Monday, February 21, 2011
Rep. Don Miller's Legislation Lacks Jobs Plan, Attacks Unions Instead
Elected to the Tennessee General Assembly last fall, State Rep. Don Miller of Morristown has not been front and center in the news. So finding out what he's been working on, what bills he has submitted and supported -- you'll have to dig that out on your own.
Fortunately, the state's General Assembly website offers a brief peek at his proposals.
Removing the rights of union members is a priority for Rep. Miller.
For instance, his bill, HB1833, would make it a crime for any state employee to engage in a strike or "work stoppage". As of this date, there is not a summary of the bill introduced other than a one-line summation. But have strikes crippled Morristown, Hamblen County or Tennessee in recent years? Why make a legitimate form of free speech a crime?
He's a co-sponsor of HB0130, which "abolishes teachers' unions ability to negotiate terms and conditions of professional service with local boards of education." As with the legislation creating chaos in Wisconsin, the proposal is aimed at outlawing collective bargaining. But unlike Wisconsin, this isn't meant to curb collective bargaining on insurance premiums or pensions, but all negotiations.
I fail to see how deconstructing labor unions will create jobs in this community -- and creating jobs was supposed to be a priority, according to what remains of his political campaign online.
Another bill he's introduced, HB1837, would change the law to allow for the Morristown Utility Commission to sell cable and internet service 10 miles outside of their service area ... I suppose that might mean a few extra jobs for the utility company.
Mostly all I'm seeing from Rep. Miller is that he is working for the national Republican party, as they create ways to remove rights from labor unions and workers, and attempt to stall the Health Care Reform Act. I suppose, as a newcomer to the political landscape, he has to, as they say "dance with the one that brought him to the dance".
State Senator Steve Southerland, meanwhile, has introduced legislation to redefine the legal definition of "rickshaw" in Tennessee. A long list of all legislation he has introduced is here.