Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thank goodness fairness doesn't cost any money

The Memphis Daily News is reporting that the expected budget deficit for the City of Memphis has increased from $6.3 million to $8.8 million for the fiscal year ending in June. Yikes!

The Shelby County Committee of TEP hopes the Memphis City Council will enact a Non-Discrimination Ordinance that promotes fair and equal treatment of citizens regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity in 2009.

It's a good thing that the proposed legislation is budget neutral.

You can join the cause for a Memphis Non-Discrimination Ordinance here.




6 comments:

Chris Sanders said...

Amen. Just say No to fiscal notes!

michaelnotmike said...

Jonathan: Fairness would indeed cost some money. Extending full benefits to domestic partners would cost money. Instituting SSM would require revisions to forms and policies and procedures and requires some laws to reworded. In the aggregate, those are not huge expenses, but they are greater than zero.

Chris: What do you mean, "Just say No to fiscal notes!?" While fiscal notes can be used to unfairly kill legislation, that's a complaint about the way they are filled out. Legislators need to know and think about how the laws they pass have an impact on the public fisc.

Chris Sanders said...

Michael, the bill we're advocating should not have a fiscal note. We never said anything about partner benefits.

In terms of my comment, more precisely I should have said, "Just say No to bills with fiscal notes." Fiscal notes helped kill the adoption bill this year.

michaelnotmike said...

Does Memphis have a Human Relations Commission like the one Nashville has? If so, won't this bill increase their work load? Depending on the number of complaints, wouldn't they have to hire additional staff?

(As an aside, I disagree with non-discrimination laws, except as they apply to governments.)

Doesn't every bill have a fiscal note, even if that note says that the bill is budget neutral? I think you're saying: Just say no to things that cost more money. Is that it?

Chris Sanders said...

I doubt there would be any addition of staff. The same staff would handle an additional class of complaints, but it doesn't mean there would be enough to generate additional staffing.

Our bills are related to government employment; they are not related to private employment.

michaelnotmike said...

Of course, if I had actually followed the link provided, I would have known that. Good move by TEP.