Tennessee announces plan to spend some of welfare surplus

Friday, November 15, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 46

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has announced plans to spend part of $732 million in reserves from a federal welfare program for families with children.

The Department of Human Services on Tuesday detailed $290 million in planned spending, saying it will also save a $342 million three-year surplus of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money.

Some spending includes nonprofit and community organization grants; home visitation expansion to every county for early intervention; family resource centers expansion; more drug addiction and mental health support; and relative caregivers support.

Other items will fuel a child support unit, employment programming addressing medical and mental health, after-school programs and transportation assistance.

The reserves have faced scrutiny after a Beacon Center of Tennessee report said Tennessee receives $190.9 million annually through TANF but last year spent $71.1 million.