The State Senate tabled Speaker O’Brien’s attack on the middle class in less than two minutes today in full session. Unlike Rep. O’Brien, the Senate understood that it was a wasteful use of resources to spend much time on HB 1677. New Hampshire is facing incredibly tough economic times and our lawmakers cannot afford to become fixated on legislation that is not going to bolster our economy. The Senate rapidly sent out the clear message that they were not going to prolong the Right to Work (for less) discussion that had monopolized the NH House under O’Brien’s ineffective leadership. They quickly and unceremoniously tabled the bill, which effectively kills the bill this session. Senate President, Peter Bragdon (R- Milford) announced the bill and Sen. James Forsythe (R-Stafford) made a motion to lay the bill on the table. On a voice vote, the bill was tabled and they moved on to the next bill.
“Today we saw our senators demonstrate leadership by putting aside Speaker O’Brien’s never ending war against working families,” said SEA President Diana Lacey. “Unlike their 2011 vote, all of the senators know now that this bill has no chance of becoming law and it is good to see them signal to the House that the focus needs to be on job creation.”
Immediately following this action, labor leaders, members at large, faith leaders, and other activists gathered on the State House lawn in a “mini-rally” of celebration.
Thank you to all of the members who played an active role in this success for NH’s working families. Many of you have made phone calls, written letters to the editor, spoken with your legislators, and attended countless lobby days on your own personal or annual time. As we saw today, our grass roots activism made a difference!
While it is wonderful to savor today’s success, we must not become complacent. This is an instance of one harmful Bill down and more to follow. Several other Bills that, if passed, will weaken our rights to collectively bargain and to negotiate for good wages and reasonable benefits; retire in dignity; and work in safe conditions have yet to be considered. Be assured SEA will be doing all it can to garner similar outcomes as today’s Right to Work (for Less) vote.