State lawmakers share info with locals on spending federal dollars

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers, including Lt. Governor Randy McNally, State Senators Becky Massey (R-Knoxville), Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville), Steve Southerland (R-Morristown), Art Swann (R-Maryville) and Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains), and Representatives Dave Wright (R-Corryton), Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville), Eddie Mannis (R-Knoxville), Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville), Justin Lafferty (R-Knoxville), Michelle Carringer (R-Knoxville), Sam McKenzie (D-Knoxville), Jerome Moon (R-Maryville), Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station); Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro), Kent Calfee (R-Kingston), John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville), Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville), Lowell Russell (R-Vonore), and Dale Carr (R-Sevierville) sponsored a COVID-19 Relief Funds Conference on Wednesday morning on the University of Tennessee Campus in Knoxville.

The purpose of the conference is to connect local government officials with vital information regarding how the federal dollars can be spent and best used to benefit Tennesseans.

State Comptroller Jason Mumpower will lead a panel of experts to help inform local mayors, commissioners, school officials, and other county and city officials about the latest information and guidance which is continuing to be generated by federal partners and state agencies regarding use of the federal coronavirus relief funds.  Officials from Knox, Anderson, Blount, Loudon, Union, Grainger, Sevier and Jefferson counties were all invited to participate, but the event was attended by officials from all over the region.

“There are a lot of questions regarding how these relief funds can be spent,” the lawmakers said in a joint press release. “This conference is designed to connect our local county and city officials with the state’s foremost experts so they have latest information and can make the best decisions that will maximize opportunities, while avoiding any pitfalls that could hurt them down the road.”

The state’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group, which is charged with ensuring proper fiscal management of these funds, reported that Tennessee would receive approximately $3.8 billion in coronavirus relief funds through 2024. In addition, local governments will receive approximately $2.3 billion that can be spent in the same time frame.

Anderson County will hold a public workshop on Thursday June 24th at 5 pm at the Clinton Community Center to inform citizens of current plans, and to get feedback from the public as to how they would like to see spending prioritized.

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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