Virus Outbreak Tennessee

Judy Goldie, owner of Trendy Pieces clothing store, dresses a mannequin in the front window as her store reopens Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

(The Center Square) - Tennesseeans have received more than $25 billion in total federal coronavirus relief funds, according to new analysis from The Sycamore Institute.

The state of Tennessee received about $8 billion for disbursement, according to the analysis, with the remainder allocated directly to individuals and businesses through federal programs and stimulus payments.

About 71 percent of federal pandemic relief funds were distributed by federal agencies directly to Tennesseans in the form of individual stimulus checks, federal unemployment insurance, and forgivable business loans, such as the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the analysis. Much of these funds are already distributed or will soon expire.

Tennessee businesses received $8.9 billion in federal Paycheck Protection Program loans as of July 10. Additionally, 3.5 million Tennessee households received individual stimulus payments totaling $5.9 billion. As of the end of June, $3.2 billion in federal funds have come to Tennessee through federal unemployment payments supporting a $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit. The $600 federal unemployment benefit will expire on July 31.

The state’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group, appointed by Gov. Bill Lee in April, has overseen the distribution of the federal funds provided to the state for coronavirus relief.

According to documentation from the Department of Finance and Administration, about $6.3 billion already have been disbursed, with the lion’s share going to Tennessee’s state coronavirus relief fund, and state unemployment insurance. Enhanced TennCare, K-12 and higher education, and COVID-19 testing programs have also received allocations of $150 million or more.

The Tennessee Financial Stimulus Accountability Group includes Gov. Bill Lee, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, State Comptroller Justin P. Wilson, Finance and Adminsitration Commissioner Butch Eley, Stuart McWhorter, director of the state’s COVID-19 Unified Command group, and members of both parties in the Tennessee legislature.

This week, Congress is debating a new round of coronavirus relief funding.

Staff Reporter

Vivian Jones reports on Tennessee and South Carolina for The Center Square. Her writing has appeared in the Detroit News, The Hill, and publications of The Heartland Institute.