DIALOGUE AND DISCUSSION ON EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT AND RACE
March 28, 2014
“either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.”
This Week in Nashville
Rep. Barbara Cooper REPORTS
THE RED PILL
Tennessee Work-Share Act approved in subcommittee
The House Consumer and Human Resources Subcommittee voted 6-0 for the ‘Tennessee Work-Share Act’ by House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh. The bill creates a program to help avoid employers having to lay off their employees in a temporary downturn situation. Instead of laying off the employees completely, employers would have the ability to reduce employee hours while allowing those employees to receive unemployment compensation for the reduced time. In this situation, if an employer had 100 employees and was faced with laying off 20 of them, they could participate in the work sharing program so they move more employees to a four day work week instead of a five day work week, while allowing those employees to apply for unemployment benefits to offset the cost.
By implementing the Tennessee Work-Share Act we can reduce the financial and psychological costs associated with layoffs. Additionally, this program will help businesses rebound faster when their business climate improves. The bill is being supported by organized labor, business groups like the NFIB, and the Department of Labor. It is now scheduled to go before the full Consumer and Human Resources Committee on April 1st.
Effort to Compensate Student Athletes Moves Forward in the House, Dies in the Senate
HB2147 by Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) passed out the House Education Subcommittee this week only to later be narrowly defeated in the Senate Education Committee the next day. The bill would create the Student Athletic Trust Fund to help compensate student athletes after they leave college. The legislation was brought in the midst of a national conversation over whether it is fair for colleges and universities to reap millions of dollars in profits while student athletes are under tight restrictions as to what compensation they can and cannot receive. Under this proposal, colleges and universities who participate in Division I NCAA sports would contribute one percent of receipts from their athletic program to a trust fund managed by the State Treasurer. Student athletes would then be eligible for grants up to $75,000 upon graduation.
Effort to eliminate daylight savings time was turned back
Despite suggestions by Rep. Curry Todd (R-Collierville) that his bill, HB1909, had widespread support across Tennessee, the State Government Committee defeated his proposal to eliminate Daylight Savings Time in Tennessee. During discussions on the bill, various legislators raised concerns about the impact on commerce in our state, in addition to creating unnecessary confusion. In order to appease critics, Rep. Todd offered an amendment that would have exempted East Tennessee from the proposal, which would have created a two hour time difference in certain parts of the state. The bill was ultimately defeated on a 5-6 vote.