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"Right to Work" Constitutional Amendment Goes Behind the Budget, Other Bad Bills Still Moving

Alyssa Hansen
26 Mar, 2021
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This past Wednesday, the House Finance, Ways, & Means Subcommittee officially placed HJR 0072 behind the budget. So what does that mean for the resolution that would enshrine Tennessee's "Right to Work" law in the state constitution? When legislation is placed behind the budget (usually because of the fiscal note associated with it), that means that the General Assembly must hear and pass the budget first before any legislation in that category can be taken up. This does NOT mean that HJR 0072 is dead; placing it behind the budget just slows down the process a bit (and is an annoyance to the resolution's supporters!) Enshrining "Right to Work" in the state constitution is one of the GOP supermajority's top legislative priorities and has the support of Governor Bill Lee. It may be one of the very last things heard this session, but our fight is far from over.

As of right now, we don't know when the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee will take up the budget, meaning that we won't have a new hearing date for HJR 0072 for quite a while. Once it has been calendared again, we will let you know. However, these next few weeks are an important time that we can't afford to waste! As over 850 of you have been doing 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. As we've noted before, please ensure that you 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, more legislation that would be harmful to working families is still moving the committee process as well. This week, both the House AND the Senate will hear HB 1039/SB 1402. 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. 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!