Tag Archives: chambers

New coalition set up to push ‘criminal justice reform’

Press release from Tennessee Coalition for Sensible Justice
NASHVILLE – Leaders from advocacy, business and social service groups with constituents across the state came together today to launch the Tennessee Coalition for Sensible Justice. The nonpartisan coalition is committed to advancing criminal justice reform. Founding organizations include the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, the Tennessee Association of Goodwills, and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“These diverse organizations from across the political spectrum came together because we all agree that criminal justice reform is both necessary and urgent,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN executive director. “Our current criminal justice system is functioning like a revolving door. We as a state can and must do better to ensure public safety, fair treatment and equality in the justice system. This coalition will be a powerful advocate for smart-on-crime policies at the legislature.”

The coalition will promote reforms that enhance public safety, promote rehabilitation and re-entry, and save taxpayer dollars in order to create a just and fair criminal justice system that offers every Tennessean the opportunity to become a productive member of society. Continue reading

Chamber leader fears unions could upset TN being ‘poised and positioned so finely’ for business

The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry hosted a conference to fret about unions coming to Tennessee via the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, reports the Nashville Business Journal.

Catherine Glover, president of the state chamber, summed up the event’s cautious mood toward an increased union presence in the state.

“You can bet every single state right now is looking at Tennessee to see what’s going to happen,” Glover said. With recent workers’ compensation and tort reform, she said, “We are poised and positioned so finely right now as a state in Tennessee for business expansion and growth.”

Wes Blumenshine, chairman-elect for the Tennessee chamber board, said unions present a risk to growth in the state.

“Tennessee has done a lot of great things creating a business friendly state,” Blumenshine said. “We’re on a roll, and it’s a risky proposition to introduce unionization into the mix here.”

The conference featured a panel discussion, including attorney Bill Ozier of Bass, Berry & Sims.

Ozier, who has represented employers throughout the state, said the costs of unions far outweigh the benefits for Tennessee companies and business.

“Having a union in your plant is not the end of the world,” Ozier said. “But a lot of the costs are inefficiencies,” he said, primarily “the restrictions on running the plant efficiently.”

William May, the southeast managing director for BBK Performance Improvement LLC, echoed Ozier.

“If you can avoid [unions], do it, ” he said. “Today, you need to have a flexible, if not agile, business model. If you don’t have flexible employees, what do you have?”

Memphis Councilwoman, Husband Charged With Domestic Assault

Memphis City Council member Janis Fullilove and her husband Vernon Chalmers were arrested Tuesday in the latest in a series of domestic altercations at their home southeast of Memphis International Airport, reports the Commercial Appeal.
Each suffered minor injuries and both were charged with domestic assault causing bodily harm.
Police responded to the couple’s home in the 3300 block of Morningview at about 12:17 a.m. Chalmers, 55, told officers he had been out baby-sitting the couple’s grandchildren and visited a friend afterward. When he returned home, Fullilove, 62, accused him of cheating on her and began throwing dishes, according to police.
Chalmers told police that Fullilove had been drinking and that he pushed her to the floor and held her down. Officers reported that Chalmers’ arm was cut in the confrontation.
Fullilove passed out on the sidewalk while being taken to a police car.