(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — House Health Committee Chairman Bryan Terry, MD (R-Murfreesboro) has been appointed by House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) to a working group that will study Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) issues in order to acquire a better understanding of the needs and uses of this program.
“Chairman Terry is a champion for fiscal responsibility, and he has prioritized the needs of all Tennesseans during his tenure in our General Assembly,” said Speaker Sexton. “I appreciate his willingness to serve as a member of this working group, and I know he and his colleagues will do a great job identifying and creating innovative solutions that support citizens as they move away from government assistance and toward self-reliance and individual prosperity.”
According to recent reports, the state receives roughly $190 million every year from the federal government to be used for programs that support our working families and is currently operating with a substantial reserve. The newly created working group will determine how to best utilize these funds to create and support programs that are good for citizens and for our communities, while maintaining a reserve for the possibility of an economic downturn.
“Since I first learned about this financial situation within the TANF program, I have been working with Speaker Sexton and our colleagues to look for innovative and fiscally responsible ways that we can support our Tennessee families who are working to overcome obstacles standing between them and individual prosperity,” said Chairman Terry. “While we want to ensure a fiscally sound program and maintain a reserve so we are well positioned to serve a larger population should an economic downturn occur, I do believe there may be alternative and conservative ways to utilize this funding to better serve our constituents.”
In addition to Chairman Terry, Speaker Sexton has also appointed House Insurance Chairman Robin Smith (R-Hixson), House Tenncare Subcommittee Chairman David Hawk (R-Greeneville), and Representative Harold Love (D-Nashville) to serve.
“I set forth a four-step process in my committee that incorporates identifying the problem, setting goals, exploring options, and determining the feasibility of potential solutions. We are currently working through that process on this issue, and I believe this straightforward approach will result in determining the most pragmatic way to move forward in order to benefit Tennesseans. I am honored Speaker Sexton appointed me as a member of this important working group, and I look forward to helping families across Tennessee.”