Tennessee General Assembly passes $42.6 billion budget for upcoming fiscal year

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Thursday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget, totaling $42.6 billion, has passed through the General Assembly.

“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 in a statement released by his office.

The budget includes:

  • $100M to provide high-speed broadband to every Tennessean
  • $250M investment in Mental Health Trust Fund
  • $79M to eliminate the 11,400 person TCAT waiting list
  • $145M for air and rail transportation infrastructure

The release issued from the governor’s office goes on to break down the budget further, including:

  • $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
  • $3.5M to End Slavery Tennessee
  • $1.2M to Her Song, a Ministry of the Tim Tebow Foundation
  • $600K to Tennessee Anti- Slavery Alliance

For K-12 Education, as well as, career and technical education, the following items are listed:

  • $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
  • $225K to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Clinch Valley – Oak Ridge
  • $200K to Niswonger Foundation

For criminal justice reform:

  • $600K to Carroll Academy
  • $121K to Lipscomb University, Lipscomb Life Program
  • $250K to Tennessee Higher Education Initiative

For mental health & substance abuse:

  • $150K to Helen Ross McNabb Center
  • $305K to The Jason Foundation
  • $100K to Thistle Farms

The budget also includes $50 million for a week-long sales tax holiday on groceries and prepared food. The release states the budget, “contains the highest reserves in history to prepare for uncertainty, bringing the Rainy-Day Fund to $1.55 billion.”

The governor’s office lists the following as key budget highlights in the statement:

  • $71M to fully fund the state share of the BEP for K-12 education
  • 4% 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
  • $36M to fully fund the THEC outcomes-based formula
  • $37.9M to fully fund TennCare growth

The Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget takes effect on July 1, 2021.

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