Expected absences by Metro Council members vacationing during spring break will likely mean the deferral of a vote on a pending nondiscrimination ordinance that would require Metro contractors to adopt employment protections for gay, lesbian and transgender workers.
The council in February voted 21-16 to give preliminary approval of a bill that would extend Metro’s nondiscrimination policy to companies that do business with the city. The bill is slated for the council’s final of three votes Tuesday, March 15, but bill sponsors are unsure whether enough yea-votes will be present. To try to ensure its approval, council backers may seek to push back the vote.
“We’ve got several absences as a result of spring break,” said Metro Councilman Mike Jameson, a bill co-sponsor. “So that the bill is considered on its merits, it and several others I believe are going to be deferred.”
If the council opts to act on a motion to defer, the ordinance would be pushed back one meeting to April 5.
Other items on the council’s agenda include:
• At-large Councilwoman Megan Barry and others have sponsored a memorializing resolution that, if approved, would put the council on record as opposing a state bill that would limit local municipalities’ autonomy to self-govern. The state bill, proposed by Rep. Glen Casada in response to Metro’s nondiscrimination ordinance, has stalled in committee.
• The council on second reading will consider a bill that would exempt vehicles manufactured within the past two years from emissions testing. The bill is sponsored by Council members Rip Ryman and Jim Forkum.
• The council will weigh in on a memorializing resolution filed by Councilman Eric Crafton that would request Mayor Karl Dean explore relocating Metro Government Archives to the former Ben West Library building. In the fall, Dean announced plans to relocate the archives, currently located in Green Hills, to Hickory Hollow Mall. Those plans are now off the table.