Lee looks to tap TANF funds to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus

Gov. Bill Lee speaks at a press conference on Tennessee’s coronavirus response in Nashville on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee wants to tap the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds and other reserves to pay for coronavirus relief programs. The Republican governor also announced Tuesday he will double the $100 million grant program for local governments he had outlined earlier in the year.

“We certainly never wanted this day to come and we didn’t know it would come this severely, but we’re prepared in this state in ways many other states are not,” Lee said.

The state’s reserves in TANF funds had grown to more than $700 million by the start of this year.

Average TANF benefits currently stand at $243 per family, according to The TennesseanThe state’s could start issuing up to $1,000 for a qualifying family of five.



8 Responses to Lee looks to tap TANF funds to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus

  • And just like that… we look like visionaries for not spending all that money on its intended purpose.
    Good move by the gov

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    James White says:
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    Karen Bracken says:

    He did nothing to build that surplus. Since he has been Governor he has been spending like a drunken sailor. He deserves no credit for the surplus that money was there before he became Governor.

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    MARLE says:

    All this money spent on testing for something that has no cure.

    So you get a Coronavirus test and that tells you what? It tells you don’t have the virus on That Particular Day. What about 4 days from now when you come back from the store. How about 2 weeks from now?

    How do the results of one test on ONE DAY tell you anything about your ability to spread this virus from that day forward.

    And I thought the marvelous Dr Fauci told everyone in the beginning that you could be spreading the virus for 14 days before symptoms appeared. Yet he stood on a podium, shoulder to shoulder with Trump having no idea if Trump had the virus b/c he hadn’t been tested.

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      James White says:

      I expect they are not going to test you unless you have symptoms.

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        MARLE says:

        That’s right, probably not. But the Trump designated 24/7 doctor said I could be contagious 14 days before that. And testing me with symptoms that prove NOT to be the virus simply means I could get the virus any day after my test.

        We should have asked (or insisted) that those who are vulnerable self-quarantine since the vast majority of them are retired and not integral to the market in the way the employed are. The impact would have been greatly reduced.

        670 Thousand were hospitalized, not including those who simply went to the ER, in 2018 due to the flu. 35 Million infected then. And we impacted the Economy how? ZERO

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