NASHVILLETenn. – Today Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group announced $150 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds will be made available to Tennessee non-profits to assist their ongoing efforts to address the ongoing health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous strain on all aspects of our society, and non-profit organizations are no different. Non-profits play a vital role in ensuring Tennesseans’ needs are met in times of crisis, and it’s imperative these organizations receive financial support to continue their work,” said Gov. Lee. “The Tennessee Community CARES Program will help alleviate the duress non-profits are under and ensure they continue to support their communities.”

“Tennessee’s non-profit community has been on the frontlines of this pandemic from the beginning,” said Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge). “Non-profits consistently amplify the state’s efforts in addressing Tennessee’s explicit needs during the COVID crisis. They are also critical in filling the gaps by caring for those who have been indirectly affected by the virus. I am extremely grateful we will be using these funds to help bolster the community’s efforts to assist our people in this time of need.”

“Tennessee’s non-profits are vital business partners within our state that provide economic stimulus and critical resources for our local communities,” said House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). “I am pleased to join with Gov. Lee, Lt. Gov. McNally, as well as our members to provide additional support to these organizations and agencies during the pandemic through the Tennessee Community CARES Program. Partnering with our non-profits will enable them to remain focused on their important roles for the benefit of our state and our people. This is a strong message that we are all working together now, and we will continue to do so, after the pandemic subsides.”

“Before the pandemic arrived, our state was already working closely with non-profit organizations to create valuable partnerships that provide families with full wrap around support,” said Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “This additional grant assistance will allow us to expand these partnerships to meet new challenges created by COVID-19 and continue our mission to build a thriving Tennessee.”

The Tennessee Community CARES Program will provide $150 million in direct federally funded aid to non-profit organizations located in Tennessee and serving Tennesseans. Examples of activities prioritized and encouraged for funding under this program will include:

  • Support for school-aged children and families related to education needs created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak; 
  • Any of the following activities for individuals or families who have been impacted by a loss of income or economic insecurity as a result of COVID-19: 
    • Workforce training; 
    • Emergency food assistance; 
    • Case management or assistance in accessing an eligible state or federal public benefit; Care for at-risk or vulnerable populations to mitigate COVID-19 effects and/or enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions;
    • Emergency financial assistance to prevent homelessness, eviction or foreclosure; 
    • Other similar services designed to mitigate the negative health or economic impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 
  • Providing uncompensated care or assistance for disabled or other vulnerable population to address new financial, health, or educational challenges that are in response to COVID-19. 
  • Public Health Support activities such as uncompensated or unreimbursed costs for services or activities dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including but not limited to: 
    • Supports, education, and communication for individuals to increase access to testing and reliability of contact tracing; 
    • Expenses for technical assistance on mitigation of COVID-19-related threats; 
    • Expenses for acquisition and distribution of medical and protective supplies, including sanitizing products and personal protective equipment, for medical personnel, police officers, social workers, child protection services, and child welfare officers, direct service providers for older adults and individuals with disabilities in community settings, and other public health or safety workers in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency; 
    • Mental and behavioral health services delivered in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency; 
    • Expenses associated with supporting the housing or quarantining of COVID-19 positive individuals; 
    • Any other expense incurred in relation to non-profit missions to directly support the public health response to COVID-19. 
  • Any other non-profit support provided to Tennessee business entities such as: o Technical assistance and support in enrolling and participating in a federal, state, or local benefit program; 
    • Education on safe practices in response to COVID-19; 
    •  Acquisition or purchase of personal protective equipment or reimbursing costs associated with mitigating the spread of COVID-19;
    • Expenses related to mitigating the spread of COVID-19; 
  • Reimbursement of unreimbursed expenses incurred by a non-profit due to the COVID19 emergency, including but not limited to increased payroll costs, PPE, or any other measures taken to protect the employees and population served by the non-profit; 
  • Support targeted for any at-risk, vulnerable, or underserved community for any eligible activity;
  • Past and future reimbursement for the required Non-Federal Cost-Share of Stafford Act assistance for COVID-19-related costs that satisfy the CRF eligibility criteria AND the FEMA Public Assistance
  • Reimbursement for any of the eligible costs incurred in the period from March 1 to Dec. 30; 

To administer these funds, the Department of Human Services is announcing an invitation for partner non-profits to serve as grant administrators. Grant administrators will be required to submit a proposal to the Department no later than 12 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 23 describing their ability to administer sub-grants to eligible non-profits. More details and submission instructions can be found here.

For non-profits wishing to receive response and recovery grants to provide direct services, instructions for grant proposals will be issued by the Department of Human Services and its partner non-profit grant administrators on August 1, 2020. Grant applications will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis with monthly reporting requirements and a de-obligation date of November 15.

The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group is a bi-partisan group including Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Sen. Raumesh Akbari, Sen. Bo Watson, Rep. Harold Love, Rep. Pat Marsh, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley.


(NASHVILLE) – State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) announced that the Rose Terrace House in Oliver Springs will receive a marker noting the rich history of this Main Street house.  The house was built in the 1880’s at the beginning of the coal boom by James K. P. Butler, a coal mine operator, and has been home to notable Roane Countians since then, such as the Ladd and Baker families.

“Right off the town square, Rose Terrace is a hallmark of the Oliver Springs community,” said Yager. “The marker, though only a couple hundred words, will illuminate the historical significance of this house which has stood for almost 150 years. It has been home to some remarkable Roane Countians – the Ladd’s and Baker’s – who have made a lasting impact not only on Oliver Springs but on Tennessee and the United States as well.”

“I am particularly happy to have initiated this project because of Sen. Baker’s interest in the house,” Yager continued. “I wrote him occasionally to keep him updated. He referred to his grandmother as Mother Ladd. She made history in her own right being the first and only female sheriff of Roane County. Baker told me she slept with a loaded revolver under her pillow.”

“Many thanks to the Oliver Springs Historical Society, particularly Robbie Underwood who researched the history of the house,” added Yager.

A formal ceremony to unveil the marker is expected to take place later in the year.

On June 10th the Tennessee Historical Commission approved the below text for the marker.


Rose Terrace was built in the mid-1880s by coal operator James K. Butler and was sold in 1921 to Chris Ladd and wife Matilda. The Ladd’s daughter Dora married Howard H. Baker, Sr., in a ceremony held at Rose Terrace. Howard Sr. embarked on a storied career in politics as a candidate for governor of Tennessee and then as an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate.  He was elected as a U.S. Representative in 1950 and served until his death in 1964. His refusal to join the resistance to the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education helped pave the way for the desegregation of schools. The firstborn of Howard and Dora was Howard H. Baker, Jr., who became a U.S. Senator from Tennessee and later served as Chief of Staff for President Ronald Reagan and as the United States Ambassador to Japan.

LOCATION: The Rose House Terrace House, (Ladd House), 504 Main Street, Oliver Springs (Roane County), Tennessee 37840


Tennessee’s small businesses are struggling mightily on the road to recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  While these businesses work hard to salvage losses and ensure the health and safety of their customers and employees, another threat looms:  The threat of coronavirus lawsuits.

Businesses are not the only ones who fear the distraction and financially draining effects.  COVID-19 lawsuits are also a real concern for churches, health care workers, hospitals, schools, colleges, and many other entities in the state.

If our economy is going to recover, good actors need liability protection and assurance.  If they follow public health protocols, they should not be subject to unfounded lawsuits resulting from alleged COVID-19 transmission.

I am very pleased that Governor Lee called a special session to consider legislation for protective purposes.  The bill provides civil liability protection from health emergency claims relative to the coronavirus so long as the business or entity complied with or reasonably attempted to comply with public health guidance.   Entities covered under the bill include for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, health care providers, schools and educational institutions, child care providers, religious organizations, local governments, and their employees or volunteers.  This measure shields state health care providers on the front lines of the pandemic who are burdened with liability concerns stemming from the delivery of essential medical care to coronavirus patients.

The legislation, however, does not excuse bad actors.  Protection from health emergency claims does not apply if a claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the covered entity caused damages, injury, or death by acting with gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Another important issue taken up in the Special Session is a bill giving citizens greater access to healthcare and telemedicine services.  This legislation ensures health insurance companies will provide coverage to patients for these services when conducted remotely from their electronic devices, like smartphones, tablets, or computers.

Our most vulnerable citizens, such as elderly and immunosuppressed patients, will benefit the most from this measure.  Telehealth or telemedicine technology is one of the key tools in helping to contain and combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Giving patients the ability to receive medical care, especially routine care, at home eliminates the risk of patients contracting or spreading COVID-19 at a medical facility.

Difficult times are here. Many of our citizens and businesses are suffering.  These bills will help both people and businesses in our communities as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.  I am proud to support them.


(NASHVILLE) – State Senator Ken Yager(R-Kingston) has received a perfect score from the National Federation of Small Business (NFIB) for his voting record on issues affecting small businesses. NFIB scored members of the 111thGeneral Assembly on important bills that were considered during the 2019-2020 legislative sessions. The voting record was recently released to members of the organization and the public.

“Small businesses are Tennessee’s true job creators and remain vital economic engines,

especially in small and rural communities like those I represent in Senate District 12,” said Senator Yager. “I am always inspired by visiting these businesses and appreciate NFIB for their work in helping these businesses promote job growth in our state. Many of our small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic and we must continue to make them a priority in our economic recovery efforts so they can thrive, grow and prosper.”

Senator Yagers’s flawless NFIB Voting Record in 2019-2020 demonstrated a dedicated commitment to protecting small businesses in his district,” NFIB Tennessee State Director Jim Brown said. “He unquestionably is a true friend of small business and is helping Tennessee entrepreneurs survive, grow and thrive.”

Senator Yager is also a past recipient of NFIB’s Guardian of Small Business award, the most prestigious honor that NFIB bestows on legislators in recognition of their efforts to support small businesses.

Click here to see the results for all legislators and an explanation of the reform issues<>.


KINGSTON, TN – State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) today announced his candidacy for reelection to the Tennessee Senate. Yager, who serves in a key leadership role as Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus, is seeking a 3rd term to the 12th Senatorial District.

“Twelve years ago, the people of the 12th Senatorial District gave me the privilege to serve them in the Tennessee State Senate, allowing me to serve without opposition in subsequent elections,” Yager said. “Once again, they have afforded me the opportunity of continued service to them and the district. My one unchanging guideline is and always will be that constituents come first. In that spirit, I announce I am a candidate for re-election, subject to the Republican primary in August.”

“During my tenure in the State Senate, I have risen in seniority and now serve on the Finance Ways and Means Committee. My peers honored me by electing me the Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. These responsibilities are very helpful tools in my efforts to best serve my constituents and the District.”

Yager also serves on the Senate State and Local Government Committee and the Joint Fiscal Review Committee, where he formerly served as chairman of both.

“The next four years will be challenging,” added Yager. “Unemployment – putting people back to work is a critical issue. I will use my experience to work with the local and state agencies to encourage job creation and support programs to train those looking for work to find good paying jobs.”

“I represent seven of the finest counties in East Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland. With your help, and God’s blessing, I will continue to fight your battles in Nashville. I will appreciate your vote and support in the August primary and November general elections.”

The 12th District includes Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Pickett, Rhea, Roane and Scott Counties. The August primary election is set for August 6, with early voting extending from July 17 – August 1.