Ahead of Lee's State of the State, Dems call for 'pro-family reforms' in prebuttal

Raumesh Akbari
Posted at 11:53 AM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 15:19:14-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Before Gov. Bill Lee delivers his third State of the State Monday, Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D - Memphis) gave the Democratic prebuttal and called for “pro-family reforms” and efforts to help Tennesseans recover amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Akbari said the state’s top priority should be getting Tennesseans vaccinated and getting the pandemic under control. In order to keep schools and businesses open, Akbari said the state must speed up its vaccination distribution efforts.

Akbari also said Democrats are proposing “Tennessee’s Path to Recovery” -- a multi-year reform package, backed by billions worth of the state’s own tax dollars -- to build schools, guarantee doctors for every family, expand access to childcare, ensure good pay and benefits, reform the state’s “broken” criminal justice system and “restore and revitalize our democracy.”

The first part of that plan would be a billion-dollar investment to put Tennesseans to work, rebuild public health clinics and infrastructure, renovate schools, unlock thousands of clean energy jobs and expand broadband to every county and city.

Akbari also called for “pro-family reforms,” which include paid medical leave, affordable childcare options, a gradual minimum wage increase and modernizing employment benefits.

“These ideas are not revolutionary. They are every day, pocketbook ideas that should unite us all,” she said.

Watch the full prebuttal below: