Good news! The New Hampshire Senate has voted to table HB 1677, Speaker O'Brien's new right-to-work bill. Numerous anti-middle class bills are still at large in the House and Senate, and this bill could still be used as a bargaining chip before the end of the session. However, this is a step in the right direction for the Senate, and a sign that the GOP has decided that attacking workers should be less of a priority than focusing on the real problems facing working people and creating jobs. Here's what NH labor leaders had to say about the vote:
By Glenn Kingsbury Friday, March 23, 2012 The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) of Greater Boston/New Hampshire Division is in strong opposition to House Bill 1677, the so-called "right-to-work" bill.
Both Democrats and Republicans in New Hampshire’s House weren’t fooled by Speaker O’Brien’s renewed attacks on working people. On Wednesday they pushed back hard on his extreme agenda by tabling or denying the Speaker a veto-proof majority on five anti-middle class bills (HB 1677, HB 1206, HB 1645, HB 1663, HB 1685 and HB 1574).
And they called them out for what they were: an attack on the ability of workers to fight for themselves and their communities through a union.
These legislators – Democrats and Republicans alike – were the voice of reason yesterday in a House that has shown that it only wants to take New Hampshire backwards.
Rep. Lee Quandt, Republican from Exeter, came for the vote a week after undergoing open-heart surgery to give a passionate speech on the House floor. He reminded his colleagues that attacking workers’ rights in the workplace runs counter to the House Speaker’s pledge to create jobs.
“We are wasting valuable time and energy on this bill,” he concluded.
“This bill is a bad solution looking for a non-existent problem,” said Tim Copeland, Republican from Stratham, on HB 1677.
HB 1677, HB 1645, and HB 1206, and HB 1574 now move to the Senate.
At a time when the Tea Party-driven Republican agenda in Concord is more unpopular than ever with voters on both sides of the aisle, Chairman Gary Daniels and his allies on the House Labor Committee have ramped up their attacks on working people. In a work session yesterday, the House Labor Committee took another step towards dismantling New Hampshire’s collective bargaining rights law by voting no fewer than five anti-worker bills ‘ought to pass’.
New Hampshire House Democratic Leader State Rep. Terie Norelli, a resident of Portsmouth, wrote in a recent Seacoastonline.com that "we have not seen the end of RTW, as House Speaker Bill O'Brien has pledged to make the issue "priority legislation" in 2012."
Norelli also points out that the budget republicans passed in June killed more than 1,100 jobs in the health care industry by instituting more than $100 million in new taxes on hospitals and implemented "unprecedented cuts" to the N.H. university system, highway fund and social services -- creating more job losses.
For the entire article, click here.