Council members sign on in opposition to Casada bills

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 11:06am

Twenty council members have signed a nonbinding resolution to express opposition to state bills that would nullify the city’s nondiscrimination efforts regarding city contractors and remove decision-making authority from city government on other matters, such as the minimum wage.

The council is set to vote on third and final reading March 15 on a bill that would require companies that do business with the city to adopt employment nondiscrimination policies that protect gay, lesbian and transgender people. The council gave preliminary approval of the bill last month by a 21-16 vote.

But lingering in the background is state legislation put forth by Williamson County Republican Rep. Glen Casada that would restrict local governments from adopting nondiscrimination polices that go beyond race, creed, color, religion, sex age and national origin. If approved, local governments would also be outlawed from setting minimum wages on businesses, mandating health insurance benefits and ensuring family leave requirements.

“We cannot have a hodgepodge of laws that will hurt commerce and hurt the expansion of business,” Casada has told The City Paper in the past.  

Council attorney Jon Cooper has said the bill, which entered the General Assembly’s committee system this week, would nullify the intent of the council bill if it becomes law.

A resolution introduced by at-large council members Megan Barry, Jerry Maynard and Ronnie Steine would put the council on record as opposing the Casada bills, which it says would “preempt local governments from enacting their own procurement nondiscrimination policies.” 

The council will consider the memorializing resolution March 15. If approved, it wouldn’t have any practical effect on policy but would simply express the council’s position. 

“While this is a nonbinding resolution, I think it strongly shows that the Metro Council believes that the state needs to focus on the state, and we need to have the ability to focus on local issues,” Barry said.  

9 Comments on this post:

By: revo-lou on 3/2/11 at 10:24

Non-binding resolutions mean nothing. Put same damn teeth in this thing, and tell the state teanuts to pizz off!

By: govskeptic on 3/3/11 at 5:17

Binding or non-binding means the same thing on this
resolution. While feel good resolution are good attempts
at impressing your base, in this proposal it's worth
about as much as a bucket-of-spit!

By: Nitzche on 3/3/11 at 8:13


By: Nitzche on 3/3/11 at 8:17

better yet Ms. Berry what are the local issues you speak of?.... oh, human rights, dignity, hunger, homelessness? well how about Defense? oh, that is a federal issue. Stick to police, fire, schools. Local Government is not that complicated, quit trying to act like you are smarter than the rest of us yokels.

By: global_citizen on 3/3/11 at 8:35

“We cannot have a hodgepodge of laws that will hurt commerce and hurt the expansion of business,” Casada has told The City Paper in the past.

Somehow we've managed to have a booming business environment in Tennessee for all these years, but now Casada would have us believe that he suddenly, coincidentally, came to the epiphany that Tennessee urgently needs his legislation at the same time Nashville is on the verge of passing a law that would forbid workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians.

How dumb does Casada think we are?

By: Alphadog7 on 3/3/11 at 8:55

Another waste of time. Please can we get back to doing something that matters...

By: Kosh III on 3/3/11 at 8:59

'How dumb does Casada think we are?"

Dumb enough to have allowed Bush to steal the 2000 election
Dumb enough to believe that somehow invading two countries that did not threaten us was a good idea
Dumb enough to believe the lies about WMDs
Dumb enough to think Palin would be a good President
Dumb enough to believe the lies from the talking heads on both sides of the aisle
Dumb enough to let the Supreme Court make corporations a "person" with more power and influence than real persons

By: trtay2004 on 3/3/11 at 1:59

Let me get this right.... Casada doesn't want the Federal Government to intervene in State functions, but believes State Government should intervene over Local Government. Oh... now I get it....NOT.

By: pswindle on 3/3/11 at 5:31

Thank God we have 20 sane people trying to run our government. This Casada is following the same route as the WI Governor. I understand a recall is in the works, and we should follow in the same way. We need to recall the ones that are against the people of TN.