Gov. Lee announces passage of 2021-22 budget

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget has passed through the General Assembly. The budget totals $42.6 billion and includes historic investments in literacy, mental health, broadband, and safety.

“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. “Thank you to the General Assembly for their steadfast commitment to our shared goals and establishing Tennessee as a fiscal leader across the nation.”

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 historic investments in some of the state’s most pressing issues including:

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

“I’d like to thank the General Assembly for their outstanding partnership in passing this historic budget,” Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley said. “I am proud of the way state agencies worked hard to curtail spending, allowing us to make long-term strategic investments in the future of our state. This budget will enable us to maintain Tennessee’s status as one of the best fiscally managed states in the nation.”

The budget includes strategic investments in public-private partnerships, non-profit organizations, and external partners to support Tennesseans’ top priorities without growing government. 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 returns money to hardworking Tennesseans by including $50 million to provide a week-long sales tax holiday on groceries and prepared food. It does not add new debt and contains the highest reserves in history to prepare for uncertainty, bringing the Rainy-Day Fund 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.

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