Before the vote, Rep. Mike Turner, D-Nashville, did manage to squeeze in a little speech in opposition. He said he confronted Gov. Haslam about the bill during a breakfast meeting.
“’Governor,’” I said, ‘You know we give all these tax breaks to the wealthy. We take collective bargaining rights away. We’re going to address the pension system and make state employees pay more and get less. When are we going to do something for the working people in this state?’
“This bill is the worst bill I’ve seen since I’ve been here as far as working people go. This bill really disturbs me to my core. Most of the people in your district are working people. When they get hurt on the job, they have the right to be made whole.”
The statement from the pro-labor Tennessee Citizen Action:
Tennessee Citizen Action executive director Mary Mancini released the following statement on the passage of the HB 194, Governor Bill Haslam’s proposed changes to workers’ compensation out of House Human Resources and Consumer Committee.
“It is clear by the testimony given in today’s committee that the Governor’s proposed changes to workers’ comp will disproportionately negatively affect workers who are injured on the job while giving a free pass to employers and Big Insurance. Why our legislators continue to ignore basic facts to kowtow to special interests is disappointing to say the least."