State budget adopted for FY 2021-22

(Press release, staff reports) Governor Bill Lee announced Thursday that the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget has passed through the General Assembly, totaling $42.6 billion.

“I’m proud that this budget delivers on some of our top promises to Tennesseans and invests in external organizations meeting the needs of our local communities,” said Gov. Lee, whose office stated that, “as a result of fiscal prudence and over $180 million in spending reductions from the state agencies, Tennessee is able to return to pre-pandemic priorities and invest in public-private partnerships.”

The budget also includes significant investments in what have long been considered some of the state’s most pressing issues, such as $100 million to provide high-speed broadband to every Tennessean, a $250 million investment in the Mental Health Trust Fund, another $79 million to eliminate the 11,400 person waiting list for spots in Tennessee College of Applied Technologies (TCAT) programs, and $145 million for improvements to air and rail transportation infrastructure

The budget also includes “strategic investments in public-private partnerships, non-profit organizations, and external partners to support Tennesseans’ top priorities without growing government,” according to the press release.

Those highlights include:

Pro-Life & Pro-Family

·       $500K to Agape Child & Family Services

·       $250K to Families Free, Inc.

·       $3M to Human Coalition

·       $50K to Isaiah 117 House

·       $183K to Psalm 139 Project

Fighting Human Trafficking & Supporting Victims

·       $3.5M to End Slavery Tennessee

·       $1.2M to Her Song, a Ministry of the Tim Tebow Foundation

·       $600K to Tennessee Anti- Slavery Alliance

Career & Technical Education

·       $1M to Associated Builders and Contractors Greater Tennessee Chapter

·       $150K to Center for Employment Opportunities

·       $40K to Flight Foundation

·       $700K to Niswonger Foundation

·       $478K to Tennessee Builders Education Foundation

K-12 Education

·       $225K to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Clinch Valley – Oak Ridge

·       $200K to Niswonger Foundation

Criminal Justice Reform

·       $600K to Carroll Academy

·       $121K to Lipscomb University, Lipscomb Life Program

·       $250K to Tennessee Higher Education Initiative

Mental Health & Substance Abuse

·       $150K to Helen Ross McNabb Center

·       $305K to The Jason Foundation

·       $100K to Thistle Farms

The budget includes $50 million to provide a week-long sales tax holiday on groceries and prepared food, cut by legislators from two weeks at a cost of $100 million. The state’s Rainy-Day Fund is now up to $1.55 billion. 

Key FY21-22 budget highlights include:

·       $71M to fully fund the state share of the BEP for K-12 education

·       Four percent raise for teacher salaries

·       $100M to invest in the Rainy-Day Fund

·       $931M for capital maintenance and improvements

·       $5M for the Health Care Safety Net

·       $7M to extend postpartum care for the TennCare population to 12 months

·       $24M for Rural Opportunity Site Grants

·       $100M for local infrastructure grants

·       $30M to eliminate deferred maintenance and improve accessibility at state parks

·       $8M to expand marketing and tourism initiatives

·       $36 million to fully fund the THEC outcomes-based formula

·       $37.9 million to fully fund TennCare growth 

The FY21-22 budget takes effect on July 1, 2021.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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