The budget proposal presented by Governor Bill Haslam to lawmakers Monday night includes $90,000 to $120,000 to aid Rutherford County's Veterans Court and $1.5 million for the Joey A. Jacobs Chair of Accounting at MTSU said Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro).
Ketron said the funds for MTSU will contribute significantly to the teaching, research and scholarly activity of the Department of Accounting, the Jennings A. Jones College of Business and the University. The Chair is being funded by a $1 million Chair of Excellence appropriation along with a $2.5 million institutional match.
"This is excellent news as the new Chair will provide a national and international presence for MTSU in the field of accounting," said Sen. Ketron. "It will elevate the field of accounting at MTSU and support the university's degree program."
The funds for the Rutherford County Veterans Court will be used to add sufficient staff to help the court more than double the number of veterans served. The Veterans Courts are operated through the Tennessee Judicial System as a trial court with special emphasis on access to therapy and support services in a necessary partnership with mental health. Services provided include but are not limited to group therapy, job coaching, mentoring by fellow veterans, and specialized treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the substance abuse frequently used by sufferers to self-medicate. Drug Courts around the state have also designated efforts and assistance to the military men and women seeking services to aid in their return to civilian society
"These courts have been highly successful," said Senator Ketron. "We need to do everything we can do give our veterans the help the need when suffering from PTSD or substance abuse."
The budget proposal was heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. It is generally one of the last bills to receive final approval before the General Assembly adjourns.