NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A bill that’s headed to the Senate floor Wednesday would force votes to unionize in Tennessee to be through a ‘secret ballot election.’

Republicans say it decreases intimidation.

“We’re not saying you can’t unionize in our state,” Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). “All we’re saying is if you do it, you do it by secret ballot.”

Democrats say it decreases transparency and overreaches into local affairs.

“They’re trying to reach in and tell businesses how to run their business,” Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) said. “They’re trying to tell small businesses what they can and can’t do, and they’re trying to bust unions.”

The bill would only apply to private businesses seeking ‘state funds or benefits.’

“Only if you’re taking state money. If they don’t want to take state money and they want to come to the state of Tennessee, they can use whatever mechanism they want to unionize,” Sexton said. “We’re only talking about if they take state money.”

One company that has taken state money to come to Tennessee – is Ford, for Blue Oval City. But this bill wouldn’t apply because the company took that money years ago.

“They’re trying to dissuade unionization in any way possible, which is quite offensive when you consider the fact that we just invested hundreds of millions of dollars into one of the largest unionized corporations in America,” Clemmons said.

Republicans say this isn’t an anti-union move, it’s a pro-business move.

“You have a better ability to cast your vote without fear of intimidation,” Sexton said. “So we think that’s the better way to go.”

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But Democrats argue this move will push businesses who may want to come here to think twice.

“It’s just a slap in the face to those who want to provide good wages, good benefits for working families in the state of Tennessee,” Clemmons said.