Tennessee gov expects ‘significant’ unemployment pay boost

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says he expects a “significant increase” to unemployment payout amounts for people out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic because of congressional legislation. Lee told reporters Friday he doesn’t know the exact increase yet. He said Tennessee can expect $2 billion to $3 billion under the federal COVID-19 legislation, including the unemployment boost. Tennessee’s maximum weekly unemployment benefit is $275 before deduction of federal taxes. Tennessee had 39,096 new unemployment claims during the week that ended Saturday. There were 2,702 during the week ending March 14. The state on Friday confirmed more than 1,200 cases of COVID-19, including six deaths.