TENNESSEE (KFVS) - Governor Bill Lee held a daily briefing at 3 p.m. on Monday, April 6.
Currently, the Tennessee Department of Health is reporting 3,802 total positive cases of COVID-19 and 65 deaths. They said 356 cases had recovered.
On Monday, the governor announced $200 million in grants to be distributed to every county and city government across the state for one-time, local expenses in fiscal year 2021.
“Capital maintenance, public safety and road road don’t pause for disasters like the March tornadoes and the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “This grant fund will ease the burden on local governments as they work to meet infrastructure and safety obligations.”
Funding is based on population as published by the US Census Bureau.
Each county will receive at least $500,000 and each city or municipality will receive at least $30,000. The three metro governments (Davidson, Moore and Trousdale) will receive one allocation, whichever is largest.
The application will be available by April 30 and the funds will be made available after July 1.
The money may be used for road projects, IT upgrades, capital maintenance, utility system upgrades and public safety projects. Certain disaster-related expenses are also eligible for funding.
One-time expenses related to COVID-19 are eligible including supply and equipment purchase, cleaning, emergency food and shelter programs.
Counties impacted by the March 2020 tornadoes including Benton, Carroll, Davidson, Gibson, Putnam, Smith and Wilson counties may also use the funds for tornado relief efforts.
On Friday, Gov. Lee and members of the Unified Command group traveled to Knoxville and Chattanooga to meet with local leaders and discuss surge planning efforts in these areas.
He signed Executive Order 24, which includes the following provisions:
- Gives Commissioner of Health authority to allow post-degree, pre-licensed mental or behavioral health professionals to treat patients through telemedicine under the supervision of a licensed professional.
- Extends payment due date for the professional privilege tax from June 1 to July 1.
- Suspends until July 1 the April 6 deadline for filing applications for property tax relief and tax freezes, so that elderly and other vulnerable populations will not have to visit public buildings to apply.
- Gives the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development the discretion to require a terminating employer’s information faster (within four days, rather than seven days) in the unemployment benefits claims process, in order to speed up processing of benefits.
- Extends price gouging law for another 15-day period (it can only be invoked for 15 days at a time)
- Suspends expiration of marriage licenses, which normally happens within 30 days of obtaining the license if no ceremony is held, between March 12 and May 31 is until June 30, so that those delaying their weddings because of COVID-19 don’t have to pay for a new license.
- Suspends due dates for filing statements of interest with Tennessee Ethics Commission and Governor’s Office to July 15, so that it is consistent with the federal tax return filing deadline.
- Extends deadline for previously certified law enforcement officers in Tennessee or another state that are beginning work as full-time law enforcement officers to complete certain introductory POST Commission courses.
- Allows motor vehicle dealers to record their interest in financed vehicles with the Secretary of State while county offices are closed.
- Extends due dates for driver license reinstatement installment payments for those on payment plans until June 17.
- Provides flexibility for Tennessee Corrections Institute county jail plans in light of COVID-19 conditions .
- Suspending the requirement that funds provided to the state at walk-in state service locations be deposited within 24 hours if needed to safeguard the health, welfare, and safety of state employees.