Mayors Speak Out

 

The mayors from Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville are letting the legislature know that they do not want that state interfering in city business. Knoxville mayor Madeline Rogero said the state doesn’t like federal mandates and the same thing goes for local government when it comes to state mandates. LINK

 

Rogero cited some example of pending legislation that could have a negative impact on local governments. One is HB3386, which would prohibit local governments from requiring city contractors to provide a specified level of benefits to employees.

Memphis, for example, now requires city contractors to pay more than the federal; minimum wage. Knoxville does not and Rogero said there are no plans to do so.

“Whether we do it now or not is not the issue,” she said. “It’s another of those bills that preempt local authority. We would like to have more autonomy on the local level and have the state let us make the decisions on what’s best for us.”

 

In a Jackson Sun editorial, community colleges are being discussed as an alternative. LINK

 

As the economy improves and new jobs come online, workers will find that many of yesterday’s jobs are gone forever. To be employed or re-employed, they will need new skills and more education. The challenge for students, young and old, is whether they will be prepared for higher learning. Mastery of basic math, reading and writing is a must to qualify for such apprenticeship and community-college programs.

Such education efforts are not new. Henry Ford took poor kids off the streets of Detroit, put them in ties and white shirts, fed them lunch and trained them in apprentice programs to be machinists, pattern makers and mechanics to work in Ford factories.

 

Occupy Nashville’s actual occupation of War Memorial Plaza may be coming to an end but protesters tell Jonathon Meador that their fight is far from over. LINK

 

For weeks, the Tennessee General Assembly has debated legislation that would effectively evict Occupy Nashville from the plaza, citing a familiar chorus of complaints centered on the protesters’ bodily functions. The most notable of these was Rep. Eric Watson’s comment that the protesters “need to be peed on” – a reference to an alleged public-urination incident hotly denied by Occupiers. Last week, Watson’s HB 2638 sailed through the House, 70-26. The bill means to levy a jail sentence of one year and a $2,500 fine against anyone – whether Occupiers or any of Nashville’s approximately 6,000 homeless individuals – caught with “bedding for the purpose of sleeping … including tents, portable toilets, sleeping bags, tarps, propane heaters, cooking equipment and generators.”

As of press time, the General Assembly is expected to vote Thursday on the Senate version of Watson’s bill, SB 2508, sponsored by state Sen. Dolores Gresham, which would make camping in the vein of the Occupy movement a misdemeanor offense and permit the seizure of the offender’s private property by the state.

 

 

Gannett papers are going behind a paywall. What this means is that finding out news from the state capitol may become a little bit more difficult although there are independent newspapers and television that will get the traffic for people who live outside the 440 Loop. LINK

 

The vogue for digital paywalls sweeping the news business has made it all the way to the top:Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, is planning to switch over all of its 80 community newspapers to a paid model by the end of the year, it announced during an investor day held in Manhattan Wednesday.

Quick Hits

  • Katy Graham has a new blog called Lavender and Cheese. She discusses the realities of health insurance where she had to make a choice for financial reasons. LINK
  • Eric Stewart also has a new campaign blog.LINK
  • The latest legislation in Nashville which Betsy Phillips writes at Pith in the Wind that our lawmakers didn’t think all the way through. LINK
  • Jackson Baker has the latest on redistricting and District 90′s John DeBerry at the Memphis Flyer. LINK
  • Cara Kumari writes about Gov. Bill Haslam’s Top To Bottom review. She says it is quite lengthy and broken up into sections. LINK
  •  Proposed legislation for term limits for Tennessee representatives has died in subcommittee and sent to summer study.LINK

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