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Two Constitutional Amendments to be on 2022 Ballot

This information is provided courtesy of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, who represents Giles and five other Tennessee counties.

In 2022, two initiatives will go before Tennessee voters to amend the Tennessee Constitution.

Ballot initiatives have passed the Tennessee General Assembly with a two thirds majority vote in each chamber and must now receive a majority of votes in the gubernatorial election to be added to the Constitution.

Right to Work Constitutional Amendment – The first proposed amendment is to enshrine Tennessee’s Right to Work law in the State’s Constitution.

The resolution received final approval during the 2021 legislative session.

The proposed amendment says, “It is unlawful for any person, corporation, association, or this state or its political subdivisions to deny or attempt to deny employment to any person by reason of the person's membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization.”

This amendment will guarantee future generations of Tennessee workers their right to work regardless of whether they join a union.

Passage of this amendment would also send a strong message that Tennessee will continue to foster a business-friendly climate.

Right to Work laws have been critical to producing the economic growth our state has experienced over the last decade.

Twenty-seven other states have Right to Work laws, and nine have passed constitutional

amendments, including neighboring states Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.

The Alabama amendment passed most recently in 2016. Virginia has considered repealing its Right to Work statute.

A constitutional amendment in Tennessee would offer greater protection for workers against such repeal efforts.

Temporary incapacitation of the governor – Another constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2022 provides for a stable transition in case the governor is unable to perform his or her duties due to a planned or unplanned absence.

The resolution provides that when a temporary incapacitation is planned, such as major surgery, a written declaration from the governor would be submitted that powers and duties will be temporarily discharged by the speaker of the Senate.

If incapacitation results from a sudden incident where the governor is unable to submit a declaration, then a majority of administrative commissioners of the governor’s cabinet would submit a written declaration to temporarily name the speaker of the Senate as acting governor, with duties falling to the speaker of the House of Representatives if the Senate speaker’s office is vacant.

The acting governor would be authorized to continue to perform duties of the office until the governor transmits that he or she is able to resume their responsibilities.

Tennessee is the only state without a provision in the state’s constitution that addresses this issue.

Hensley may be contacted at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N. Suite 742 Nashville, Tenn., 27243, by calling 615-741-3100 or toll free 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100 or by faxing 615-253-0231.

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald Tenn., 38462, his telephone number is 931-796-2018 and cell phone is 931-212-8823. His e-mail is sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov

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Information in this column comes from the office of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley M.D., who represents Giles and five other counties. From school bus drivers to trucking, the lack of Commercia