Resurrected Tennessee bill punishing 'sanctuary' cities moves through House Finance Committee

Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, left, confers with Rep. Karen Camper, D-Memphis, before a House Finance Subcommittee in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland is at right. The panel later voted to advance Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's road funding proposal that would include the state's first gas tax hike since 1989. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

NASHVILLE - A House panel this morning narrowly approved a bill that would punish Tennessee cities with "sanctuary" policies by denying them state aid while also requiring closer cooperation between local law enforcement and federal officials over requests to detain undocumented immigrants.

Finance Committee members approved the controversial measure on an 11-10 vote as opponents railed against it.

In a voice vote Monday, critics of the bill sponsored by Rep. Jay Reedy, R-Erin, members initially sent the measure off to summer study by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernment Relations. After that drew heated protests from bill proponents, the bill was resurrected and placed on today's calendar.

Amendments would put any local government at risk of losing state economic development grants for adopting policies aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants from federal crackdowns under the Trump administration.

Tennessee already has a ban on the so-called sanctuary cities. But Reedy says "teeth" are needed.

Nashville briefly considered such a policy but later abandoned the effort.