A bill that prohibits the state from granting preference based on race, gender or ethnicity in hiring processes passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee today on a unanimous vote. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) requested that the bill be sent to Senate Judiciary for an additional hearing, instead of going straight to the Calendar and Rules Committee.
Concerns were brought forward by Leader Norris in the hearing regarding the lack of definition of the term “preference.” He pointed out that protections against discrimination already exist in current law.
The bill applies to all state entities including public higher education institutions. It is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Jim Summerville (R-Dickson) and in the House by Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge).
Higher Education opposes the legislation largely because it would create a litigious environment where universities would incur the burden of proof on any hiring decision.
To view the bill status, click here.Tags: diversity, HB1198, Preference, SB114