Unsatisfied with landmark tort reform legislation that Gov. Bill Haslam and Republican lawmakers successfully enacted last year, business, insurance and health-care interests continue to push for laws that will reduce their exposure to civil lawsuits.
Proponents of the laws say they will help prevent the filing of junk lawsuits and improve Tennessee’s business climate. Opponents say they would improperly shield wrongdoers and close the courthouse doors to all but the very wealthy.
After reading this story in the Tennessean this morning we have to state once again, when will Governor Bill Haslam and Republican lawmakers ask, “Is this legislation good for the hardworking people of Tennessee” before they ask, “Is this legislation good for large corporations and their CEOs?”
The article’s title and sub-title: ”More TN tort reform may make the ‘loser pay’” and ”Group follows landmark law with plan to weed out frivolous lawsuits” is painful enough since it establishes as givens the memes that our civil justice system is broken (tort “reform”) and that Tennessee has a problem with lawsuits run amok. Neither is true.
Rep. Jeanne Richardson writes in an op/ed that focuses on public employees and their value to the state.LINK
If the goal is really both the effectiveness and efficiency of government work, the focus should be on maintaining a properly trained workforce that serves the public needs in an efficacious and customer-friendly manner. Further, we should make wise use of the investment the state has made in its employees by keeping the best and the brightest of them.
The TEAM Act does not achieve these goals. Instead, it would virtually eliminate all incentives for people to become state employees, dedicated to the needs of all.
Tennessee Conservation Voters have released a statewide ad regarding the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act. . LINK
Mountaintop removal coal mining is not a partisan issue, it’s a people issue.” said Mary Helen Clarke, Board President of Tennessee Conservation Voters. “The goal of our campaign is to educate Tennesseans and our elected representatives on the negative health and economic impacts caused by mountaintop removal mining. From increased rates of cancer, heart disease and birth defects to costing Tennessee tax payers millions each year, mountaintop removal mining comes with extraordinary costs. Right and wrong don’t always divide across party lines, neither should blowing up Tennessean’s mountains.”
The Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act is not an anti-coal campaign. The bill narrowly applies to the method of coal mining above 2,000 feet and only limits mining high-elevation coal by one method, that is, mountaintop removal. All other methods of coal extraction would be unaffected by this legislation.
Last year, the state government enacted HB600 which set current state law as the ceiling for employment discrimination for all local governments. The sponsor and supporters of the bill claimed the new state law merely provided a uniform set of statewide standards for workplace protections. HB600 made no explicit reference to sexual orientation or gender identity. But HB600 was introduced in direct response to a Nashville ordinance protecting the employees of local government contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- A very intriguing story by J.R. Lind on Nashville and the rise of Williamson County which focuses on the how the border county has become an economic powerhouse and Davidson County rival.LINK
- Democratic powerhouse Howard Richardson from Shelby County has passed away. Hishistory is politics and activism is legendary.LINK
- Are school counselors having their hands tied with new Don’t Say Gay legislation. Tony Gonzalez at the Tennessean talks to some of them and they are saying this is troubling. LINK
- Is the 287(g) bill coming to an end? LINK