Gov. Lee Applauds Financial Stimulus Accountability Group Actions

Highlights three years of fiscal responsibility, key investments to support Tennessee’s economy
Thursday, July 27, 2023 | 08:11am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the conclusion of the bipartisan Financial Stimulus Accountability Group (FSAG), highlighting the group’s work to support Tennessee’s economy and ensure the responsible stewardship of federal relief funds since April 2020, and launched the FSAG Tennessee Resiliency Plan data dashboard.

“Tennessee’s legacy of fiscal responsibility has ensured that our state’s economy can thrive, even amid significant challenges,” said Gov. Lee. “I thank the General Assembly and all members of the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group for their efforts over the past three years to manage federal dollars wisely, prioritize transparency for Tennessee taxpayers and make strategic investments to strengthen businesses and families across the state.”

For three years, the group of executive and legislative branch leaders met publicly and reported regularly to bring transparency to the process.

The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group strategically dedicated funding to support Tennessee’s economy, business recovery and workforce through the Tennessee Resiliency Plan, which allocated American Rescue Plan funds ahead of the December 2024 deadline, and the CARES Act. The group will monitor the impact of allocated funds as needed.

Notable Tennessee Resiliency Plan investments include:

·         More than $1.3 billion for water and sewer infrastructure projects across the state

·         $500 million to support broadband infrastructure, providing connectivity to Tennesseans across 150,000 households and businesses

·         $500 million invested in local public health and medical system supports, including the Healthcare Resiliency Program

·         More than $150 million to support the agriculture and forestry supply chain and related research

·         $102 million for K-12 summer learning camps to address learning loss marked by time spent outside of the classroom

Notable CARES Act investments include:

·         Proactively investing in the state’s unemployment trust fund, successfully protecting jobs and preventing an estimated $837 million in tax hikes

·         More than $325 million in small business grants, including the Small Business Relief Program and the Supplemental Employer Relief Grant (SERG) program, which included grants for small, minority-owned and veteran-owned businesses

·         The development and launch of the Virtual American Jobs Center, through the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, to connect Tennesseans to free career counseling and employment assistance

·         $55 million in agriculture and forestry business grants to ensure the stability of the food supply chain and agribusiness economy

For a complete list of investments, visit the Tennessee Resiliency Plan dashboard and the CARES Act dashboard.

Legislative members of the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group voiced strong support for the group’s actions to benefit Tennessee families and businesses over the past three years:

"I am grateful for the excellent work of the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group. Every member took great care to make sure each dollar was spent wisely and appropriately,” said Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge). “Through outstanding fiscal stewardship, the group protected our businesses, bolstered our non-profit sector and kept our economy moving. The investments made with these dollars will pay great dividends in the future. My sincere thanks goes to Governor Lee and each and every member of the group."

“Tennessee is known for fiscal responsibility,” said Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). “Through strategic investments in agriculture, education, health care, infrastructure, small businesses, and other areas, we were able to address the immediate, emerging, and long-term needs of Tennesseans. I appreciate Gov. Lee, Lt. Gov. McNally, Chairlady Hazlewood, Chairman Watson, and our members for their dedicated partnership; together, we have strengthened Tennessee’s future, ensuring we will always lead.”

“Over the last three years, the FSAG has made important, fiscally conservative investments to alleviate the strain on small businesses, improve state and local infrastructure and reduce the stress on the healthcare system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chairman Bo Watson (R-Hixson). “We worked hard to prioritize transparency and accountability with every investment, while strengthening Tennessee’s economy and expanding citizens’ access to quality health care. I’m particularly proud of our investment in the state’s unemployment trust fund, which ensured Tennessee small business were not burdened by unemployment rate increases, unlike in many other states. The work done in this group will certainly have positive impacts for many years to come and I was honored to be a part of it.”

“The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group has focused on providing critical resources to all Tennesseans both responsibly and effectively, and together, we’ve accomplished this goal while addressing the unique challenges our state has faced,” said Chairlady Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain). “Our targeted approaches have ensured hospitals and health facilities can continue serving their communities. The educational resources we’ve provided parents, teachers, and schools will set our children up for future success, and we have continued to effectively address the infrastructure demands of our growing state. The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group has played a critical role in ensuring that these dollars were used to not only deal with a crisis but also to position Tennessee to meet the future needs of its citizens by investing in projects with long-term benefits. Our work maintains Tennessee’s status as a leader in fiscal responsibility, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served.”