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May 25, 2024

Tennessee close to finalizing $3.1B in federal relief spending

The Tennessee Financial Stimulus Accountability Group will take the next step toward spending $3.1 billion in federal stimulus money at its meeting Tuesday.

The group will review everything from $68 million in agricultural labs to $285 million in state testing labs.

The spending is part of what the group is calling the Tennessee Resiliency Plan, which is aimed at using federal American Rescue Plant Act funds. The group focused on spending money on projects that require one-time funding and otherwise would have been up to the state to finance, thus saving Tennessee taxpayers from future expenses.

The FSAG board heard the latest full proposals – with amendments – on the plan its full November meeting and held individual meetings with four departments in early December to discuss in more detail items such as the agricultural and testing labs, a cybersecurity proposal and sewer and water proposals.

The group is expected to outline and finalize the agreements Tuesday on spending for the ARPA funds. The money must be allocated by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026, or the money will need to be returned.

The plan can be approved by the FSAG and does not need to go in front of the Tennessee Legislature, according to the Department of Finance and Administration.

“Because the federal coronavirus recovery funds represent a spending increase outside of the regular budget process, we are required to review for approval the expenditures for the federal funds – which was done over the summer,” Finance and Administration Communications Director Lola Potter said. “In addition, members of the Legislature are part of the financial stimulus group, as they are our partners in making certain these funds are used in a way that reflects Tennessee’s best interests.”

The FSAG includes: Gov. Bill Lee; Lt. Gov. Randy McNally; House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville; Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson; Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis; Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin; Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain;) Rep. Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville; Rep. Harold Love, D-Memphis; Comptroller Jason Mumpower and Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley.

This article was originally posted on Tennessee close to finalizing $3.1B in federal relief spending

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