- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
Legislation includes faith based groups in 'round up' funds
May 09, 2005 12:00 am
May 6, 2005
A bill sponsored by State Rep. Susan Lynn that would preclude public utilities and cooperatives from discriminating in their charitable "round up" programs against giving to faith-based organizations is headed to the floor of the State House.
Lynn's bill would put an "affirmative statement" into law that utilities and utility cooperatives such as Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative cannot discriminate in their charitable giving from funds derived from customer fees.
The bill was originally designed to force such cooperatives to consider grant applications from faith-based organizations, but Lynn said she added an amendment that covers race, creed, color, religion and gender.
Lynn, a Mt. Juliet Republican, originally received a complaint from a charity in the area that MTEMC was not considering their grant request because it was faith based.
"That was the original thing that clued me in to it," Lynn said of the faith based issue. "I took a look at the original legislation that enabled the round up programs, and I decided not only was religious discrimination was allowed but all kinds of discrimination."
Lynn said originally the bill was opposed by a lobbyist for MTEMC, but a cooperative spokesperson said the utility is no longer fighting the legislation.
"We're OK with things now," MTEMC Spokesperson Chris Jones said Thursday. "Our concern all along was to assure local control."
The bill is set to go to the Calender and Rules Committee in the coming weeks and then to the floor of the House for a vote.
Managing Editor Clint Brewer can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 13 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.