Tenn. gov appropriates funds for cash grants plan

Governor allots nearly $45M to increase cash grants available to prospective Tenn. companies

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam's administration on Tuesday rolled out its amendment to the appropriations bill, which includes nearly $45 million to increase the amount of cash grants available to companies looking to invest in Tennessee.

The measure allows the state to provide Fast Track grants for retrofitting, relocation, office upgrades or temporary space for companies investing in Tennessee.

"The money is linked to two or three potential employee expansions or new locations here," Haslam told reporters after a speech to the state Chamber of Commerce. "We're not there yet, but we wanted to put something in the budget."

The state has appropriated more than $200 million to the program over the last three budget years and Haslam proposed pouring another $80 million for last year and this year.

Other items in the budget amendment include:

— $5 million from the tobacco settlement for health programs.

— 3 million for planning for the State Library and Archives and State Museum.

— $1.4 million for peer support centers run by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

— $1.3 million for infrastructure at Rocky Fork State Park;

— $1 million for a nursing program at Parsons Center of the University of Tennessee-Martin.

— $1 million for the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

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