Tag Archives: orientation

Mark Cate on Haslam Being Mayor Vs. Governor & ‘Difficult’ Bill to Sign

Mark Cate, who was manager of candidate Bill Haslam’s campaign and now is senior advisor to him as governor, made a speech in his hometown of Maryville recently that is reported by Blount Today.
Some snippets:
Cate said being mayor of a city (Haslam was Knoxville mayor is completely different from being governor of a state.
“You take on 47,000 employees, and it is truly a large fire hose to the head. The first week, you’re still trying to remember where the restrooms are, but the legislature and the commissioners and everybody has been waiting for you. Everybody thinks you are ready to start on day one. It was an interesting time – 18 of our 22 commissioners were new and 36 of the 39 members of the governor’s staff were new.”
…Cate said the administration wants to make great things happen for the state. “Call us Pollyanna, but we truly believe this is an opportunity to transform state government. We have to take a different approach. It is a bureaucracy, there’s no question. Although our state has been pretty well run in the past, at the end of the day, its about people,” Cate said. “The governor says, ‘The team with the best players wins. That is his mantra, working with people who are willing to be agents of change.”
… When asked which legislation was the most difficult for the governor to sign, Cate said it was House Bill 600.
The bill that Haslam signed forbid localities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances that would be stronger than state law. It, in effect, overturned a Nashville Metro ordinance that forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation for businesses that have contracts with government.
“The governor didn’t oppose the (former ordinance) from a philosophical perspective,” Cate said. “He just believes government should not be drilling down and telling small business what to do.”

TN Political Commentary & Opinion, Memorial Day Weekend Edition

On Sexual Orientation Discrimination
I started to round up all the weekend’s post-session newspaper commentary – generally negative – on the bill overriding Nashville’s city ordinance to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation…. And discovered the Tennessee Equality Project has already done so, HERE.
It might be noted that some of the cited articles cover other legislative topics as well, notably including Wendi Thomas’ entertaining diatribe with this centerpiece paragraph:
In the 107th session, lawmakers voted for a raft of nonsensical, discriminatory and mean-spirited bills. They must be smoking some primo stuff; only an addiction to the crack pipe would explain this behavior.
And a Tennessean article says that, “now it appears that the issue will be near the top of the agenda when the legislature reconvenes next year.”
Haslam Good for Memphis?
Say what you will about Bill Haslam, Otis Sanford opines that the governor has been good for Memphis, “a blue island in a sea of red” which he has visited nine times since taking office.
During his Rotary remarks, Haslam spoke glowingly about the Grizzlies. He also talked about greeting Obama and getting to ride in the presidential limousine as if he too were a star-struck member of the BTW class. “Standing on the tarmac waiting for Air Force One to show up, I got a chill going down my spine,” he said.
With all that, I’d say the governor has more than lived up to his campaign promise to devote personal attention on Memphis.
… And with the staunchly conservative, East Tennessee-focused legislature we have these days, things could be lot worse for Memphis and Shelby County. Haslam gets credit for trying to bring a measure of civility to the legislative session, despite his tacit support for bills that were less-than- friendly to teachers and minority groups.

Ketron on the Session
Media and “misinformation” to the contrary, Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron says in a Daily News Journal op-ed piece that things went well when considering ” what really happened during the 2011 legislative session.”
The fact of the matter is that this was an extremely productive year, despite the best efforts of those who would rather our citizens believe otherwise. I am very proud of the work of our General Assembly this year, especially our legislative delegation. The changes enacted this year will help move this state forward in job creation, education reform and public safety.

Haslam Defends Signing Nashville Ordinance Override

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that local governments shouldn’t go beyond federal or state anti-discrimination requirements to protect gays and lesbians in the work force, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
“I don’t think many Tennesseans feel like we don’t have enough mandates on businesses,” Haslam said after he signed legislation that prohibits local governments from creating anti-discrimination laws that are stricter than the state’s rules. “This had the concurrence of 70 percent of the Legislature.”
Despite opposition from some businesses and Chambers of Commerce, Haslam said he doesn’t think the measure will hurt the state’s business or visitor recruitment.
The law overrules a Nashville ordinance that prohibited companies that discriminate because of sexual orientation or gender identity from receiving city contracts. Nashville is among nearly 100 cities nationwide that have adopted such measures to protect gays and lesbians.

AP’s Story on Overriding Nashville’s Anti-Discrimination Law

By Lucas Johnson
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Some of Tennessee’s biggest employers fought against a new state law that prohibits cities and counties from creating anti-discrimination regulations stricter than the state’s even though supporters argue it protects businesses from cumbersome mandates.
The measure that Republican Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law Monday voids a Nashville ordinance barring companies that discriminate against gays and lesbians from doing business with the city.
Under state law it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or national origin.
The Nashville ordinance went further by prohibiting companies that discriminate because of sexual orientation or gender identity from receiving city contracts. The ordinance, which only applied to businesses employing at least 15 people, didn’t apply to local governments’ hiring policies for their own workers.
Haslam spokesman David Smith said the governor expressed concern about the state telling local governments what to do, “but he also had concerns about local governments telling businesses what to do, especially the potential burden on small businesses.”
However, Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese pointed out in a recent press release that a number of businesses — including FedEx, AT&T, Whirlpool and Comcast — oppose the measure because they view it as discriminatory.

Continue reading

Haslam Signs Override of Nashville’s Anti-Discrimination Law

Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill reversing Metro’s new nondiscrimination ordinance, dealing a blow to opponents who had mounted a campaign urging him to veto the bill, reports The Tennessean.
Haslam signed the Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act, HB 600, Monday afternoon, a spokesman confirmed. The bill effectively reverses an ordinance passed by Metro Council that required contractors with the city to agree to follow Metro’s rules barring discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgendered people.
“Through the legislative process, he expressed concerns about the state telling local governments what to do, but he also had concerns about local governments telling businesses what to do, especially the potential burden on small businesses,” said Haslam’s spokesman, David Smith. “Ultimately, he felt the Metro ordinance went farther than federal law in regulating business policies.”

Override of Nashville’s Sexual Orientation Ordinance Completed

The Senate gave final approval Thursday to a bill that will override a Nashville city ordinance that declares companies contracting with the city cannot practice discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation.
The bill, HB600, won an 18-8 favorable vote in the Senate. It passed the House 73-24 last week and now goes to the governor, who has said he supports the measure.
For more details, see The Tennessean and/or The City Paper.

House Passes Override of Nashville Discrimination Ordinance

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The House has passed a bill that would void a Nashville ordinance barring companies that discriminate against gays and lesbians from doing business with the city.
The measure sponsored by Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin was approved 73-24 on Monday.
The proposal would prohibit local governments from creating anti-discrimination laws that are stricter than the state’s own laws.
Under state law it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or national origin.
The Nashville ordinance prohibits companies that discriminate because of sexual orientation or gender identity from receiving city contracts. It does not apply to local governments’ hiring policies for their own workers.
An amendment to remove Nashville from the proposed legislation failed Monday.

Bill to Ban Local Government Discrimination Ordinances Revived

A bill that would block local governments from enacting anti-discrimination ordinances going beyond state law was revived Wednesday in a House subcommittee where it had lost a test vote earlier in the year.
The measure, which advanced out of the House Commerce Subcommittee as HB600 on a voice vote, was inspired by Nashville’s City Council enacting an ordinance that prohibits companies contracting with city government from discriminating against persons based on sexual orientation. (The ordinance was pending when the bill was originally introduced by Rep. Glen Casada, R-College Grove; it was enacted Tuesday.)
The bill would override such ordinances since state law does not include sexual orientation among anti-discrimination laws, though race, gender and religion are covered.
For more, see Jeff Woods’ story.
The earlier version would have included a prohibition on local ordinances that set a local “minimum wage” for companies contracting with city or county governments.