• 72°

TN AFL-CIO letter critical of governor’s address

To the Editor:
“The idealized version of Tennessee that Governor Bill Lee chose to paint a picture of in Monday night’s address is a far cry from reality. Less than a week after hitting the grim milestone of 10,000 COVID-19 deaths in Tennessee, it is disappointing to see many of the governor’s priorities continue to be so out-of-touch with what our state truly needs.
Instead of focusing on things like paying all workers a living wage, the billions of federal dollars lost by not expanding Medicaid, and finally getting the pandemic under control by issuing a mask mandate and basing reopening decisions on science, Governor Lee is more focused on taking a road trip to try to correct the failed policies of his first term and pandering to the policy wish list of big business to please the Republican supermajority.
Tennesseans are hurting. Our members are hurting. As Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Raumesh Akbari noted in her prebuttal to the State of the State on Friday, it’s time for “bold action.” Unfortunately, it seems that Governor Lee thinks that means adding to a Rainy Day Fund that has ballooned to over $1 billion when it’s been pouring for a year, fixing state buildings, and offering “raises” that are an insult to our selfless teachers.
Talking points are no longer an option. It’s time for real solutions to the many real problems facing our state.”

Billy Dycus
TN AFL-CIO President