Press Release from the Office of U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN-05, March 28, 2019:


WASHINGTON U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) blasted a bill that advanced in the Tennessee General Assembly yesterday, which would restrict the ability of civic, religious, and campus groups to help Tennesseans register to vote.

HB1079/SB0971, sponsored by State Representative Tim Rudd and State Senator Ed Jackson, would require individuals and organizations that are attempting to register 100 or more people to vote to adhere to new guidelines.

The House version passed the Elections and Campaign Finance Subcommittee yesterday and will move on to the Local Committee next week. The Senate version is expected to be heard in the State and Local Government Committee next week as well.

“As a state that has one of the lowest voter turnouts in the country, we shouldn’t make voter registration more complicated. If paper forms are too difficult, we should offer more digital options, such as same-day registration and automatic voter registration. Or we should fix our confusing forms,” Rep. Cooper said.

The bill would subject people involved in voter registration drives to civil or criminal penalties up to $10,000 if they are out of compliance with new voter registration requirements, including a deadline by which applications must be submitted and required training through the coordinator of elections.

“More training is good, but what if the training is only offered in certain areas of the state and only on limited days?”

Cooper also criticized conflicting voter registration information that can be confusing to voters, and the lack of training of some election officials.

Cooper noted that punishing people who are trying to help Tennesseans do their civic duty is terrible policy, and Tennessee would be the only state in the nation to subject individuals to civil and criminal penalties.

“It’s like a new poll tax. How many jelly beans are in the jar? We have seen this movie before. This is a blatant attempt to suppress the vote further in Tennessee.”

PRESS RELEASE from the State of Tennessee, July 20, 2017:

Tennessee has rate of 3.6 percent for June 2017

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips today announced Tennessee’s unemployment rate for June 2017 was 3.6 percent, the lowest in Tennessee recorded history.

The June 2017 preliminary seasonally adjusted rate surpasses the previous low of 3.7 percent from March 2000. The state has not experienced an unemployment rate below 4.0 percent since it was 3.9 percent in February 2001.

“What’s truly exciting about today’s news is that this is a statewide story,” Haslam said. “Today more than ever, businesses have a choice of where to grow or expand, and because of the policies this administration has put in place working with the General Assembly, we’re seeing the job growth that comes when businesses choose Tennessee.”

June’s rate declines four-tenths of a percentage point from the May revised rate of 4.0 percent. Amid notable improvements in Tennessee’s unemployment rate, the national preliminary rate increases by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month to 4.4 percent, lingering in the 4.0 percentile.

“When a state’s rate declines during a national uptick in unemployment, that’s something to note,” Phillips said. “Just seven years ago more than 10 percent of Tennesseans were out of work. One of Governor Haslam’s top priorities has been to make Tennessee the best state in the southeast for high quality jobs. All indications point to that priority becoming a reality.”