One of the more onerous bills that passed out of last year’s session was HB0600 dubbed the “Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act”.
Sponsored by Glen Casada (R) of Franklin, the bill sought to remove the ability of a local government to set certain ground rules in contracts.
That’s shorthand for enacting non-discrimination ordinances.
Here’s Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D) Ripley from last year laying out one of the critical flaws of HB600.
Almost a year since the passage and nullification of Nashville’s CANDO ordinance, Sen. Jim Kyle (D) Memphis is leading a push, sponsored by Metro Nashville and Shelby County government to repeal the repeal.
Here’s his opening statement:
A member of the Nashville Metro Council also spoke in favor of the bill, but what is more interesting to me are some of the questions for the sponsor. Here’s an exchange from Sen. Mike Faulk – (R) Church Hill:
You’ll notice that at the end of the clip, Sen. Faulk seems to get it. I don’t know if he agrees or disagrees, but he gets it.
Even Sen. Majority Leader Mark Norris (R) Collierville seems to be somewhat swayed, despite past efforts to overrule local control of government.
Of course, some were just trying to get a few specific words. In this case Sen. Stacey “Don’t Say Gay” Campfield – (R) Knoxville tries and fails to extract the words “discriminating against religion” out of the sponsor and supporters. Watch if you dare:
You can see video of the whole discussion here.
At the end of the day, we have to decide if we’re going to let local government…you know…govern. In the wake of the passage of HB 600, that’s a lot harder.
I’m not sure if the bill has a chance in hell, but I’m glad Sen. Kyle is pursuing it and I hope his colleagues on both sides of the aisle will too.