Governor Lee announces additional $115 million in relief for local governments due to COVID-19

Coronavirus

Governor-elect Bill Lee speaks during a news conference in the Capitol Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Lee defeated Democrat Karl Dean in the gubernatorial race Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced an additional $115 million for local governments to support their relief and response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds “will be made available to local governments to offset costs incurred from responding” to the pandemic.

“This pandemic has required a high level of coordination and support across all levels of government to ensure local needs are met and the health and wellbeing of Tennesseans are protected,” said Gov. Lee. “The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group has provided another round of funding as we work to reduce any financial barriers in COVID-19 response.”

The Tennessee Local Government Reimbursement Program comes in addition to the $210 million in grants for county and municipal governments approved by the General Assembly in the State’s FY 2021 budget

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented our local governments with unique challenges specific to the needs of their people. Giving local governments control over how to spend these dollars maximizes efficiency and ensures this money is deployed in the most effective way possible,” said Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge). “As we adjust to the new normal of living and working with COVID-19, it is important that local governments have the resources they need to attack the virus and address the issues it creates.”

The funds will be allocated to eligible local governments on a per capita basis and expenses for reimbursement should fall under medical expenses, public health expenses, payroll expenses related to COVID-19, public health compliance expenses, and any other reasonably necessary expenses incurred in response to COVID-19. It cannot be used to replace lost government revenue and cannot be used for expenses that have been or will be reimbursed by any federal programs.

The funds will also be reserved for local governments that did not receive direct appropriation of relief funds. Memphis and Nashville have already received a combined $284 million that was subtracted from the state’s allocation.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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