Think tank finds $732 million for Tennessee's poor is unused

Oct 24, 2019

Credit beacontn.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has amassed more than $732 million in grant money intended to help poor working families with no plan for how to spend it.

According to conservative think tank the Beacon Center of Tennessee, the state receives $190.9 million annually through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Last year, Tennessee spent just $71.1 million of that money.

Beacon Center Executive Vice President Stephanie Whitt tells The Tennessean if the state continues on that trajectory it will soon have over $1 billion in unused money.

The money is intended to help low-income working families with temporary cash assistance, transportation, child care, job training and other support services.

Whitt says if the state doesn't have a plan for the grants "then we probably shouldn't continue getting $190 million each year."

(Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com)