Republicans push a purely ideological, partisan, and divisive agenda today in the NH Senate.
Today, the Senate held public hearings on SB 11, the so-called “Right to Work for Less” legislation, and SB 12, which repeals NH’s concealed carry permitting law.
A few hundred people gathered in Representatives Hall to share their opposition to the so-called “right to work” legislation. Over 120 people spoke in opposition to SB 11 and testimony lasted for over five hours. After the testimony ended, the committee quickly voted SB 11 as “ought to pass” along party lines (3-2).
Labor unions spoke out against the quick vote “ought to pass” by the Senate committee. Glenn Brackett, President of the NH AFL-CIO released the following statement:
“I am grateful to all of our brothers and sisters who traveled from towns and cities across the Granite State to stand in Solidarity with us as we voiced our opposition to SB11, another so-called ‘Right to Work’ bill that is now before the New Hampshire State Senate. I was disappointed that after listening to four hours of impassioned testimony, from over one hundred speakers, that three members of the committee immediately voted to pass SB11 without further discussion or research. I would like to thank Senator Donna Soucy, and Senator Bette Lasky for voting against this deceptive legislation and standing up for New Hampshire working families. We will need your support in the fight ahead.
Every two years, corporate special interest come to New Hampshire to try and pass ‘right to work for less’ legislation that would make life harder for New Hampshire working families. And every two years, concerned citizens, activists, union members and community leaders come together to fight for working families. In New Hampshire, bi-partisan support has defeated efforts to pass so-called ‘Right to Work’ legislation for decades because these laws only weaken workers’ freedom to bargain for respect, fair pay and safety on the job. Fraudulently-labeled ‘Right to Work’ is theft by deception legislation, and it remains wrong for New Hampshire.
If the legislature is seriously interested in creating jobs and bringing business to New Hampshire, they should focus on lowering the cost of energy, and investing in education and infrastructure. New Hampshire deserves real solutions to real problems, and not partisan politics. The legislature was elected to advocate for the best interests of all New Hampshire working families, and that is why they must protect our rights and stop any form of so-called ‘Right to Work.’”
Rich Gulla, President of the State Employees’ Association (SEIU Local 1984) released the following:
“I am disappointed the Commerce Committee decided on a 3-2 vote to send SB 11 to the full Senate ‘Ought to Pass’, despite the compelling testimony offered today in opposition of so-called Right to Work legislation. SB 11 is a tired, recycled bill that has been defeated time after time in New Hampshire with significant bi-partisan support. Yet, extreme conservative out of state special interest groups are pushing it once again.
NH legislatures, regardless of political party, have struck this type of legislation down repeatedly because they understand that Right to Work is Wrong for New Hampshire families and businesses.
It is wrong for NH families because studies show states with similar legislation have lower wages, less economic opportunity, and higher unemployment rates.
It is wrong for NH businesses because it is an overreach of government into private business affairs. In fact, the bill calls for fines and even jail time if businesses do not fully comply.
I urge our Senators to see beyond the misinformation and say no, again, to this recycled bill. It’s time to address issues that actually help NH families and businesses, such as resolving the opioid crisis, extending broadband services to all of NH, and addressing our skyrocketing energy costs.”
The NH Senate is expected to vote on SB 11 in January 19th.
Democrats and advocacy groups were outraged over the purely ideological, partisan, and divisive agenda the Republicans are pushing.
The first official vote of the new session was to repeal a 94 year old law requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon, bill that was vetoed by Governor Hassan last year and is opposed by the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.
“SB 12 is another attempt by the gun lobby to allow anyone in New Hampshire to legally carry a hidden, loaded handgun. Requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon has worked well for New Hampshire for more than 90 years,” said Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. “These licenses are very easy and quick to obtain and do not place an unreasonable burden on law abiding citizens. SB 12 is a radical piece of legislation that will jeopardize public safety. The common sense law we have in place now allows local police departments to deny a license when there is reason to believe a person is a danger to themselves or others. For example, if an individual in a community is a known domestic abuser but has yet to be indicted, or has a hot temper and a habit of getting into bar fights, New Hampshire thankfully provides our local police departments with the ability to reject their concealed carry application. With this vote, New Hampshire is opening the door to allow dangerous individuals with a track record of violence to legally carry hidden, loaded weapons.”
“Despite the claims by Governor Sununu and Republicans in the legislature last week, it’s clear that Republicans are focusing on an agenda that’s out of touch with New Hampshire’s working families,” said Sen. Donna Soucy, ranking Democratic member of the Senate Commerce Committee. “I’m disappointed that instead of focusing on areas that expand opportunity for everyone, Republicans are making it harder for people to earn a living, harder for people to support a family, and interfering with the relationship of employers and their employees.”
“In states with ‘Right to Work for Less’ laws, workers on average have a lower standard of living, bring home less in their paychecks, and go without health care coverage more frequently,” added Sen. Soucy. “That’s why Democrats and Republicans have rejected ‘Right to Work for Less’ for decades in New Hampshire and I’m surprised that Governor Sununu and Senate Republicans have chosen to fast-track this divisive policy. ‘Right to Work for Less’ is wrong for New Hampshire—it will reduce wages for workers, put the government between employers and employees, and cause unnecessary harm to New Hampshire’s working families.”
“The partisan agenda being rammed through the Senate this week are not the priorities of New Hampshire families,” said Sen. Bette Lasky, Vice Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I’m deeply concerned that Governor Sununu and Senate Republicans have chosen to push divisive priorities right out of the gate this year rather than focusing on areas we can work together to expand economic opportunity for all our citizens.”