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HB 1342 Delayed For a Week in the House; Legislation Will Be Heard on Tuesday

Alyssa Hansen
03 Mar, 2023
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This past Tuesday, both the House and Senate delayed hearing HB 1342/SB 650 in their respective committees.

As a reminder, during a House subcommittee meeting, lawmakers amended a bill whose original caption dealt with broadband so that it now targets economic incentives and how votes for worker representation are conducted at a private business.

For the second year in a row, the supermajority wants to tie the hands of businesses that may want to locate in Tennessee in the future by making them ineligible to receive state monies or be required to return them if any votes on worker representation are not held by a secret ballot election.

Click here and ask your lawmakers to vote "NO" on HB 1342/SB 650!

Backers of Amendment 1, which enshrined Tennessee's "Right to Work" law in the state constitution, were quick to claim that the issue boiled down to workers' choice of whether or not to belong to a union.

Ironically, this legislation is somewhat counterintuitive in the sense that employees who wish to organize are essentially locked into a secret ballot election (rather than being able to utilize the recognition option of card check) if their employer has received economic incentives from the state.

We should be focused on working together to create safe, good-paying jobs and solving the many serious issues facing Tennesseans instead of the government trying to manage the private sector.

HB 1342/SB 650 will be heard on Tuesday, March 7th in the House Commerce Committee at 9:00 a.m. CT and is not scheduled to be heard in the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee until the final calendar, which means that we do not have an exact date just yet. If your state representative or state senator is on either committee, we ask that you please take an extra step and call them at the numbers we've provided. House Speaker Cameron Sexton and Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson are carrying the legislation. These are some VERY heavy-hitters in terms of sponsors, so taking action is critical. Thanks to those of you who have already done so!

The bottom line is this: discussions about worker representation should be left up to employers and employees without outside influence from politicians.

Tell your legislator: stop trying to manage private businesses and their employees! 

A Brief Look at Some of the Additional Legislation That We're Watching Next Week

-HB 48/SB 87: One of the earliest headline-grabbing pieces of legislation this year, this is targeted directly at Nashville's Metro Council and would cap the number of members on the governing body of a metropolitan government at 20.This bill is a petty, vindictive retaliation by the supermajority for the Council blocking the 2024 Republican National Convention.
Note: This will be heard on the House floor on Monday at 5:00 p.m. CT and in the Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee on Tuesday.

-HB 1197/SB 1335: Another attempt by the legislature to exert more control over Nashville, this piece of legislation would overhaul appointments to the Metro Nashville Sports Authority; the mayor would be allowed to appoint three directors, while all other appointments would come from the governor, the speaker of the House, and the speaker of the Senate.

-HB 1176/SB 1326: Similar to the first two bills, this would overhaul appointments to the Metro Nashville Airport Authority; the governor, the speaker of the House, and the speaker of the Senate would be allowed to appoint all members, while the mayor would serve as a voting ex officio commissioner.

-HB 139/SB 83: A proposal that's being monitored by our ATU affiliates, this would require a driver to only be present behind the wheel of a lead vehicle of a platoon instead of each vehicle. 

-HB 278/SB 166: This bill would allow local governments to set the standards on leave policies for government contractors or businesses in their community.  

-HB 1045/SB 1144: An election-related bill that is similar to one that failed recently allowing closed primaries, this would require voters to disclose their political party affiliation (or lack thereof) on their voter registration.

-HB 396/SB 97: This bill would increase the death benefit in workers' compensation claims to 75% of a person's average weekly wage and makes several other changes to death benefits.
Note: This bill will also be heard on the Senate floor on Monday at 4:00 p.m. CT.

-HB 433/SB 12: Continuing to have a negative impact on public education across the state, this piece of legislation would expand Tennessee's school voucher program to include Hamilton County schools.

-HB 806/SB 1475: Another repeat of legislation that we saw last year, this seeks to expand the definition of racketeering activity outlined in the "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization" (RICO) Act.
Note: While unions are already included in the original law and last year's remarks on the bill did not appear to be targeting us, we will be monitoring this closely, especially given the strong anti-worker mentality amongst many lawmakers.

-HB 302/SB 286: In an effort to increase transparency at the Tennessee General Assembly, this piece of legislation would require lobbyists to wear a badge at all times while at the Capitol that shows their name and employer. This is sponsored by two of our endorsed candidates from this past election cycle: Representative Justin Jones and Senator Charlane Oliver.

-HB 708/SB 1002: A good bill, this would create a supplemental pay incentive program for county correction officers who complete at least 40 hours of in-service training each year.

-HB 538/SB 950: In an effort to increase the number of folks who are registered to vote, this piece of legislation would allow the Department of Safety to automatically register a qualified Tennessean based on information from their driver's license or photo ID card application.

-HB 317/SB 269: Rather than classifying it as a day of special observance, this bill would make Juneteenth a legal holiday in Tennessee.

-HB 598/SB 373: This piece of legislation sets up the Office of Rail and Public Transportation, which is tasked with, among other things, examining the impact of passenger and freight rail transportation in Tennessee.