Leading House Democrats today began an inquiry to assess whether Tennessee state officials may have violated or otherwise run afoul of federal law by undermining, or attempting to undermine, labor rights guaranteed to workers at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, during the recent United Auto Workers union election.
Committee Democratic Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and John Tierney (D-Mass.), ranking member on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee, sent a letter today to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam seeking more information about whether any Tennessee state officials conditioned, or threatened to condition, state aid to Volkswagen on the outcome of workers’ efforts to establish a union and/or a works council at the Chattanooga plant.
Via Pith, the House passed the bill allowing electrocution if lethal injection drugs are unavailable. The Senate had already approved the measure.
Rep. Johnny Shaw told the bill's sponsor, Rep. Dennis Powers, that he couldn't support capital punishment because, citing the Bible, Shaw wasn't entitled to "throw a rock." Powers said he agreed with Shaw that only God could ultimately judge but that "it's our job to arrange the meeting."
The bill that is designed to make it easier for reformed felons to rejoin the work force is headed for the governor.
The state is trying to curb flash mobs:
The House of Representatives voted 63-31 to create a new offense of "aggravated vandalism" that could be applied to the organizers of flash mobs that go awry. The legislation clearly unnerved some members, including state Rep. Vince Dean, an East Ridge Republican who copped to having flash mobbed just last weekend with his church.
The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, assured lawmakers that dancing flash mobs would not be criminalized. Nor would protests such as the Moral Monday crowd that gathered a couple of days ago inside the state Capitol.
Despite concern the governor’s plan to guarantee two years of free community college will put too much pressure on community colleges, draw students from four-year schools and create a state-level entitlement program, the House endorsed the plan 87-8.
Approved by the Senate 30-1 on Monday, the General Assembly will next send the last dollar scholarship program to the governor for his signature.
The governor has spent the last year stressing emphasis on higher education in an effort to lift the number of Tennesseans with post secondary degrees from 32 percent now to 55 percent in 2025.
Although the legislation passed easily in both chambers, four-year institutions are worried the program will funnel graduating high schoolers into community colleges and away from four-year schools but have agreed to support the legislation.
No votes on the bill came from Republican Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas, Glen Casada of Franklin, Jeremy Durham of Franklin, Andy Holt of Dresden, Judd Matheny of Tullahoma, Cameron Sexton of Crossville, Billy Spivey of Lewisburg, and Rick Womick of Rockvale.
- BRASWELL, ROBERT
- GARRETT, JOHNNY C EXECUTOR; GARRETT, JOHNNY C IV EXECUTOR; GARRETT, ANN BIGGER ESTATE; GARRETT, TIMOTHY M EXECUTOR
- GARRETT, TIMOTHY M EXECUTOR; GARRETT, ANN BIGGER ESTATE; GARRETT, JOHNNY C EXECUTOR; GARRETT, JOHNNY C IV EXECUTOR
- GARRETT, JOHNNY C IV EXECUTOR; GARRETT, JOHNNY C EXECUTOR; GARRETT, ANN BIGGER ESTATE; GARRETT, TIMOTHY M EXECUTOR