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N.H.’s O’Brien Still Planning ‘Right to Work’ Sneak Attack

This is a repost of the National AFL-CIO Blog talking about Right To Work in New Hampshire.

N.H.’s O’Brien Still Planning ‘Right to Work’ Sneak Attack | AFL-CIO NOW BLOGNew Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien (R) couldn’t pull off a sneak attack or round up enough votes to override Gov. John Lynch’s (D) veto of a so-called right work bill this week, so he adjourned the House until June 22. But with no legal limit setting a veto override deadline, O’Brien can bring up the measure anytime this year, without notice.As he did last month, when he didn’t have the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto  and canceled the vote, O’Brien again vowed to bring it up anytime without warning.
The New Hampshire AFL-CIO has launched a twitter petition urging O’Brien to give 48 hours notice before bringing the override to the floor.  You can click here to sign the petition. You can spread the word on your Facebook page and send to friends. Here’s the short url http://act.ly/3s9.
Earlier this week, O’Brien refused to cancel Wednesday’s session to allow lawmakers to attend the funeral for former Gov. Walter Peterson. He hoped it would draw enough lawmakers opposed to right to work away from the Capitol, so he could hold the vote. The maneuver didn’t work.
Today in a letter the editor in the Concord  Monitor, Sanbornville resident Willis Ingram, made some comparisons between Peterson who was known for finding consensus on issues and O’Brien’s “ongoing manipulative behavior”
What is appalling is O’Brien’s attempt to manipulate the voting. Unlike Peterson, who made every attempt to find common ground, O’Brien seems only interested in his agenda and that of a minority of residents of this state. New Hampshire’s politics are becoming somewhat of an embarrassment. The time has come to cut it out

Mission accomplished for Bill O’Brien?!

From Granite State Progress –

It seems that the NH House GOP could not wait to get a jumpstart on touting their 2011 session accomplishments — more than 3 weeks before the session officially closes.

While technically true that these bills passed the House floor, it is equally true that Speaker O’Brien and his extreme leadership team are putting the cart before the horse on items like HB 474, the anti-worker, anti-middle class bill that is adamently refused by legislators on both sides of the aisle. Unable to get enough votes to carry his extreme agenda, the Speaker has had to postpone the veto vote on this bill for three weeks and counting.

Which leads to a few interesting questions …

1) Did Speaker O’Brien put HB 474 on the list of accomplishments now, so he could tout it for a while before more sensible minds prevail on the final vote?

2) Perhaps is it just another snub from Speaker O’Brien toward other – and differing – opinions in his caucus?

3) Or is it simply that Speaker O’Brien is so wrapped up in his own agenda, that he can’t see the writing on the wall?

What we wouldn’t give for a poll function on this post right now.

MAINE: DeCoster farm negotiating sale to Land O’Lakes — Maine Politics — Bangor Daily News

News from our Neighbors to the East. In this article it appears that in order to beat the union the Jack DeCoster is willing to “sell the farm”. This is just one of the many attacks of organized labor in Maine and many states across the country.

DeCoster farm negotiating sale to Land O’Lakes — Maine Politics — Bangor Daily News: “AUGUSTA, Maine — The sponsor of a bill that would remove workers’ right to unionize at the Jack DeCoster-owned Quality Egg Farm in Turner told the House of Representatives on Thursday morning that the company was in sale negotiations with a subsidiary of Land O’Lakes Inc.

But the extent of those talks is unclear, as is whether the sudden disclosure of a deal influenced Thursday’s preliminary House vote to repeal workers’ 14-year-old right to organize.

Rep. Dale Crafts, R-Lisbon Falls, who spoke before the 74-68 vote along party lines, said after the decision that the Maine law was a sticking point in sale negotiations, a point proponents of the bill made during the GOP caucus Thursday morning.

Crafts acknowledged afterward that he hoped telling lawmakers about the sale would change the minds of those uncomfortable with backing legislation that benefits DeCoster, a company nationally known for its checkered history of workplace and labor violations.”

Part 5: Current law has many loopholes – NashuaTelegraph.com

This is for those who have been following the week long editorial on “Double Dipping” from retired state workers.

Current law has many loopholes – NashuaTelegraph.com: “It pays to draw a public pension in some New England states more than others.
Take Maine. A qualified retiree can return to work as a state or municipal worker – even in the same job – and put in full-time hours and receive full-time pay, all while still collecting a full pension.
The caveat to the Maine advantage, though, is that most public employees have to work until they’re at least 60 before becoming eligible for a full pension, whereas a New Hampshire retiree could conceivably be as young as 38.
Still, no other New England state allows such a full double-dip in the public money pool as Maine does. Some states come close, though.
At first glance, it appears Connecticut state pensioners are limited in their amount of public sector work by a “temporary status” designation: defined as no more than 120 days in a calendar year.”

Portsmouth Herald: “Dirty fight over Right to Work”

Terrific editorial in today’s Portsmouth Herald.

“There is clearly no depth to which House Speaker William O’Brien won’t stoop. This week, he again scheduled the vote to override Gov. John Lynch’s veto of the phony Right to Work bill, thinking enough of his own rebellious party members might attend the funeral of former Gov. Walter Peterson, a Republican remembered in part for his moderate views and ability to work with members of both parties.

“It’s the lowest thing I’ve ever seen and shows they want to win at any cost,” Rep. Marshall “Lee” Quandt, an Exeter Republican, said…”

Given the tactics that O’Brien and his fellow tea partiers have used throughout this fight – remember the threats against Sen. Carson? – we need to remember that this isn’t just about a dictatorial right-winger traying to rob workers of their rights, it’s also about the kind of democracy we want to have in New Hampshire. Is this what people really voted for?

LTE:Speaker O’Brien abusing his power – NashuaTelegraph.com

A great letter to the editor from Penny Arsenault of Milford. She holds nothing back in her statement that House Speaker O’Brien’s attacks the middle class. He uses tactics like bullying or calling for (or not calling for) votes only when it falls in line with his Tea Party agenda. Be sure to read the entire article. She goes on to name the members of her district who voted for HB 474 and by casting their vote for Hb474 they are saying “they’re against state workers. educators, firefighters, police and the elderly”

Speaker O’Brien abusing his power – NashuaTelegraph.com: “There’s been a lot of reporting on HB 474 (right to work) and particularly House Speaker William O’Brien. His name has become the most recently mentioned in newspapers these days and he’s seen in many news broadcasts. O’Brien’s made it clear he’s against state workers, educators, firefighters, police and the elderly. He’s abusing the power entrusted to him, which is evident when the House clearly had an overwhelming presence when it came to voting on HB 474 yet he postponed the vote.
Why? Because a few of his “followers” were not present and he needs time to bully the mind-changers. Keep in mind he didn’t need full House attendance when it came to other issues like HB 2. Get the picture? House members have been receiving compelling e-mails and phone calls from voters that HB 474 is nonsense and they’ve been listening – changing their minds.”

Legislature’s budget talks begin, battle lines emerge | New Hampshire NEWS06

More news is coming out about yesterdays Committee of Conference on the State Budget.

Legislature’s budget talks begin, battle lines emerge | New Hampshire NEWS06: “CONCORD — Budget talks between the House and Senate made little progress in their initial session Thursday, but battle lines were being drawn.

The two sides met in private to reach agreement on what state revenues are likely to be over the next two years.
They estimate the state will take in a total of $4.4 billion from state taxes between July 1, and June 30, 2013.”

Included in this article is the Granite State Progress statement (View Here) about transparency in Government.

Opponents of the budget plan said they are looking in to legal recourse because legislative leaders did not post proper notification of the meeting, and held sessions on other bills with no notice at all.
The right-to-know law and House rules call for 24 hours notice, said Zandra Rice Hawkins of Granite State Progress. 
The public got just a few hours notice on the budget meeting, she said.

 It appears they are trying to hold meetings without public knowledge to avoid the public outcry from what they are doing.  Do they really think that we are not watch every step they make in regards to the State Budget.  This article also mentions the deep cuts made to the University system in NH. (view that post on NH AFL-CIO Blog)

USNH to bump up tuition, cut jobs | New Hampshire NEWS04

The House Budget agenda strikes again. This time taking a swing at our states colleges.

USNH to bump up tuition, cut jobs | New Hampshire NEWS04: “CONCORD — The University System of New Hampshire is considering whether to hike a planned tuition increase even higher, and to trim up to 200 positions to handle a state budget cut of more than $90 million over two years.”

The USNH is looking at a 45% decrease in State funds to operate in the next two years. The 200 positions are one of the first thing to hit the chopping block. It was already announced that:

UNH announced last week that its New Hampshire Public Television operation is eliminating programming and terminating 20 workers to deal with a $2.7 million cut to the station.”

“Tuition, which was slated to increase at UNH by 5.8 percent next year, would increase by between 7.4 percent to 8.6 percent for in-state students. At minimum, that would bring tuition, fees and room and board at UNH to $23,518 a year.”

This is only some of the hundred of millions of dollars that the House wants to cut.  Read more

New Hampshire Lawmakers Pass Carbon-Market Repeal Measure – Bloomberg

New Hampshire Lawmakers Pass Carbon-Market Repeal Measure – Bloomberg: “New Hampshire’s Republican-led legislature cleared a bill to withdraw the state from the U.S. Northeast’s carbon-trading market, a proposal that may be vetoed by Governor John Lynch.
The legislature passed a shoreland protection bill today with an amendment that would pull New Hampshire out of the 10- state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Carole Alfano, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, said in an e-mail.
Lynch, a Democrat, opposes the measure, spokesman Colin Manning said today. Lynch “won’t support something that would pull New Hampshire” from the carbon market, Manning said.”

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