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TN Hospitality Association Supports Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill

Letter from the Tennessee Hospitality Association; June 18, 2013:

A bipartisan effort is going on in Washington to try and address the pressing problem of immigration. A group of four Democrats and four Republicans in the US Senate, collectively known as the “Gang of Eight,” have authored a bill to modernize our immigration laws.

In an effort to let our elected representatives in Washington know just how important the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is to our economic viability, Tennessee is holding a virtual march on Washington this Thursday, June 20.

Please go to www.MarchforInnovation.com for more information. While you’re there, send a message of support this Thursday to our Senators via Facebook or Twitter. The time to pass this bipartisan legislation has never been better and we need to let Senators Alexander and Corker hear from us during this week’s #iMarch #TN.

The hospitality industry is Tennessee’s second-largest private-sector employer, with an extremely diverse workforce at all levels, comprised of approximately 180,000 employees-with a direct tourist spending impact of $14.1 billion dollars in Tennessee.

Our industry created over $5.2 billion dollars in worker income and paychecks and the industry collects over $1.12 billion dollars in state and local taxes.

We are glad to see our priorities being addressed in the bipartisan “Gang of Eight’s” proposal, which has the right framework to tackle our three key priorities:

  • 1) Improved border security to help prevent illegal border crossings, while encouraging legitimate travel and tourism to the United States to boost U.S. jobs.
  • 2) At its core, immigration reform must include permanent legalization, which would offer undocumented immigrants a pathway to permanent legal work status.
  • 3) A national employment verification system that would provide employers with certainty in regard to their legal obligations, while preempting a patchwork of state and local laws.

These serious issues have been neglected by Congress for too long, and both the well-being of our employees and the continued recovery of our industries depend on immediate action.

I’m marching today through www.MarchforInnovation.com because I want comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed this year. And I’m not alone.

Last week, the Partnership for a New American Economy released a poll showing that 91% of Tennesseans believe it is important that it pass this year.

If you’re one of the 91% who believe it is time to fix our broken immigration system, please join me in #iMarch #TN this Thursday.

Sincerely,

Greg Adkins
Chief Executive Officer
Tennessee Hospitality Association

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Press Releases

TN Chamber’s Statement of Opposition to ‘Guns in Workplace’ Bill

Letter to Tennessee General Assembly Lawmakers, 1 March 2012; Distributed by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry:

Members of the 107th General Assembly Tennessee State Capitol

Dear Senator/ Representative:

Supporters of the right to keep and bear arms have long recognized the value of firearms to protect life, liberty and property. But in Tennessee, proposals before the Legislature use the 2nd Amendment to produce the opposite effect: The cause of gun rights is being used to attack property rights.

Tennessee has enacted legislation that wisely affirms personal freedom by letting law-abiding citizens obtain permits to carry handguns. But this year, that privilege is being used to attack the rights of private property owners. SB2992/HB 3559 and SB3002/HB 3560 are both aimed at curtailing the rights of private property owners by forcing them to allow firearms to be carried onto their premises — even if the property owner objects. The bills even go farther, allowing a person to have a weapon on private property even when the person does not have the right to be on the premises.

The proposed “guns in the parking lot” bills actually have a much broader reach – pulling in any business entity, owner/manager/possessor of real property or public or private employer. It makes it illegal for them to have or enforce a policy restricting firearms in vehicles parked on their private property.

Under current law, private property owners and employers have the authority to make the rules on their own premises. But when it comes to guns, this legislation would take away that freedom. If an employer or property owner – from a retail store to a factory to a daycare center to a hospital to an educational institution – wishes to prohibit individuals or employees from bringing firearms on their property, they should have the right to do so.

This proposed law is a major infringement on private property rights. There is no right in the state or federal Constitution to have a gun on someone else’s property. This is not a place where the government should substitute its judgment for that of the property owners. Decisions about their own safety, as well as that of their customers and employees, should be the property owner’s to make.

This is a year in which both lawmakers and citizens are calling for government to stop the excessive regulation of our lives and our businesses. Supporters of this legislation argue that this enhances individual rights, but you cannot expand rights for one person by restricting the rights of another. And you cannot use more government regulation to create less regulation.

We urge you to oppose SB 2992/HB 3559 and SB 3002/HB 3560.

Sincerely,

Associated Builders and Contractors,
Children’s Hospital Alliance of Tennessee,
Hospital Alliance of Tennessee,
Knoxville Chamber of Commerce,
Tennessee Association of Air Carrier Airports,
Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police,
Tennessee Bankers Association,
Tennessee Business Roundtable,
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry,
Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation,
Tennessee Hospital Association,
Tennessee Hospitality Association,
Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities,
Association Tennessee Paper Council,
Tennessee Petroleum Council,
Tennessee Public and Teaching Hospital,
Association Tennessee Railroads Inc.,
Tennessee Retail Association,