U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has filed an amendment to S. 3991, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, in anticipation of a Senate vote this week whether to bring the bill to the floor for debate. The amendment would allow states and towns to opt out of the bill’s federal mandates if they would result in an increase in the community’s taxes, cut into existing public services, or compromise public safety.
“I am opposed to any new unfunded mandates on states and local communities, and especially laws that would impose New York or New Jersey’s labor laws on Tennessee, which is exactly what this bill does. My amendment would allow states like Tennessee - which rejected proposals like this every year I was governor and nearly every year since - and local governments to opt out if they decide this law would make them raise taxes, cut services, or otherwise compromise public safety.”
Alexander, a two-term governor of Tennessee and a longtime opponent of unfunded federal mandates, offered a resolution that the Senate Republican Conference recently adopted opposing any new unfunded federal mandates on state and local governments.