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Tenn. House Rejects Fed Rules on Farm Safety

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The House has passed a bill declaring that Tennessee will not enforce federal regulations governing child labor on family farms.

The chamber voted 70-24 Monday evening to approve the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby.

The measure is in response to rules being considered by the U.S. Labor Department seeking to keep children away from some of the most dangerous farm jobs.

Faison joins a number of farm groups in complaining that the proposed rules would upset traditions where children often work alongside their parents and relatives to learn how a farm operates.

"One of the things I'm for is to make sure farmers have freedom. Parents are smart enough to know if their kids need to be workin' on their neighbor's farm or not. I don't think (Washington) D.C. needs to figure out if my children need to work on my neighbor's farm."

The Labor Department last month agreed to modify the plan to include broader exemptions for children whose parents are part owners or operators of farms.

The companion bill to Faison’s measure is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor.