Press release from the Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus; January 9, 2012:
NASHVILLE – Democratic leaders from both chambers joined U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s call for less interference from Washington, and hoped state leaders could apply his advice to their dealings with cities and counties.
Sen. Alexander addressed the 108th General Assembly on its second day and said the best thing Washington, D.C. can do for Tennessee is get out of the way.
“(Education) is hard enough to do without a federal employee peering over the shoulder of the local school board,” Sen. Alexander said.
“We could not agree more with Sen. Alexander, and the same is true of state government,” House Democratic leader Craig Fitzhugh said. “We hope members of his party will take his message to heart when they’re making decisions that cities should make at home.”
Republican legislators in Tennessee are expected to file legislation that would allow the state to authorize charter schools over local objections. Hundreds of parents in Nashville have already organized to keep their education decisions local. In past years, Republicans have moved to stop cities from adopting anti-discrimination policies and from raising the minimum wage.
“Republicans applauded Sen. Alexander when he talked about local control, and I hope the governor and the Republican members will heed his advice,” Senate Democratic leader Jim Kyle said.
“We should not substitute our judgment for that which is closest to the people.”