The state of Tennessee is taking stock of its coronavirus relief spending and preparing for the next round of federal aid. Thus far, the state has spent just over $2 billion, or 91% of its allotment.
The latest accounting shows the largest portions have been used to soften the economic impact of the pandemic. Key takeaways are available online in this slide presentation, with more details in this 85-page report from the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group. Among them:
- unemployment benefits consumed about 40% of the funds;
- large shares went to two business relief programs, with nearly 30,000 companies taking part, and;
- payments to nonprofits — known in the state as Community CARES — also ranked high.
Tennessee still has some $220 million available from the initial CARES Act.
Officials expect the next round of relief will direct substantially more money toward K-12 schools and to higher education. Ongoing lab costs for COVID testing will continue to eat up dollars. And a larger portion is likely for emergency rental assistance.