UPDATE: State Rep. Glen Casada's bill to strip Tennessee cities of their ability to set their own nondiscrimination policies has just failed in the House Commerce Committee by a 7-6 vote. The quick technical explanation: Members voted down an amendment that essentially made the bill after a brief introduction by Casada. It's been pushed back two weeks, meaning it'll be up again in committee one day after the Metro Council is expected to vote for final passage of the local ordinance. No fireworks from Casada or anyone else on the committee this morning.
With a trifecta of anti-city bills looming in state legislative committees this week, half of the Metro Council has signed on to a resolution that would put local opposition on the permanent record.
At-large Metro Council members Megan Barry, Jerry Maynard and Ronnie Steine — along with 17 signatories — sponsored the resolution, filed Tuesday night, which argues that the bills overstep the state's authority to determine how municipal governments operate.
The bills — introduced by enemy of the city and GOP Rep. Glen Casada in response to a council bill that extends protections against workplace discrimination to gays, lesbians and transgender people at businesses contracting with Metro — would bar Tennessee city governments from enacting their own nondiscrimination policies, minimum wages, health care and family leave policies, and zoning matters.
“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 says.