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VOL. 125 | NO. 119 | Monday, June 21, 2010



Bredesen Talks Budget, Med Future

By Bill Dries

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Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen was recently in the city to swear in new Circuit Court Judge Rhynette Northcross Hurd. It could be the last ceremony of its kind for Bredesen who leaves office in about six months. We talked with Bredesen about judicial appointments, the recently ended session of the Tennessee Legislature and The Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

Bredesen: When I started, I probably put the highest priority on legal knowledge and the ability to rule accurately and understand the law. I think as time went on I understand just how powerful these positions are. More and more I’ve started placing a high premium on what I call judicial temperament – people I thought would exercise that power intelligently.

TMN: What are your impressions of the just completed session of the Tennessee Legislature?

Bredesen: It took too long this year. It was a month longer than it should have been. When they finally settled down, they passed a reasonable budget. They don’t leave the new governor in quite as strong a position as I was trying to. We’ve got an honest budget. I don’t agree with every detail that’s in it. ... We still have really good reserves to take us through any tough times that will come up in the future. The next governor is going to have some problems, some cuts to make.

TMN: In terms of The Regional Medical Center, have our local leaders met the standards that you set out for the future of the institution, notably a long-term plan for the financial stability of the institution?

Bredesen: Not yet. But I think the passage of the hospital tax – the hospital fee bill – that was essential to The Med’s survival. It could not have survived without that. That piece is behind us. We’re going to continue to support The Med as we have. And I’ve grown support for it a lot over the last eight years. But in the long run, The Med is in a difficult position. It’s a government hospital, a county hospital. It’s organized slightly differently now. But it’s really a county hospital in a world that’s not being really kind to those kinds of hospitals. There are a lot of them around the country. It’s got some very formidable competitors in town here in Methodist and Baptist. I really believe it’s got to think through its future pretty carefully because there’s going to be tough years ahead. There’s not always going to be as much money as they need to close their budget gap without making some real changes in the strategy.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 90 9,968
MORTGAGES 0 90 12,965
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 35 2,573
BUILDING PERMITS 0 154 23,678
BANKRUPTCIES 0 70 9,603
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 9 3,612
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 161 14,124
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 24 3,087

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