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I ask you to vote NO on HB563 by Rep. Zachary on Thursday.
The amendment to the bill, exempting Tennessee Economic and Community Development, makes it clear that this bill is targeting local government.
But local governments use incentives, too, to attract good jobs to their communities. This bill will take away tools from local governments as they attempt to attract good jobs based on health insurance, family leave, wages, and anti-discrimination policies. That means taxpayers are getting less value for their economic development dollars.
Another disadvantage of this bill is that it affects local governments when they contract with nonprofits for social services. What if a local government wants to give more points in a competitive bidding process to non-profits that serve everyone or serve certain populations but the non-profit won't serve that population or a part of that population? That has not been addressed in the committee discussion of the bill.
This bill seems to open local governments to litigation if they show any preference to a company or non-profit organization with good policies. The assessment of local government liability really wasn't considered in the committee discussion of the bill.
There are just too many outstanding questions on this bill to move forward.
Thank you for considering my views.