Tennessee proposes health, industry help with pandemic aid

Friday, October 8, 2021, Vol. 45, No. 41

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee panel is proposing to use untapped federal COVID-19 stimulus money for new health investments, industry and tourism aid, and reserves for future projects.

The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group released a proposal Wednesday for American Recovery Plan money with $200 million to replace the State Public Health Laboratory and $129 million to improve local health departments. Another $110 million would continue staffing assistance aid at hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities stretched thin by the pandemic.

Tourism, agriculture and arts initiatives would receive $288 million.

Entities in pandemic-affected industries could apply for a share of $275 million.

Additionally, $61 million would fund a new state unemployment benefits system.

Another $300 million would be reserved for yet-to-be-determined health care-related capital projects. And $494 million would remain unallocated for now.

Officials previously announced plans to use $1.35 billion for sewer and water projects statewide and $500 million for broadband improvements and accessibility grants.