Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Top Stories

Senate Minority Leader Reviews State Legislative Session

State of Tenn.
Tennessee Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle(D) of Memphis

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis is speaking out on the just completed state legislative session.

Kyle notes that the 107th General Assembly was the first in decades under the control of a Republican House, Senate and Governor.  The Shelby County Democrat says his party was able to do little more than react to a Republican agenda.

“The Governor tried to steer us in the area of education and economic development, but the legislators tried to steer us into social issues and personal habits and that made for some conflict, and made – quite frankly - for some unproductive time.”

Kyle says he was especially perplexed by the Republican bill, recently vetoed by the governor, which would have forced Vanderbilt University to rescind its controversial “all comers” student-group membership policy. The Senator says trying to dictate social policy is an odd choice for conservatives.

“Using the police power of the state to enforce their viewpoint: be it in regards to sexual activity; be it regards to morals; be it regards to education; be it regards to what is taught and how it’s taught.”

Kyle says Democrats were able to get at least some of their own initiatives through the assembly, including a measure that allows workers to remain on unemployment for a short time - after they’ve found a job - to ease the transition back into the workforce.