The Tennessee General Assembly has adjourned, so the people of Tennessee are safe. For now.
Us commie liberal bloggers tried to warn you, but voters were fooled anyway by Republican talk of jobs and improving our state's economy. Instead, they got a fantasy smorgasbord of conservative social engineering:
• Tort "reform," taking away your right to seek just compensation for injury or death due to negligence. (They say this is a "jobs" bill. Do we really want employers lured to the state just so they can avoid responsibility for their actions?)
• Made it harder for employees to seek compensation for workplace injuries. Will also allow employers to present uncorroborated, made up evidence when denying unemployment claims.
• Attacks on public education and teachers. Your tax dollars will fund private schools run by drive-by dilettantes for wealthy families, while hard-working teachers and professional educators are shut out of the discussion and subjected to greater political pressure and special interest influence to keep their jobs.
• Authorized contractors to discriminate against gay people when doing business with local governments. Set the stage for banning education about homosexuality in schools.
• Invoked the 10th Amendment to opt out of federal health care programs and regulation.
• Passed a constitutional amendment allowing the legislature to take away a woman's right to make her own decisions about reproductive health. Bonus: it will get even more conservative fundamentalist voters to the polls during the next election when it appears on the ballot for voter approval.
• Enacted a meaningless "anti-terrorism" law aimed at persecuting Muslims.
• Attacked free and fair elections by banning voter verifiable voting machines. They also made it harder for the elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged to vote while at the same time allowing corporations to now make campaign contributions.
Where are all the bills promoting jobs and economic development? While legislators were busy plotting against the middle class, teachers, women, and gay people, our state unemployment went up while at the same time going down in nearly every other state in the country. Heckuva job, Republicans!
And these are just the greatest hits. It will take months of forensic analysis to determine just how much damage was done. (Even legislators admit they don't read the bills they submit on behalf of special interest and fringe nutjob groups.) By the time it's all sorted out they'll be back in session doing more damage.
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