Wednesday, May 24, 2006


You're Fired (soon, we hope)

Well, Tennessee State Representative Matthew Hill is fast making enemies in the Republican Party. This blog post by another blogger unhappy with Hill details a bill (HB2065) he cosponsored that would allow firefighters to unionize, at taxpayers' expense of course. Talk about a guy who is out of touch with his voters. He cosponsored this bill after receiving a "$2,000 campaign donation from the Johnson City Pro. Firefighters PAC, a political action committee front-group for the AFL-CIO labor union that fully funded the local PAC during the 2004 election cycle."

What's funny is how State Sen. Ron Ramsey and Republican candidate for governor Jim Bryson want no part of this bill at all. Most cities don't want it either since it would cost them plenty.

I have to say, this sure does help Fred Phillips.

As the above blogger mentioned, the Johnson City Press ran a scathing editorial speaking out loudly against Hill's bill:
This misguided piece of legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, would carve out a special exception for firefighters under state law. Currently, municipal employees in Tennessee are prohibited from joining labor union. For the good of local taxpayers, we urge local lawmakers to regulate this unneeded bill to legislative purgatory.

Here is an editorial against the bill and here are some nice quotes against the bill:
Sen. Jim Bryson (R-Franklin) has moved to exempt Williamson County...

“I do think this completely changes the way we do business in the state of Tennessee with public employees,” Ramsey said. “I’ve always opposed the unionization of public employees.

In addition, the TML said the bill “puts an unfunded mandate on cities” because many mid- to smaller-sized municipalities would have to hire outside attorneys to conduct elections and negotiate.

Business interests have also lobbied against the bill, saying an increasingly unionized climate would hurt economic development. That left some senators worried.

This bill sank like a rock, thankfully.
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