Protester heckles TN governor at Memphis church forum

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Governor Bill Haslam was met with protest at a Memphis church, while promoting his gas tax hike to fund road projects.

The governor was in Memphis to push his IMPROVE Act at Greater Mount Moriah Baptist Church. An audience of community members, the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Alliance, and local lawmakers lined both sides of the aisle.

During the community forum, members of the group "Tennessee is Not for Sale" held up signs with their namesake in bold letters at the back of the sanctuary, blurting out accusations during the question and answer session. The group accused Haslam of outsourcing state jobs.

When Haslam met with reporters after the forum, the protesters continued to call for answers at the same time reporters were asking questions.

When the news conference concluded, the heckling continued and Haslam responded to a protester before the ministers ushered him out of the hallway.

The protester, recording the exchange with her cell phone, told the governor, "There are no protections for workers who are getting close to 30 years, if they are part-time or temporary workers."

The governor responded, "You will have the same protections you have now.  Let me go with them. OK?" 

At that moment, ministers surrounded the governor and ushered him to his waiting car where they privately spoke with the governor outside his car for roughly ten minutes.

Meanwhile, the gas tax is limping through the legislature and being amended to the point it's only a figment of the original proposal.

Its current version is a sales tax to fund state roads, but the gas tax hike is not dead.

If it passes, you'll pay seven cents more per gallon of gas.

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