Tag Archives: Living Wage

Naifeh To Retire

Richard Locker writes today in the Commercial Appeal that a legend in Tennessee politics will be making an announcement today. LINK

State Rep. Jimmy Naifeh of Covington, who served as House speaker for 18 years and longer than anyone in Tennessee history, is expected to announce today he won’t run for re-election this year after 38 years in the General Assembly.


A bill to cut lottery-financed scholarships took an unusual turn yesterday before it advanced. LINK

The state legislature is moving ahead to make it harder to qualify for a lottery-financed scholarship. But the proposal got a rare self-destruct mechanism written into it today.

Under a bill from Senator Dolores Gresham, students must score both a 21 on the ACT and have a 3.0 grade point average to earn the full $4,000 a year HOPE scholarship.

Hit only one of those benchmarks, and the scholarship would drop by half.

Those against the change argue lottery income is up, ten million dollars for this year alone. So Gresham added an amendment that says if the lottery income stays high, her new law would automatically go away, in legislative language, “sunset,” prior to ever even taking effect in 2015.


The New Yorker covers Mitt Romney’s campaign and the mood on Super Tuesday from the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville. LINK
The air of inevitability that hangs around Mitt Romney’s Nashville campaign can only be compared to the Yankees clubhouse in October. It is calm, professional, well-funded, and the players are very clean-shaven. Last night, Romney lost Tennessee to Santorum, as well as Oklahoma; more damning, he barely eked out a victory in Ohio. But, at a results-watching party for Romney volunteers at the Renaissance Hotel, the mood was casual, if not jovial: a man with a “Romney for President” sticker played a guitar and sang mellow country songs; the televisions were muted, even as Romney delivered his remarks; and sun-kissed guests, sporting well-pressed suits, tortoise-shell glasses, and silk ties, gushed about the spring-like weather. The results in Tennessee weren’t particularly devastating-or even surprising-to the Romney camp, but his performance didn’t do anything to help the candidate, either, especially with more Southern primaries (Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi) less than a week away. The Romney volunteers I spoke with were undeterred, dismissing any notion that Romney’s performance was worrisome. “I’m very optimistic,” John Shorter, a volunteer coördinator, said. “I’m disappointed in the state of Tennessee, but I believe overall that Governor Romney will be the nominee.”
A bill to block the Living Wage was protested yesterday in Nashville. LINK

Workers from across the state are speaking out against legislation that would prevent Tennessee cities and counties from establishing a living wage.

About 100 workers gathered on the steps of the state Capitol to protest the measure that would ban higher wage requirements set by local governments and repeal any standard that has already been set, which in this case would be in Memphis.

An effort to inform voters is coming from the faith based community in Chattanooga where clergy members are working together fighting for Voters’ Rights. LINK
The reforms, which went into effect in January, require voters possess a valid government-issued photo ID, and in some cases, proof of citizenship. The early voting period was also reduced in length. “The ministers are leading this fight, because there’s been a lack of information,” says the Rev. Kenneth Love. “And many times the only way that we can get this information to the people is through the clergy.” The voting law changes are an effort to disenfranchise the poor, elderly, students and minority groups, according to the faith community. 

Quick Hits

  • Tim Thompson, the East Nashville Marine who protested photo voter IDs is on video discussing why he did it. The video was highlighted on the Rachel Maddow show’s website in a post called ‘Trying to Vote.’ LINK
  • Jackson Baker takes a critical look at the GOP presidential candidates prior to Super Tuesday and how they handled the primary in Tennessee. LINK
  • Political advisor Paul Begala appeared in Jackson last night at Union University. LINK
  • A letter to the editor at the Tennessean says that lobbying and special interest groups don’t always do what is best for the people when it comes to politics. LINK 


Trace Sharp


On the web at  http://www.bluetn.com/

The Living Wage And Disclosure


Bill Haslam is now dealing with what most folks have to go through every day. LINK


As a national discussion on taxes and the rich continues to heat up, a report from the Memphis Commercial Appeal has revealed Gov. Bill Haslam overstated his personalincome tax rate during last year’s campaign. 

Instead of disclosing personal income from family-owned business Pilot-Flying J, the 11th largest private company in the nation, the investigation showed that Haslam only offered reporters a summary of $28.5 million in non-Pilot incomes earned between 2003 and 2008. 

While the governor claimed at times his tax rate topped 48 percent, it turns out his effective federal tax rate was much lower.

Yet, there is also this for Gov. Haslam on the living wage from Jeff Woods. LINK

“I’m not a fan of the living wage,” our gazillionaire governor told reporters. But asked whether he’s for state legislation to handcuff cities and counties, Haslam said: “Governments should be able to decide for themselves if they want to do that.”

That state legislation is the brainchild of Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin, who lastsession gave us the law invalidating Nashville’s anti-gay bias ordinance. His new idea would bar local governments from passing not only living-wage laws but also health-care coverage and family-leave allowances that go beyond the requirements of state law.

Haslam signed Casada’s anti-gay bill into law. So the governor’s comments today caused reporters to cock their heads in puzzlement. Why would Haslam oppose Casada’s new legislation if he was OK with the anti-gay bill? The principle is the same: State legislators shouldn’t impose their political will on the elected representatives of cities and counties.

Southern Beale is talking about things about mountain top removal. LINK

Remember Don Blankenship, the Simon LeGree of coal mining? The man Rolling

 Stone called “the dark lord of coal country”? The guy who called the Upper Big Branchmine disaster that killed 29 mine workers “an act of God” and blamed mine safety regulations for the disaster?

Photo of Zeb Mountain


 This has been going on for a couple of years. Go see Vibinc here on Mountain Top Removal from posts from session this year when the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Bill was in subcommittee. LINK

A living wage should be something we all should be having a conversation about. Compassion is a groovy thing. LINK

A living wage has been one of the rallying cries for the Occupy Wall Street movement, but some Tennessee state lawmakers are making a move to prohibit cities from forcing businesses to implement one.

The plan would prohibit cities from requiring businesses to implement any wage above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

It would also keep them from requiring any insurance mandates or family leave beyond state and federal law.

Opponents say it’s not only an issue of people not being able to live on their salary, it’s also part of a trend they believe is disturbing.

Biz Girl has a question at Knox Views. LINK

Why are there so few women running for political office in Tennessee?
So, are we gonna let people starve? Tom Humphrey with the presser. LINK
Representative Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) announced that “Stop Rewarding States for Recruiting Additional Food Stamp Recipients” was the winner of last week’s YouCut program. The congressman is now in the process of drafting legislation that will prevent the 
federal government

 from issuing bonuses to states for signing up additional food stamp recipients.
Currently, the Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp program) pays state governments bonuses – with taxpayer dollars – for recruiting additional people to sign up for food stamps. 

Quick Hits

  • The Southern Political Report highlights congressional races in Tennessee focusing on Eric Stewart and Roy Herron. LINK
  • Depending on where you read it, the living wage debate can be a bit confusing. LINK
  • Sean Braisted schools Gov. Bill Haslam.
  • Not a lot can explain thisLINK
  • A letter to Newt Gingrich from a Tennessee blogger on the politics of fear. LINK
  • Rep. Chuck Fleishmann has more competition in the GOP Primary. Joe Lance has the update.  LINK