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ALEC, What is Their Influence in NH House?

A very important piece of research came out this week from Granite State Progress.  Through deep research of ALEC Exposed and the New Hampshire General Court websites they have connected the two.  For over 30 years Right To Work legislation has been pushed in the New Hampshire House.  In fact, over the last 30 years Right To Work legislation has been proposed thirteen times.  Even before that legislators discussed a “Right To Work for Less bill”.

In 1983 during the debate on SB 71, Sen. Jim Splaine references that a right to work for less bill – though not necessarily in this exact verbiage -­‐ has been discussed every term of his 14 years in the legislature and comes from a firm based out of Virginia. Other Senators note that support for the bill is mostly from out-­‐of-­‐state, including additional references to “telegrams from Virginia” – the home of the National Right to Work Committee.

For many of these years both Republican and Democrat legislators have rejected this amendment until 2011.  In 2011 it took a Governor’s veto to stop Right To Work.   Why has the NH House been pushing Right To Work so hard especially over the last few years? Four words, the American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC).

ALEC is a corporate funded organization that puts state legislators together to help pass laws that are favorible to the corporations and the 1% who own them.  I will let them explain:

“Our members join for the purpose of having a seat at the table. That’s just what we do, that’s the service we offer,” explains Dennis Bartlett, an ALEC task force head who is also the executive director of the American Bail Coalition. “The organization is supported by money from the corporate sector, and, by paying to be members, corporations are allowed the opportunity to sit down at the table and discuss the issues that they have an interest in.”

You might say this is corporate lobbying, but it is more than that.  ALEC also helps to create the legislation that state legislators then submit in their home state as their own laws.  Why would they do this? Granite State Progress explains in their brief:

Corporate Power and Workers’ Rights“ALEC works fervently to promote laws that would shield corporations from legal action and allow them to limit the rights of workers. The group’s model legislation would roll back laws regarding corporate accountability, workers compensation and on the job protections, collective bargaining and organizing rights, prevailing wage and the minimum wage. ALEC is a main proponent of bills that undermineorganized labor by stripping public employees of collective bargaining rights and “right to work” laws. They also push “regulatory flexibility” laws that lead to massive deregulation. It is no surprise that the director of ALEC’s Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force previously worked as a Koch Associate at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.”

Is it really suprising that our current House Labor Committee is pushing Right To Work and other ALEC legislation? Not really when you consider that the chair of the Labor Committee is Gary Daniels
who is in his 8th term in the house.  Daniels was also the “American Legislative Exchange Council Labor & Business Task Force (1990-­‐1992) ~from the Handbook of New Hampshire Elected Officials 1993 & 1994 ALEC State Legislator “.I wonder if we will see any Anti-ALEC legislation in the New Hampshire House like they have proposed in Minnesota?

All quotes are from GSP Research
NH Labor News Previous Posts on ALEC

Union Wage Deductions laws proposed from ALEC?
State Reps getting Taxpayer Money to attend ALEC conferences?
ALEC Exposed Voter ID laws in New Hampshire.

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About The New Hampshire Labor News

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers from the State and Federal Government. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.
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