"Right to Work" Constitutional Amendment, Cuts to Unemployment Benefits Moving Through the House

In spite of strong opposition from both working families and Democratic legislators in committee, the resolution seeking to enshrine Tennessee's "Right to Work" law in the state constitution continues to move through the House. This past Tuesday, HJR 0072 passed out of the House Commerce Committee on a voice vote. We are grateful to Representatives Jason Hodges, Karen Camper, Dwayne Thompson, and Joe Towns for voting "NO" and speaking out against this piece of legislation.

As he did in the Senate, President Billy Dycus testified as to why this harmful law has no place in our state constitution and rebutted several lies being pushed by the proponents of the legislation. To watch a recap of the committee meeting, including President Dycus' testimony, please click here. After the hearing, we sent out a brief statement expressing our thoughts on the Republican supermajority's continued fixation on pushing its anti-worker agenda when so many Tennesseans continue to suffer.

This Wednesday (March 24th), HJR 0072 will be heard by the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee at 11:00 a.m. CT. One of two things will likely happen: the resolution could be sent to a constitutional amendments calendar OR it will be heard and voted on just like the legislation has been for the past several weeks. Regardless, it is very important that we keep the calls and e-mails coming!

Particularly if your state representative is on this subcommittee (but even if they're not), we ask that you contact your legislator and ask them to vote "NO" on HJR 0072. If you're not sure exactly what to say, that's okay! Both the pre-written letter and the number to call will provide you with some suggestions. You can also check out our digital toolkit with additional messaging and talking points. As we noted last week (and because we cannot stress this enough), please ensure that you reference the House version (HJR 0072) of this amendment when making a call or sending an e-mail.

Click here and ask your state representative to vote "NO" on HJR 0072!

Once again, this is not the only bad piece of legislation that continues to impact working families. After being rolled for a week, the House Commerce Committee will hear House Bill 1039 on Tuesday (March 23rd). This is a caption bill that would reduce the amount of time that someone could draw unemployment benefits from 26 weeks, to as low as 12 weeks. While the number is dependent upon several factors, including the current monthly unemployment rate, no Tennessean could receive benefits for more than 20 weeks. Instead of ensuring that Tennesseans can make ends meet and provide for their families while looking for a job, legislators want to shame them into not relying on the government for help at a vulnerable time. Working families have suffered enough and do not need yet another attack. 

Tell your legislator: don't cut Tennessee's unemployment benefits!