O’Brien’s Re-Election Agenda
More Of The Same

House Speaker Can’t Keep Right-To-Work Plans Under Wraps

House Speaker Bill O'Brien will again pursue right-to-work legislation if he's re-elected to the House Of Representatives in New Hampshire. (Photo via The Telegraph)

House Speaker Bill O’Brien this week outlined his legislative priorities for the upcoming House session, and it’s little surprise that passing “right-to-work” legislation is one of his goals. But if it weren’t for a journalist’s inquiry, his plans for a new term may have remained secret.

Voters in New Hampshire can get an idea of what House candidates are proposing thanks to legislative proposals that are typically submitted and made public each fall. But typically doesn’t mean always. Less than a week before O’Brien presented his priorities Monday, a minor controversy erupted in Concord when it appeared the speaker ordered these proposals be kept secret until after the election.

After the Concord Monitor’s Annmarie Timmins reported the proposals were being held back, O’Brien’s office responded to The Telegraph, saying the speaker’s question had been misinterpreted as a directive. Since that time, more than 200 proposals have been posted at http://gencourt.state.nh.us/lsr_search/. And that’s still far behind the 800 that were posted in 2011.

Voices on both sides of the aisle called the move political, with former Republican Sen. Bob Clegg saying “They don’t want them public because some of them will be used in the upcoming election.” And lawmakers and an official in the Legislative Services office, which handles the requests, confirmed O’Brien had asked to hold off on publishing the requests.

Whether O’Brien actually intended to have the bills kept secret will remain unclear, but it is clear that he intends to pursue the same extreme, anti worker agenda that was rejected during the last House session.

Residents of the Granite State, through the legislature and governor, have said time and again, “right to work” is wrong for New Hampshire.

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