Haslam signs bills abolishing teacher collective bargain, permitting corporate contributions

Haslam signs bills abolishing teacher collective bargain, permitting corporate contributions

June 1st, 2011 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Gov. Haslam

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NASHVILLE - Thousands of Tennessee teachers will lose their collective bargaining powers while corporations can now contribute directly to state and local political campaigns under two GOP legislative initiatives signed into law by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

Both laws take effect immediately.

The teachers bill, which critics said was part of a Republican effort to break the main teachers' union, the Tennessee Education Association, abolishes collective bargaining now conducted in 92 of 136 school districts.

It replaces traditional bargaining by affiliates of the main teachers union, the Tennessee Education Association, with a concept Republicans called "collaborative conferencing."

The corporate contribution legislation was opposed by most Democrats. It lets Tennessee join two dozen other states that permit companies to give money to candidates.

Corporations will now be treated like political action committees. The legislation trends forward inflationary impact over the last 15 years contribution limits for individuals and PACs - and now corporations.

Corporate and PAC limits rise from $5,000 to $7,100 for state House contests and from $7,500 to $10,700 for state Senate and statewide contests.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.