The General Assembly passed a bill to limit local government efforts to impose stricter regulations and oversight on Thursday. State Representative Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville) and State Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) were sponsors on the legislation.
The legislation would prohibit local governments from accessing the personal information of employees, imposing additional safety laws beyond state and federal standards, and entering job sites without permission.
The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Greater Tennessee Chapter President and CEO, Clay Crownover, explained in an emailed statement to The Tennessee Star that the threat of increased regulations and oversight from local government would’ve hurt small businesses and workers.
“Too often, local governments get it wrong when it comes to their efforts to change construction industry standards,” stated Crownover. “This legislation will ultimately protect local workers and businesses by preventing local governments from overreaching beyond state and federal law when it comes to enforcing construction industry standards.”
Additionally, Crownover asserted that employee privacy would’ve been at risk if not for the legislation’s passage.
“It is of the utmost importance that worker’s privacy is protected, especially for an industry who is clamoring for more workers, while also promoting safe work sites and continuing to build on the economic success the State of Tennessee has achieved over several years,” said Crownover. “This legislation will protect those jobs and those businesses in the future from oppressive and unreasonable regulations designed to stifle growth in our towns and cities.
Metro Nashville City Council was considering legislation which would now be limited by the General Assembly bill. The council proposed requiring construction businesses to extend direct employment to all temporary workers hired onto a Nashville project for at least 30 days, and allow Metro-approved, third-party entities to ensure compliance.
As The Star reported last week, the bill was passed in the Senate with amendments that provided for the restrictions on local governments concerning local construction businesses. The House concurred with the amendments on Thursday.
The House members voted in favor of the amended Senate bill, 64-21 on Thursday along party lines.
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