Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Senate Approves HB 474

16 Senators vote against constituents, history, NH economy

This morning, the New Hampshire Senate voted 16 to 8 to approve HB 474, The “Right to Work” (for less) bill. You can read the roll call here.

What happens next? The House is expected to vote next week on whether to accept the Senate’s changes to the bill, or whether to send it to a Committee of Conference.

(a) If the House votes to accept the Senate bill, it will go to the Governor’s desk. Governor Lynch has said he would veto the legislation. The bill would then go back to the House and Senate for a vote on whether to override the veto.

Overturning a veto requires a two-thirds vote by both chambers of the Legislature. The Senate would approve overturning the veto, if all members of the Senate vote again the way they did this morning. The House’s vote next week – on whether to accept the Senate’s version – will be a strong indicator of whether the House would vote to overturn the Governor’s veto.

(b) If the House votes to send the bill to a Committee of Conference, then House and Senate leadership will appoint members of the Committee of Conference who will work to find a compromise between the two versions.

We will keep you up to date as this bill moves forward.

What happened this morning? This morning, 16 members of our state Senate forgot who they are supposed to represent. They voted to approve legislation written and promoted by a Virginia-based lobbying group, even after it was clear that the bill would harm New Hampshire families.

This morning, those 16 Senators ignored decades of legislative history in New Hampshire. Our Legislature has repeatedly rejected “Right to Work” (for less) bills under both Republican and Democratic leadership. For decades, our Legislature respected the autonomy of private businesses, and allowed companies to decide for themselves what provisions to include in their employment contracts. This morning, those 16 Senators decided they know better than the employers do.

“The New Hampshire Senate should be ashamed for choosing politics over the working people of New Hampshire,” said SEA President Diana Lacey, in a press release sent this afternoon.

“The Senators themselves publicly discredited the arguments for the bill. Labor Commissioner George Copadis testified that no business owner had ever asked him about it. Each of the Senators heard from hundreds upon hundreds of their constituents, opposing HB 474. Yet a majority of Senators voted to approve the bill,” Lacey said. “This is nothing more or less than the triumph of back-room politics, where lobbyists and their corporate cohorts have more influence than the middle class families in New Hampshire.”

Click here to read the full press release, including quotes from Randy Hunneyman and Joan Hamblet.

Stay posted for a follow-up "Alert" about emergency meetings taking place over the next week. Plans and actions will be announced in the next 24 hours.

Thank you all for your continued hard work to protect our families and other middle class families in New Hampshire.


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