Stimulus Financial Accountability Group meets to discuss federal relief funding

Members of the administration’s Stimulus Financial Accountability Group met this week for the first time to discuss how federal Covid-19 funding can be used to address the ongoing pandemic in Tennessee.

The group consists of Finance & Administration Commissioner Butch Eley and is co-chaired by Speaker Sexton. It also includes Gov. Lee, Lt. Gov. McNally, House and Senate members, Stuart McWhorter with Unified Command, and Comptroller Justin Wilson.

Tennessee is expected to receive up to $3.6 billion in total federal funding, including up to $2.4 billion alone through the Federal CAREs Act - limited to Covid-19 expenditures only. This funding amount does not include funds directly allocated to businesses, for payroll protection, or to our state’s hospitals.

Federal funds cannot be used to balance budget shortfalls at the state or local levels; any state budget shortfall must be addressed through the General Assembly’s budget process.

To date, Tennessee has received guidance on 22 of the 53 federal awards that will be distributed through 17 different state agencies in the days and weeks ahead.

Our health providers are also expected to receive a portion of the $100 billion in direct federal relief, of which $30 billion was distributed to facilities across the country last week. Up to $259 million in federal funding is expected to support education in Tennessee and approximately $170 million will go to higher education. The Department of TennCare is expected to administer an estimated $285.3 million in federal Covid funding, while approximately $102.8 million will be allocated through the Department of Human Services, and an additional $19.6 million through our Department of Labor.

Stimulus Financial Accountability Group members anticipate receiving additional federal guidance on funding usage before their next meeting, which is expected to take place in the next couple of weeks.

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