Speakers retaliate against California: No state-paid travel to NCSL convention

From an AP report, as appearing in a California newspaper:

Tennessee’s Republican House and Senate leaders say the state isn’t paying lawmakers or staffers to attend a California legislative summit.

In a letter Thursday, Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell said the state won’t cover the National Conference of State Legislatures conference trip in Los Angeles because of California’s ban on state-paid trips to Tennessee.

California bans non-essential travel to states with laws deemed discriminatory against LGBT people, citing Tennessee’s law letting mental health counselors refuse to treat patients based on the therapist’s religious or personal beliefs.

Tennessee passed a resolution urging states to “to refrain from imposing moral judgment on their sister states as California has done in order to prevent escalating foolishness.”

Further from The Tennessean:

In their letter, Harwell and McNally say they will not approve any member or staff travel to California which is “not an action we feel any pleasure taking.”

“We are well aware this decision will affect attendance at your esteemed conference and preclude our members and staff from critical professional development opportunities.”

The speakers argued that it was “California, not Tennessee, which set this chain of events in motion,” adding that they apologize for any inconvenience it causes.

“The moment California rescinds its ban; Tennessee will begin approving travel to California. We hope that moment comes soon,” they conclude.

Note: Text of the speakers’ letter to NCSL officials is available by clicking on this link: Letter-NCSL Joint CA Travel


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