Tag Archives: little

Supermajority Controlling ‘Little People’s Republic’ Local Government

Concerned with the prospect of a local government setting up what one leader called a “little people’s republic,” the Legislature’s Republican supermajority is moving on several fronts to assert state authority over cities and counties.
Some Democrats and local government officials decry the trend as an assault on local control and incongruous with Republican criticisms of the federal government for dictating to state governments.
“The level of contempt that this Republican majority has for local governments and working people is simply disgusting,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner of Old Hickory.
Turner’s remarks came after House approval Thursday of a bill (HB501) that declares local governments cannot put conditions on their contracts with businesses that require the businesses to pay more than minimum wages set by state or federal law, provide insurance or family leave. It also prohibits local governments from enforcing any ordinance on “wage theft,” wherein a company fails to live up to promises to pay a given wage or provide benefits.
The bill was approved 66-27 on a mostly party-line vote — Republicans for it, Democrats against — after a sometimes heated debate. House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, may have best summed up the GOP view of such legislation.

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Bill Restricting Foreign Teachers ‘a Little Concerning’ to Gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday expressed reservations about a bill seeking to cap the number of foreign workers at Tennessee charter schools.
The Republican governor told reporters after a prayer breakfast at Lipscomb University that he is concerned about the measure headed for his consideration after passing both chambers of the General Assembly.
Haslam noted that the state is trying to promote more science, technology, engineering and math classes in the state, and that he doesn’t want to close off a potential pipeline of teachers with expertise in those subjects.
“History has shown us that if you look at a lot of the technological innovations, a lot of them have come from folks who are born in other places beside the U.S.,” he said. “And then they brought their talents here to use that to create good ideas to help Americans and create capital.
“So the idea itself is a little concerning to me.”
The measure passed the House on a 63-29 vote on Monday, while the Senate passed its version last week on an 18-13 vote.
Under the bill, a chartering authority would not be allowed to approve a school’s application if it planned to hire 3.5 percent of foreign workers from H1B or J-1 visa programs. The bill would allow exemptions to the limit for foreign language teachers.
Haslam said he has not yet seen the final version of the bill sponsored by Rep. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma and fellow Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, so he didn’t know whether he would sign it into law.
“We want to check out the final version and see if this is something that hurts Tennessee, doesn’t impact it or helps,” Haslam said.
Read SB3345 at http://capitol.tn.gov