Tennessee convenes cabinet meeting to focus on rural areas

Friday, August 9, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 32

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee is considering a wide range of recommendations designed to improve Tennessee's 15 distressed counties.

Lee on Tuesday convened his Cabinet for a meeting with local officials for a "rural opportunity summit" in Perry County.

The meeting caps an audit Lee mandated under his first executive order, where the Republican ordered his agencies to find ways to improve rural services — particularly in economical distressed areas.

Recommendations include upgrading school facilities, expanding drug prevention efforts and improving access to health care providers.

Lee's administration provided a brief summary of some of the agency's recommendations, but denied a public records request to review what specifically the agencies suggested.

Tennessee distressed counties are Lake, Lauderdale, Hardeman, McNairy, Perry, Jackson, Clay, Grundy, Van Buren, Bledsoe, Fentress, Morgan, Scott, Hancock and Cocke.