Skip to main content

"Right to Work" Constitutional Amendment, Cuts to Unemployment Benefits on This Week's Calendar

Alyssa Hansen
12 Apr, 2021
Social share icons

After not seeing any movement for a couple of weeks, HJR 0072 is back on the calendar. The resolution seeking to enshrine Tennessee's "Right to Work" law in the state constitution will be heard on a special "Constitutional Amendment Second Passage Calendar" in the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee on Wednesday (April 14th) at 11:00 a.m. CT. This is not particularly unusual or surprising (especially since two other constitutional amendments will be heard along with it), but it highlights how important it is to be alert during the entire legislative session; things are often subject to change at a moment's notice. As we noted a couple of weeks ago, this resolution is one of the GOP supermajority's top legislative priorities and has the support of Governor Bill Lee.

Now, it's time to keep the calls and e-mails coming! To those of you who have sent one (or several) of the nearly 900 e-mails and made countless phone calls over the past couple of months, we are very grateful for your efforts. It's truly having an impact and legislators are paying attention. Keeping up that same momentum over these final weeks of session will be very important. As we have asked almost weekly since January, please continue to contact your legislator and ask them to vote "NO" on HJR 0072. You can do so by clicking on the blue button below. Don't forget to reference the House version (HJR 0072) of this amendment when making a call or sending an e-mail. 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, talking points, and much more.

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

Unfortunately, lawmakers are continuing to push additional legislation that would be harmful to working families. This week, the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee will also hear HB 1039. As a reminder, 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. To add insult to injury, House Republicans are now advocating for those who file for unemployment benefits to receive an additional $5 each week instead of $50. Rather than ensure 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 that has now made headlines across the state.

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