Legislative Bulletins

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AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin 2017-08

This week and next week the House will not be in session, due to school winter vacations, though the Senate is holding sessions and many committee hearings continue to be held.  So, business continues to be done, though we are in a bit of a pause in the House, before the deluge of bills hits the floor on March 8 & 9.  Due to the pause, and  trying to closely monitor committee actions, this bulletin is intended to provide a snapshot of where we are and what lies ahead the next few weeks. 

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin 2017-07

Yesterday was a good day, a very good day for us in the NH House.  As you most likely know by now, a coalition of Democrats and courageous Republican representatives thwarted out-of-state corporate interests and defeated so-called ‘right to work’ legislation (SB 11) on a 200-177 vote.  Defying Governor Sununu and his anti-worker agenda, Representatives also blocked Republican plans to bring forward another so-called ‘right to work’ bill in March, thereby effectively killing the issue for the next two years.  This was a hard-fought victory, produced by the hard work of a broad coalition of labor unions, faith-based and community action organizations working together, designing an effective strategy, and carrying it out through the work of thousands of individuals writing and calling their State Representatives.  The parliamentary maneuvers on the floor of the House were carried out with nary a hitch, but it all would be for naught without the work of so many of you.  Thank you!

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin 2017-06

Bow, NH - February 10, 2017 


Besides the snowstorms this week, the big news out of Concord is the current status of ‘right to work’ legislation, legislative action on the NH Retirement System, and the continuing saga of Frank Edelblut as NH’s own version of Betsy DeVos.

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin 2017-05

The NH House met in session yesterday and among its actions, rejected proposals to repeal the education tax credit enacted back in 2012.  This credit allows businesses to reduce their business taxes by donating money to a scholarship fund that provides awards to NH students attending private schools (including religious schools).  In other words, public tax revenues which could be used for public education are reduced so as to benefit students attending private schools.  Further, the groups administering the program are permitted to skim approximately 10% off the top for “administrative costs,” meaning the more scholarship money they raise, the more profit they earn.  A nice deal.

Defeat Right to Work

So-called “right to work” is now scheduled for its hearing before the Labor Committee on Wednesday, February 8, starting at 10 am in Reps Hall in the State House.  The hearing will likely last for a number of hours, including a lunch recess, after which it has already been announced that the Labor Committee must vote on the proposed legislation.  Why the rush?  It appears that backers of so-called “right to work” want to bring the legislation to the floor of the House on February 16, thereby forcing the committee to act precipitously.  So, mark those two dates:

            February 8:  Labor Committee public hearing and vote on “right to work”—10 am,  Representatives Hall, State House, Concord NH

            February 16:  expected House debate and vote on “right to work” to occur that morning. 

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin 2017-04

Bow, NH

January 27, 2017 


Yesterday was a warm, almost Spring-like day, always welcome in January.  The gold of the State House dome shone brightly in the sunshine, and I even took the time to sit for a short while on a bench on the State House grounds.  Inside, however, the legislative session is just beginning to warm up, with a short session of the House to deal with a few legislative items, following an intensive week of public hearings on proposed bills, as committees work hard to push legislation to the floor for debates and votes.

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin 2017-03

Bow, NH
January 20, 2017 

Yesterday, the NH Senate passed SB 11, the so-called ‘right to work’ bill, by a vote of 12-11.  Ten Democratic senators were joined by Republican Senator Sharon Carson in opposing the bill, while one Republican Senator, Robert Guida, was absent and did not vote.  By this action, the Republican majority in the NH Senate (excepting Senator Carson) makes clear where it stands.  Their aim is to weaken organized labor and the ability of working people to negotiate collectively and have a powerful voice in the workplace.  When organized labor is strong, working people are strong, wages rise, benefits improve, and there is greater mutual respect and equality in the workplace.  ‘Right to work’ intends to reverse gains made in New Hampshire over nearly the past fifty years, and in tandem with other legislation, will turn New Hampshire into the low-wage haven of New England.

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin- 2017-02

On Tuesday, January 10, hundreds packed Reps Hall in the State House for the Senate Commerce Committee public hearing on SB 11, the proposed “right to work” legislation.  From 1 pm into the evening, a long line of witnesses, including Senators, Representatives, labor leaders, and working people (union and non-union) spoke against so-called “right to work” legislation. They pointed out that it would bring no new economic investment to NH, would inject the State into the negotiations process, and was simply an attempt to financially cripple labor unions and thereby weaken their ability to better the working conditions and the lives of those they represent.  And then, at the end of the day, without taking any time to consider evidence presented, the Committee voted 3-2, along strict party lines, to send SB 11 onto the Senate, with a recommendation of “ought to pass.”