, but it's a great concern to us because of public safety. If those folks, even a small portion of them, go back into the crime field so to speak and habitually start committing crimes, your property damage, your insurance costs, your thefts, your losses are going to skyrocket."
And Washington County Tennessee Sheriff Ed Graybeal says, "If you were a victim, the last thing you want to see is someone who gets sentenced to three or four years to get out because of a financial situation. If the person gets out of jail and doesn't serve that time and doesn't realize what they did was wrong, they're probably going to be a repeat offender. That's what worries me more than anything. After we go to all the trouble to convict these people and to incarcerate these people, I think there needs to be a better plan."
Note that a lot of Tennessee crime often spills over into the bordering counties in Virginia. There's a combined 157 state prisoners in the Carter, Washington, and Unicoi County jails on various charges that could qualify for release. Ref. BHC 11-17-09
In fairness the crime rate in the Bristol region while growing in recent years (due mainly to drugs), is still far below the national average even with high poverty levels.
Cuts could close several Tenn. youth group homes. Tennessee Children's Services Commissioner Viola Miller says proposed additional cuts by Gov. Phil Bredesen would be "very painful." The governor heard from the agency's officials during budget hearings on Friday. In case economic conditions persist, Bredesen has asked state agencies to prepare an additional 3 percent cut from their spending plans in addition to the 6 percent he's already requested. Miller says the cuts would mean closing several group homes and downsizing youth development centers. She says about $76 million would be cut from the agency's budget. Associated Press November 23, 2009
Hiding Criminals in Tennessee
Dec. 20, 2009 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Officials say increased unemployment is
causing more Tennesseans to have their criminal records expunged so
they can be more competitive in the job market.
Through November, The Tennessean reports state records show nearly 26,700 people had criminal records wiped away by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. In March alone, the state processed 3,156 expunctions - the legal process by which records are taken out of the public realm.
This year's number is already well above annual expunction rates from 2003 to 2007, when state workers typically processed between 20,000 and 23,900 requests each year. In 2008, nearly 35,000 people had arrests taken off their criminal records.
TBI officials would not speculate on why requests are up, but officials say the increase coincides with unemployment accompanying the economic downturn.
Tenn. gets $12M stimulus grant for health records, won't create a single job
This is why the so-called stimulus funds have produced few if any private sector jobs. Most of the funding in Virginia and Tennessee have been used to prop up government jobs.
Gov. Phil Bredesen has announced Tennessee will receive nearly $12 million in federal stimulus money to help health care providers use and exchange more electronic health information.
The grants are part of a $1 billion in grants issued by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to make health information technologies available to hospitals and physicians. (in other words the typical unemployed person won't see a dime of this.)
About $7.3 million of the Tennessee share will be used by QSource, the state's Medicaid quality improvement organization, to establish a regional extension center in Nashville. The center will help health care professionals. An additional $5 million grant from the Department of Labor will go to Centerstone of Tennessee Inc. for job training in the health care field.
Note that Gov. Phil Bredesen is slashing TennCare payments by 9 percent and will stick hospitals and providers with any bill over $10,000. Ref. Associated Press February 15, 2010. Posted February 26, 2010.
To quote Lenowisco Broadband Study Warned against Call Centers (PDF file):
"The region has been replacing traditional (better paying) manufacturing jobs with (low paying subsidized) call center jobs, which provide limited advancement and work opportunities. Call centers represent the factory floor of the Knowledge Economy; they are an important part of a diversified economic development strategy, but the region must be careful not to rely too heavily on them, as the work is easily moved to other regions and/or other countries."No US Job Creation 1999-2009
- Emory & Henry Launches 9,000 Watt Station Paid for by Tax Dollars
- Boucher: $4 Million for Green Construction Training Program
- Federal Loan Helps Build New, Welfare Town Homes in Wytheville
- Boucher Misuses $2.5 Million for Country Music Museum
- Congressman Boucher, DIRECTV, and Virtual Jobs
- Congressman Boucher Brings Home the Bacon in 2009
- Congressman Boucher's Failed Call Center Legacy
- Congressman Boucher Defeated in 2010
- Bristol Virginia Utilities Update for 2009, 2019
- Bristol Virginia Utilities Goes Independent
- Government War on American Labor Good for Commerce
- Wise Virginia Call Center Won't Hire 500 New Workers
- Tobacco Commission Sykes Fiasco Reveals Government Waste
Cable Ready Socialism
How CGI-AMS and Northrop Grumman Failed Russell County
How Cable Ready Socialism Failed Southwest Virginia
Sprint Jumps State Line Collects Millions
U.S. Solutions Dumps Bristol Virginia for Bristol Tennessee
Travelocity Fails Dickenson County
- Sustainable Woods wood-processing facility in Castlewood not sustainable
- Critical Look at Appalachian Sustainable Development
- Rebuilding of Appalachian Harvest's packing, grading facility nearing completion
- Alpha Building Fiasco Five Years Later
- More on the Dirty Alpha Coal Building Deal
- The Dirty Alpha Coal Building Deal
- Southwest Virginia Miners Lose Jobs We Get Minimum-Wage jobs Instead
- Government Lies on Employment Gains October 2014
- More Chaos in the Job Market for Tri-Cities November 2009
- Food Stamps and Unemployment in Bristol VA-TN
- Economic Developers in Tri-Cities Pleased with Job Losses
- Virginia Tobacco Commission Scandals 2014
- More on Phil Puckett and the Virginia Tobacco Commission Scandal
- Virginia Tobacco Commission Waste and Pork Update for 2009-14
- Local Leaders Complain to Senator Kaine - Ignore Workers
- Predominant Face of American Poor is White
- Proof Limiting Mass Immigration Helps the Working Poor
- Born Again Jobs and a Shrinking Tri-Cities Labor Force
- Prime Choice Foods Files for Bankruptcy in Bristol
- What 70 New Jobs at Columbus McKinnon?
- Another 100 Jobs Lost in Bristol Virginia with College Closure
- Bristol Metals fires 290 Workers
- 240 Phony Jobs and Corporate Welfare for Heritage Glass
- Bristol Raising Property Taxes to Pay for Corporate Welfare
- Caterpillar Plant Closure Costs Pulaski County 240 Jobs
- Arch Coal Fires Another 213 Workers - It's the tip of the Iceberg
- High Cost of the Non-Profits Industry
Quick navigation of my homepage:
- Electronics Hobby Projects What's New?
- Assorted Essays on Religion
- Deism and Reason
- Judaism History
- Christianity and History