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Ryman CEO urges state lawmakers to help Tennessee workers hurt by pandemic battered economy


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) -- Ryman Hospitality CEO Colin Reed is calling on state lawmakers to provide aid to Tennessee workers and small business owners bearing the brunt of the coronavirus slowdown.


During a press conference Monday, Reed noted that Ryman group has lost some $3 billion worth of market value in recent weeks as investors react to the pandemic. Reed said Ryman will continue paying laid-off employees for at least the next month.


Reed went on to note that many of the state's smaller companies won't be able to do the same. He urged state lawmakers to step up and provide assistance to see residents through the crisis.


“My appeal to the leadership of the State of Tennessee is to figure out a way to support the men and women who come to work to generate so much economic wealth to the State of Tennessee. This is a big deal.”

Any such assistance will need to be approved soon. The State Assembly's GOP leadership plans to adjourn the current legislative session this week for at least two months in response to the pandemic.

However, the state Constitutions requires that a balanced budget be passed before lawmakers depart. In response, Gov. Bill Lee has promised to quickly submit what’s being called a revised “bare bones” state budget for emergency approval by the legislature.

The governor has promised the interim budget will provide funding to see the state through the current emergency, while also taking into account a likely dropoff in state revenue.


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