Last week our Tennessee Democrats fought against a bill we have named the "Durham Rule" after embattled State Rep. Jeremy Durham.
This law would shield government officials who engage in misdeeds, like sexual harassment, by forcing any potential plaintiffs to risk paying thousands of dollars to the opposing side's lawyers plus their own legal fees if they lose the case. It's no surprise that they proposed this legislation right now given the ongoing investigation into sexual harassment at the Capitol. This is just Tennessee Republican leaders covering up the bad actions of one of their own...Jeremy Durham. As Rep. Bo Mitchell (D-Nashville) said, "I think that is not standing for state employees. This is silencing state employees and it's really silencing victims".
In a very disturbing vote this week Republicans at the General Assembly killed Sen. Sara Kyle (D-Memphis) and Rep. Sherry Jones's (D-Nashville) "Makayla’s Law" bill. This bill would have saved a countless number of lives in Tennessee by increasing the penalty for allowing children easy access to guns.
Not only did they kill it, but they orchestrated its death in a secret committee pre-meeting, out of the public view and with no Democrats present.
It's become clear that the NRA has so much influence over Tennessee Republicans that they will kill any firearm-related bill, no matter how good, just to please special interests.
State Democrats also worked to stop a bill that would prohibit cities from enacting new affordable housing regulations.
Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) spoke to the media about the plan. “Most of the bills we deal with up here are about dealing with the consequences of concentrated poverty. Our prison system is largely populated by people who grow up in concentrated poverty. This is a problem that is getting worse in Tennessee faster than in any other state in the country. A lot of it is because of exclusionary practices.”
The TNDP and Tennessee's elected Democrats are working together by promoting Tennessee Values that provide strong and safe communities, effective and accountable government and opportunity for all Tennesseans.
Working together we are making a difference at the Capitol, and with your help we're going to make a difference on Election Day 2016.
Mary Mancini (Tennessee Democratic Party Chairwoman)