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HB 1856/SB 1796 & HB 2111/SB 2142 Still on Notice, Ask Lawmakers to Vote "NO"

Alyssa Hansen
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Due to VERY lengthy committee agendas, House Bill 1856/Senate Bill 1796 and House Bill 2111/SB 2142 were not heard this past week.

However, you could easily look at this upcoming week's calendar and think that it was simply a "copy and paste" of what was scheduled for these past few days.

So what does all of this mean? House Bill 1856/Senate Bill 1796 will be heard in the House Banking & Consumer Affairs Subcommittee on Wednesday, March 16th at 9:00 a.m. CT. It will also be heard in the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on Tuesday, March 15th at 2:00 p.m. CT.

This bill would tie the hands of private 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.

If you've been following this legislation and recent news closely, you may recall that now-former Representative Robin Smith was the House sponsor of HB 1856. While the chances are fairly low that lawmakers would still run this bill, this is not the time to sit back and get comfortable. Speaker Sexton could easily assign this legislation to one of many other legislators who would be happy to sponsor it.

As we mentioned last week, there is also a caption bill (House Bill 2111/SB 2142) that, as should be amended in committee, would accomplish the exact same goal as HB 1856/SB 1796. Please keep in mind that either piece of legislation could be amended again once it's heard.

We've said it many times before, but it's worth repeating: this legislation is yet another attempt by anti-worker lawmakers who couldn't resist taking a shot at the longstanding, productive relationship between the UAW and Ford during the October special session to insert themselves into matters that should be left up to businesses and workers.

Click here and ask your lawmakers to vote "NO" on HB 1856/SB 1796 AND HB 2111/SB 2142!

We should be focused on working together to create safe, good-paying jobs (just like the ones that are coming to the Memphis Regional Meagasite) instead of the government trying to manage the private sector.

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 by clicking on the blue button above or below. The two pieces of legislation will be heard in the same committees. 

We strongly urge ALL of our members to either send an e-mail or make a phone call against these bills over these next several days, especially if you have not done so already. Repeat calls and e-mails are also welcome!

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 employees!

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

-SB 2042/HB 2078: This bill removes the subminimum wage exception for employees who are impaired by age, physical or mental disability, or injury.
-SB 2383/HB 2397: This piece of legislation requires that contracts for the construction, maintenance, etc. of public buildings contain a requirement that the iron and steel used for the project be made in the United States.
-SB 2204/HB 2659: Another sneaky caption bill that will be heard on the House floor in just over a week, this is yet another dig at the strong working relationship between Ford and the UAW. This prohibits organizations that contract with the Memphis Regional Megasite from giving any preference to union-friendly contractors.
-SB 2073/HB 2097: A piece of legislation that will be watched closely, 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 early remarks do not appear to be targeting us, we will be monitoring the intent of the legislation, especially given the strong anti-worker mentality amongst many lawmakers.

-SB 2602/HB 2278: As announced recently, this bill calls for a study to be conducted on the possibility of expanding railroad passenger service via Amtrak.
-HB 2733/SB 2879: This piece of legislation requires employers to give their employees who are veterans an unpaid holiday on Veterans Day.
-HB 1274/SB 958: According to this bill, certain employers could submit plans to reduce employee work hours in exchange for access to a specific level of unemployment benefits.
-HB 2569/SB 2440: As reported recently, this piece of legislation seeks to eliminate affirmative action programs from state and local governments.
-HB 2489/SB 2064: Among other positive goals for voting rights in this bill, high schools would be required to notify seniors once they turn 18 years old that they are eligible to vote and provide them with information on how to register.
-HB 2339/SB 2345: This is a good piece of legislation that raises the wages of preferred service employees in the Department of Correction by 15%.
-SB 2766/HB 2829: The complete opposite of what recently passed the House, this bill creates a program that incentivizes first responders to live within the boundaries of a local government.
-SB 2670/HB 2793: This legislation seeks to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour.
-HB 2833/SB 2168: This is the massive bill that seeks to give charter schools more authority and less regulations to operate in Tennessee.