With 'People's Bill Of Rights,' Tennessee Democrats Hope To Seize Initiative From GOP Legislature

Feb 27, 2017

Democrats in the Tennessee legislature are touting a list of policies that they say will benefit Tennessee's middle class.

Their "People's Bill of Rights" consists of five core principles that they say justify actions like raising the state's minimum wage, lessening sentences for marijuana possession and opposing school vouchers.

"This is going back to the basics," says House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley. "There's not anything that you have not heard, and we have not been speaking about for years."

The full slate of legislation runs to 14 pages. Many are measures that Democrats have proposed in the past but haven't gained traction. But taken together, Democrats say their proposals will build a stronger economy, make neighborhoods safer, strengthen public education, spread high-quality healthcare and remove obstacles to voting.

The complete document can be found here.

Few of the measures are likely to pass this year with Republicans firmly in control of the statehouse. But Democrats say they'll try. And at the very least, the proposals highlight their differences with Republicans.