Thanks to advocates like you, the “Special Access to Discriminate” Act (HB0598) is having a hard time gaining traction with lawmakers in the Tennessee General Assembly. The bill continues to be rolled to future meetings as its House sponsor (Rep. Glen Casada) tries to offer amendments that make the bill easier to swallow with the House Subcommittee on Commerce. But you’ve heard the old saying: You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.
The truth is that the “Special Access to Discriminate” Act is a BIG government “solution” designed to thwart local community efforts to expand equal workplace protections, living wages and decent benefits.
As introduced, the “Special Access to Discriminate” Act (HB0598/SB0630) would prohibit local governments from enacting non-discrimination provisions for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of government contractors. HB0598/SB0630 would overturn the Contractor Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance in Nashville Metro Council that would establish LGBT-inclusive workplace protections for employees of government contractors and is very close to passing on the third reading. HB0598/SB0630 will also prohibit local governments from enacting fair wage laws and other workplace benefits for employees of government contractors.
Local municipal, county and school board governments don’t need State Government micromanagement and interference in their contractual affairs.
The House General Subcommittee of Commerce is scheduled to hear HB0598 again on Wednesday March 23. The Senate State and Local Government Committee will hear the Senate version of the SAD Act (SB0630) on Tuesday, March 29. Help stop the SAD Act from becoming law.
If you live in Tennessee, tell the House General Subcommittee of Commerce and Senate State and Local Government Committee to vote no on the “Special Access to Discriminate” Act! Then share this petition with your friends through Facebook, Twitter and email.
- Jonathan Cole, TEP Board Chair
HB0598/SB0630 will take away the right of local communities to improve the lives of their citizens and give contractors special rights to discriminate against their workers. As introduced, HB0598 will prohibit local governments from enacting non-discrimination provisions based on community standards for employees of government contractors. HB0598/SB0630 will also prohibit local governments from enacting fair wage laws for employees of government contractors.
The bill sets a bad precedent for state government interference in the contracting process of local governments. Local governments need the ability to set conditions for the use of taxpayer funds based on community needs and values. This bill undercuts that process.
HB0598/SB0630 will allow workplace discrimination and poverty wages in our local communities. HB0598/SB0630 will undermine local government control of cities, counties and schools boards across Tennessee.
Please vote NO on HB0598/SB0630 and any amendments to these bills.