Fitzhugh: Republicans Promoted Regression, Not Reform

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, a key target in a Democrat-bashing op-ed piece in the Murfreesboro Daily Republicans by Republican Rep. Rick Womick last week, fires back at the GOP in an op-ed piece this week. (Womick’s column was excerpted in prior post HERE.)
An excerpt from Fitzhugh’s Republican-bashing article:
Republicans say they cut the size of government, but nothing could be further from the truth. On multiple occasions Republicans increased the size of state government through a series of big government mandates.
Republicans overruled local ordinances, placed costly mandates on local law enforcement, interfered in local school consolidation efforts, dictated verdicts to juries, took local control of education from school boards, restricted associations to which professional can belong, forced gun policy on college campuses and placed a huge, unfunded burden on senior citizen voters. As you can see, Republican rhetoric simply doesn’t mesh with the facts.
Republicans claim they reformed education, but the public isn’t fooled by these claims. Republicans have done nothing more than attack teachers and attempt to dismantle public education in this state. They have taken away the job security of our veteran teachers, stripped their ability to negotiate for things like text books, janitorial services and basic school supplies. Republicans have opened the door to for-profit charter schools and nearly ripped millions from public education with a costly voucher proposal. This is not reform; it’s regression.
Republicans continue to claim that they saved the state millions by ending session a week early. This claim is simply false. While I am glad we saved approximately $450,000 by adjourning a little earlier, I am disappointed that the majority party chose to use that money to fund raises and bonuses for their staff. They handed out 11 percent to 32 percent pay increases to cabinet officials, all of whom already made well north of $100,000 a year. Not to be outdone, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey secretly handed out 4 percent to 8 percent raises to 18 select Senate staffers. Once again, this is a prime example of Republican rhetoric not matching results.

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