Senator Blackburn, Colleagues Introduce Bill Securing Funding Opportunities For Tennessee Counties

September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) along with Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) introduced legislation to expand funding opportunities for Hickman, Humphreys, and Perry counties by adding them to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). This legislation will allow these counties to compete for $110 million in federal funding provided by the ARC.


“Smaller Tennessee counties are often left behind when competing for federal funding,” said Senator Blackburn. “This legislation will ensure that officials in Hickman, Humphreys, and Perry counties have access to the kinds of growth opportunities that will strengthen the job market, encourage economic development, and spur educational initiatives.”


“I am pleased to join Senator Blackburn in this effort to ensure rural Tennessee counties have the opportunity to compete for federal funding. Adding Hickman, Humphreys, and Perry Counties to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) will provide additional opportunities for job growth and economic development for those communities, the region, and the entire state of Tennessee,” said Senator Hagerty.


“ARC was founded with the vision of ensuring that communities in Appalachia have access to the same opportunities for education and economic growth as other parts of the country. As the needs of the region and nation evolve, it is important that Congress take steps to ensure that all communities in the region, big or small, are able to compete for federal funding,” said Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.).


“Hickman County is humbled and very excited to be included in Senator Blackburn’s bill to include Hickman, Humphreys, and Perry Counties in the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). We realize the potential for opportunities related to funding for economic development projects particularly related to infrastructure which would greatly impact and benefit our County and Region. Senator Blackburn’s attention to small rural counties exemplifies her commitment to not only those counties but to Tennessee as a whole,” said Hickman County Mayor Bentley.


“We’re very excited by the opportunities for positive growth such as we’ve seen materialize in the other ARC communities. The potential for guidance, focus and funding made possible with our inclusion could have a dramatic effect on not just our county, but for the entire region. Senator Blackburn’s championship of this bill is just another example of her commitment to Humphreys County and the State of Tennessee,” said Humphreys County Mayor Wallace.


“Perry County is excited about its potential inclusion in the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) as this will open the door to additional funding sources to help our rural distressed county with projects that we would not be able to afford on our own. We anticipate these funds increasing the quality of life for not just our residents but also visitors to our county as well.  Our local leaders have been actively requesting inclusion in the A.R.C. for quite some time and appreciate Senator Blackburn advocating for not just our inclusion but also the inclusion of Hickman and Humphreys Counties as well,” said Perry County Mayor Carroll.




  • In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the ARC supported 46 projects, totaling $13 million, and benefiting the 2.9 million residents in Tennessee’s 52 Appalachian counties during the previous fiscal year.