Governor Lee Declares End to All Federally-Funded Unemployment, Effective July 3


Tennessee will cease all federally funded unemployment on the eve of Independence Day, Governor Bill Lee announced Tuesday. The governor asserted that work opportunities are abundant – meaning, people can and should get back to work.

“We will no longer participate in the federal pandemic unemployment programs because Tennesseans have access to more than 250,000 jobs in our state. Families, businesses & our economy thrive when we focus on meaningful employment & move on from short-term, federal fixes,” wrote Lee.

Lee based those numbers off of the state’s job posting website, which has over 250,000 listings. The governor’s press release also listed the Tennessee Virtual American Job Center as a resource for job seekers.

The programs set to expire will include the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides an additional $300 weekly payment to unemployment compensation; Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which offers benefits for the self-employed, gig workers, and part-time workers; Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides benefits extension once regular benefits end; and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides an additional $100 benefit to those with mixed earnings.

This announcement came exactly two weeks after Lee declared that the COVID-19 pandemic no longer constitutes an emergency in Tennessee, and that he wouldn’t renew any public health orders. He also announced that he was rescinding authority pertaining to mask mandates and business restrictions from local officials. Lee clarified that local officials had until Memorial Day Weekend to rescind their mandates and restrictions.

“A widely available vaccine changes everything and it’s a new season in Tennessee. I am not renewing any public health orders because COVID-19 is no longer a health emergency in our state,” wrote Lee. “This is about trusting Tennesseans, using the tools we have at our disposal to move on from crisis management and back to life and back to business. Tennessee is moving forward thanks to her people.

Lee added that he would only be taking further executive action to address economic and regulatory issues.

Any filings for unemployment prior to the July 3 expiration will be processed.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Gov. Bill Lee” by Gov. Bill Lee.






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18 Thoughts to “Governor Lee Declares End to All Federally-Funded Unemployment, Effective July 3”

  1. Jay

    Biden opened the border to have people come take your job. Less than you made and no health care. Congratulations

  2. william delzell

    Will Governor Lee and those legislators who share his plan to cut Tennessee off of Federal unemployment insurance willingly give up their perks and benefits as a way to set an example for the rest of us “bums”?

  3. william delzell

    The Governor’s message to those who lost a job without cause is callous and unjust. Those without jobs should “pay” him back.

  4. 83ragtop50

    Why is he waiting until July to end this ridiculous handout?!

    I hear all of the whining about not being able to get that perfect job that pays more with more benefits than the one someone may have lost. I worked multiple jobs many times to support my family. Are people these days too good to work multiple jobs? Or are the available jobs just not good enough for them?

    1. Ms Independent

      Excuse me? I’ve worked multiple jobs in my life as well. Never had to or even thought about unemployment until Covid19 and Mr Lee shut down my place of employment! Company had to file bankruptcy. I’m older now and the full time jobs aren’t in my favor. Plus I lost my health insurance and not old enough for Medicare- 5 years to go. I don’t like your tone nor are you correct about this unemployment from the federal government. Obviously you had time to comment in between your multiple jobs.

      1. Traditional Thinker

        Talking about comments. You spend most of your day making comments on this conservative site. Obviously you’re a troll making up sad stories to back your liberal agenda so back off 83 rt50.

      2. Steve Allen

        Governor Lee is not responsible for the CHINESE VIRUS, the chinese are. When are they going to be held responsible. The whole over reaction to the virus started well above the State level.
        Having your income reduced is not easy, but s**t happens. I’ve had to collect unemployment, and I had to take a job collecting garbage when I was between careers. The point most commenters are making is that there are many people who would rather suck on the government tit than work.

      3. 83ragtop50

        There are MANY part time jobs that can tide you over until you find your dream job again. I had time to comment because I worked my rear off and saved for a rainy day, not living paycheck-to-paycheck nor building up a ridiculous amount of personal debt. Maybe cutting back on some luxury items would help you get through what is a indeed a tough time.

  5. Horatio Bunce

    Lee’s executive orders unemployed many of these people, destroying the businesses he decided were “non-essential” or he strangled to death with junk science from unlicensed “doctors” like Deborah Birx and turning a blind eye to unelected, unaccountable health departments that somehow could ignore his executive orders in the fake emergency.

    Since there hasn’t been an emergency for two weeks, will Lee bring the TN national guard troops home from the local health departments? Or will they still be illegally dispensing emergency use only authorized PCR tests and vaccines? If there is no emergency, these have no authorization.

  6. Kevin

    This is one of the BEST decisions that Governor Lee has made! It will however probably bring down the wrath of the Mob.

    We’re coming into prime rioting and looting season, and this means that all of the Antifa and BLM street thugs are going to have to go back to work or go hungry. So the availability of henchmen will go down. Do we really think that the Democrat Socialists running Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville are going to allow peace and prosperity for all of us bourgeoisie, of any persuasion, skin color or social status?

    Of course not! They’ll just instigate some event that shows the “inequity” and the streets will again fill anarchy. And this is what happens when you allow Democrat Socialist to to run anything!

  7. Cannoneer2

    I suppose that any federal handouts for businesses will still be gladly accepted.

  8. Ms Independent

    Mr Lee wants to insure unemployed Tennesseans gave a wonderful 4th of July weekend!! Heartless is being nice…

  9. Ms Independent

    Lee is out of touch with people who lost their jobs and benefits- especially older workers. Most are NOT receiving but $188-$208 a week- The lowest in the country!!! Plenty of part time jobs available with No benefits. Full time jobs with benefits for the average older worker is non existent. The Republicans in charge – Faison- Sexton, Lee should be ashamed of these heartless actions!!

  10. Ms Independent

    This is so wrong. Lee has no idea what people have gone thru this past year with devastating job losses and loss of healthcare thru their employer. Most don’t even receive $275 a week – more like $188-$208. The extra 300 is actually $270 after taxes- So he’s going to punish retail, self-employed, restaurant workers,etc for not being able to find a full time job with healthcare to replace their original job which they lost thru NO fault of their own! Lee suggests unemployment website has 250,000 jobs listed but doesn’t realize most on there are part time jobs or jobs the average person isn’t qualified to do- especially older workers. The unemployment process has been a nightmare for most people as the inept website crashed a lot and good luck trying to speak to anyone. The so called online chat is a joke. Can’t even get thru when you are #424 in line waiting to speak with an agent! Out of touch Lee and the House Republican Caucus leadership, House Majority Leader William Lamberth, Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison, Assistant Majority Leader Ron Gant, and Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton should be ashamed for their heartless actions. Time for them to lose their jobs.

  11. Russ Crouch

    Good, Maybe people will go back to work, if they do not get paid more to stay home.

    1. Ms Independent

      Reality check for you. Read my comments. You are out of touch as well. My company had to file bankruptcy- 10,000 lost their jobs and their healthcare which had NOT been easy to replace. 👍. I’m not making more than my job of 6 years paid me and I have no healthcare. Finding another job now has equated to part time offers and no healthcare so you should think before you comment.

    2. Ms Independent

      You are incorrect. You have no idea what most unemployed people were qualified to receive. May you never lose your job or your healthcare…