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Take Action & Ask Your Legislators to Vote "NO" on HB 1342/SB 650!

Alyssa Hansen
24 Feb, 2023
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Just days after mentioning that the upcoming week at the Capitol looked like it would be fairly light on labor issues but that we also expected that to change very soon, our prediction has come true.

During a House subcommittee meeting this past Tuesday, 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.

If this sounds familiar, that's because two pieces of nearly-identical legislation were filed last year. Neither of them received a vote in their respective committees, but lawmakers made it clear that we would likely see the issue addressed in a future bill.

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.

As we noted in an interview about the bill, 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, February 28th in the House Commerce Committee at 9:00 a.m. CT and the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee at 1:00 p.m. CT. 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. 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.

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.

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

-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 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.

-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 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.

Special note: On Monday, February 27th at 9:00 a.m. CT, the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee will hear a presentation from the Megasite Authority.