Caught on Tape: “Let’s make sure that thing’s not on…”

Google ChromeScreenSnapz001It’s true, as Jeff Woods wrote in Pith in the Wind (the political blog of theNashville Scene), that there may be worse gaffes “caught on tape” than the one Rep. Jimmy Eldridge made this week. But for a worker who is facing deep cuts to their paycheck while they are recovering from being injured on the job, his gaffe ranks right up there with the worst of the worst.

You see, Rep. Eldridge is the chairman of the House Human Resources and Consumer Committee, which is the committee that will next hear Governor Bill Haslam’s proposed changes to Tennessee’s workers’ comp law (HB194 / SB 200). In the video, Chairman Eldridge is caught on tape making disparaging remarks about a constituent and her position on the changes.

But that’s not all. Also caught on tape is Chairman Eldridge’s saying that the bill would “fly” through his committee without any thoughtful or meaningful discussion. In the video, Eldridge promises to ram the bill through his committee saying, “I’m going to take care of that bill”“That freight train is going off …”, and
“I can assure you of this, that bill is flying.

Watch the Video Here

So much for legislators listening to their constituents. And the deliberative legislative process. And bills getting a fair hearing in Tennessee.

Eldridge’s comments are unacceptable, but as of today we have yet to hear assurances from House Speaker Beth Harwell or Governor Haslam that Eldridge and his committee will give the proposed changes to workers’ comp the fair and deliberative hearing that changes of this magnitude deserve.
WHAT YOU CAN DO…

  1. CALL Governor Haslam and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell.
    Workers Comp is a complicated issue that is going to affect whether or not hardworking Tennesseans, while they heal after being injured on the job, will be able to take care of their families.No proposed laws should ever be ‘freight-trained’ through any committee, but especially laws like that affect the health, well-being and security of the men, women and children of the state.Ask Governor Haslam and Speaker Harwell to make sure that Chairman Eldridge gives the proposed changes to workers’ comp the fair and deliberative hearing they deserve!
    Governor Bill Haslam:  (615) 741-2001
    Speaker Beth Harwell:  (615) 741-0709
  2. ATTEND Chairman Eldridge’s House Human Resources and Consumer Committee hearing next Tuesday, March 12, from 10:00 am to 12 noon.What: House Human Resources and Consumer Committee Hearing, chaired by Rep. Jimmy Eldridge (R-Jackson).When: Tuesday,  March 12, 2013, 10:00 am – 12 NoonWhere: Legislative Plaza, 301 6th Avenue North (entrance on the corner of 6th & Union), Room 30, Nashville, TN MAP (Parking is available at the Downtown Library. The first 1.5 hours is free with a validated ticket)

    Why:  HB 194 / SB 200, the Governor’s proposed changes to workers’ comp law, passed out of the House Human Resources and Consumer Subcommittee on Wednesday morning without comment from advocates and others who are opposed to the changes. The bill is set to be heard next in the full  committee, chaired by Rep. Eldridge on Tuesday and we need to make ourselves visible!

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