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Now It Is Your Turn To Talk To People About The Importance Of This Election

We have told you about how Mitt Romney wants to shut down the postal service and about his anti-union agenda.  We have told you about Frank Guinta and his votes against the USPS and Project Labor Agreements.  We have talked about our Congressmen trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 33 times, and yet they have not passed the American Jobs Act, The Call Center Bill, The Bring Jobs Home Act.

These people have had their chance and now we need to work together to put those people who will work to raise the middle class.  Now it is your turn to help.   The NH AFL-CIO has started their Labor 2012 Campaign with a series of walks throughout the state.  These walks are a chance you to get out there and tell other union members why it this election is the most important.  From the NH AFL-CIO Website:

This year, the outcome of these races could decide the future of the labor movement. The leaders we elect as governor and state legislators will determine whether to New Hamsphire continues or rejects House Speaker O’Brien’s anti-worker agenda. With our congressional candidates, we have a choice between those who will continue the partisan gridlock in Washington and those who will work together to create jobs and strengthen our middle class.

We are kicking off our political program with a round of labor walks every Saturday in August where we will be holding our elected representatives accountable for their votes this past legislative session. You can check locations and sign up for walks below.

Saturday, August 4th 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
New Hampshire AFL-CIO/UA 131 Hall
161 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett, NH
Click here to sign up for this walk.

Saturday, August 11th, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
LIUNA 976 Hall
155 West Road, Portsmouth
Click here to sign up for this walk.

Saturday, August 18th, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
New Hampshire AFL-CIO/UA 131 Hall
161 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett
Click here to sign up for this walk.

Saturday, August 25th, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Nashua Teachers Union, AFT 1044
7C Taggart Drive, Nashua
Click here to sign up for this walk.

It Is Time We Work To Bring Jobs Home

With over 12 Million Americans already out of work, we need to encourage companies to retain jobs not ship them overseas. We can do just that! We can fight back against the greed of Corporate America and Wall Street and we will rebuild our economy at the same time.

Over the past decade America lost over 50,000 manufacturing jobs. This resulted in over 6 Million American Jobs washed away. Many of these jobs were sent overseas to manufacturing facilities in China, and Taiwan. Now there is another trend that seems to be effecting jobs here in America. I am talking about “service” jobs. These are the friendly people you talk to when you call customer service phone numbers.

On March 22, 2012, T-Mobile announced it would close seven of the 24 call centers, including the centers in Allentown, Pa.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco and Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kan.; Redmond, Ore.; and Thornton, Colo., impacting some 3,300 workers. At the same time, T-Mobile increased the volume of calls handled through offshore call centers in the Philippines, Honduras and Guatemala. T-Mobile workers all across the United States face daily worries about their job security and they are organizing and fighting back!

T-Mobile is not the only company who has shipped jobs overseas. More and more are taking advantage of the low-cost labor while still collecting tax exemptions from the Federal Government. This must be stopped! If we want our economy to recover we need to bring those lost manufacturing jobs back and keep the jobs we have.

As we have always done we need to stand up and push our legislators in Congress to support “Bring Jobs Home Act” (S. 2884). This bill would:

  • Eliminate tax incentives that encourage U.S. companies to ship jobs overseas and eliminate loopholes that allow more than $1.5 trillion in U.S. corporate profits to go untaxed because they are held offshore.
  • We also must address the practice of currency manipulation so that countries like China aren’t allowed to undervalue their currency in order to make goods cheaper and encourage U.S. companies to move offshore. Congress also should take action on the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act to prevent offshoring of more service-sector jobs.
  • And we must push for fair trade policies that benefit workers, not just multinational corporations.

Many of us look for that “Made In America” label. It means that by buying this product you are helping to support a company that employs our fellow Americans. Both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney have said we create more American jobs. President Obama was quoted as saying “Americans… still believe in an America where anything’s possible”. Even Governor Mitt Romney said “I believe in America” and “My priority is putting Americans back to work, that’s job number one,”. If you believe in America and the power of the American workforce then prove it. Tell American Voters that you support S 2884 and want to Bring Jobs Home.

No matter which side of the fence you stand on, bringing these millions of jobs would strengthen our economy. Call you Senator and tell them to support the Bring Jobs Home Act (S.2884). Together we can make Made In America mean something again.

America Wants To Work, Event July 10th

From The AFL-CIO

Over the last decade the United States has lost close to six million jobs to outsourcing.  Now the NH AFL-CIO and community groups are fighting to bring those jobs back home. They will be hosting an event that is described on the America Wants To Work website as:

Workers in New Hampshire will deliver a gift to Congressman Guinta on July 10th: American-made flags and petitions from hundreds of Granite Staters asking the Congressman to be an economic patriot and support the Bring Jobs Home Act.

The plan is to meet at City Hall Plaza in Manchester (corner of Hanover and Elm)  at 12:00pm.  Then walkt to Congressman Guinta’s office and deliver some American Made flags. You can also RSVP via Facebook, here.

Neither Congressman Guinta nor Congressman Bass have stated if they will support this bill or not.   It should be noted that both Congressmen Guinta and Bass recently voted against HR 4480.  A bill that would reduce the tax subsidies for oil manufacturers.  HR 448o would have encourage companies to buy parts and supplies that were made in the United State and to stop outsourcing jobs.   New Hampshire Congressional candidate Ann Kuster’s campaign was quick to jump on this very telling vote.

“New Hampshire families deserve a Representative that stands for them and not for Big Oil and Big Business,” said Garrick Delzell, Annie Kuster’s Campaign Manager. “While Granite Staters struggle to find jobs Bass has continued to support outsourcing. Congressman Bass and Governor Romney agree that the best way to increase New Hampshire jobs is by sending jobs overseas.”

We need our Congressmen to support New Hampshire and the entire United States by encouraging them to support the Bring Jobs Home Act.   Be there to deliver flags to Congressman Guinta’s office on July 10 at 12:00pm.

If you cannot make this event, be sure to sign the petitions

For CD1 Guinta click here
For CD2 Bass click here

The NHLN Response To Foster’s Editorial Attacking NH AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie And Labor

By Matt Murray

Why is it that right wing editors are using the recall elections in Wisconsin as if the “prophet” has returned.  What Governor Walker did to the working men and women of Wisconsin infuriated millions of Americans for many reasons.  Many people believe that the right to collectively bargain is a fundamental part of keeping balance.  Workers deserve a voice in their workplace.  By stripping them of their right to collectively bargain, you are silencing that voice.

For many years, workers have joined together on the job to improve their workplaces and to ensure that all workers have access to good jobs. Union members build our roads, teach our children, and protect our homes. Through their unions, hardworking men and women have led our country to be the most innovative and efficient in the world.
Frankly I am tired of the attacks on unions and their leaders.  Today Fosters Daily Democrat posted an editorial attacking Mark MacKenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO.

It struck us a bit incongruous then that New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie would verbally storm the barricades in criticizing Lamontagne for wanting to reproduce some of Walker’s Wisconsin success here in the Granite State. 

From an AFL-CIO press release dated June 13: “Ovide Lamontagne has already positioned himself like Bill O’Brien on steroids. He’s already vowed to take O’Brien’s agenda to attack workers one step further if elected governor. Now he’s tying himself to the most anti-labor politician in America.”

Let me ask: What success has Governor Walker accomplished other than holding his elected position in a very highly contested recall election?

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has dropped. While New Hampshire’s has also fallen, it must continue in that direction.

Walker has been talking about all the jobs he has created and how well the state is doing.  The real data shows that he is on the same track as the national average.  It has had very little to do with what he has done.  One reason that unemployment is down in Wisconsin is because many organizations on both sides of the political aisle are pouring money into organizing for the election. Over 100 Million dollars was spent during the recall elections.  (note: Walker won the recall by the same margin as in 2010, the difference this time was that over 500,000 more people voted.  Barret got more votes in the recall than Walker did originally)

Among the extreme anti-labor issues mentioned were the attempted passage of a constitutional amendment freeing up the legislature to financially help poor school districts, right-to-work legislation, and the elimination of a state-level minimum wage law.

These are issues that are crucial to the workers in New Hampshire.  Right To Work has been proven time and time again to lower wages and has done nothing to increase jobs.

 The Constitutional Amendment I am assuming he is referring to is CACR 12.  An amendment that was destroyed in the NH House by a bi-partisan vote.  CACR 12 would have repealed the Claremont Decision which mandated all schools in New Hampshire would be funded fairly and equally in the eyes of the state.  This decision came down because the Legislature at the time failed to fund the schools fairly.

Really? You attack the New Hampshire President of the  AFL-CIO for saying that we need a higher minimum wage and that repealing the minimum wage law was wrong.  I would like to see the editor of Foster’s live on minimum wage for a few months.  In New Hampshire a person must work over 100 hours a week to afford a two bedroom apartment.

MacKenzie was picking up on a red-meat speech Lamontagne recently gave Salem Republicans.

Perhaps that is what MacKenzie was doing in his press release — throwing some red meat to labor’s faithful. If so, fair is fair, so we take no exception to MacKenzie trying to rally his base.

If Mr MacKenzie was rallying his troops, the fact is that people need to know what the candidates for the states highest office are saying.  Lamontagne is making back room promises to the republicans of Salem and thats okay? No,

That said, Lamontagne has promised to lead, to use the bully pulpit to push what he promises voters.

How are the voters supposed to know what he plans to push if nobody is telling them? Would Fosters Daily Democrat published that Lamontagne said he would be “Walker On Steroids”?  After the backlash that Governor Walker received?

While Wisconsin asked union membership for givebacks in an over-the-top fashion, New Hampshire’s history with unions has not been as rocky. That does not mean, however, unions no longer need pushback. 

Take for example the recent decision by the Obama Administration to relent on its quest to force the inflated costs of labor unions on the yet-to-be-built Manchester Job Corps Center. Perhaps a strong advocate in the governor’s chair could have helped that decision come about sooner.

First of all it was the politicians in Washington who were fighting the Project Labor Agreements that President Obama instituted.  That political football has gone back and forth.  Part of the reason that PLA were created was to ensure that workers are protected and have a voice in the construction process.  Any company can bid on a federally funded project it does not have to be a union who does it.  Unions tend to win these contracts because they have the knowledge, the skilled workers and the understanding to operate inside of the PLA.

PLAs also help to ensure that LOCAL workers get hired at the pay they should earn. This is called prevailing wage.  This means a worker in New Hampshire building a project like this would earn X amount per hour.  Removing the PLA allows out of state companies to bring out of state workers to do the job at a fraction of the prevailing wage for the area.  You might say “That’s Capitalism”, and you would be right. The problem is that this federal funding is supposed to help workers and families and businesses in New Hampshire.  If the workers are from out of state, they do not spend their money here either. When they job is done, they take their paycheck and drive back to Texas or Arizona where they came from and that money never makes its way into the New Hampshire economy as it was intended.

As for Lamontagne being extreme on the issues, New Hampshire can easily operate under the federal minimum wage; labor unions still hold too much sway; and given the dying ranks of labor unions we would rather see the governor lean toward serving the masses instead of a select few who cling to union membership cards.

For nearly a century labor unions have the be balance to the wealthy and greedy businessmen.  They represent all workers in a factory wether they are union or not.  They push to ensure a safe place to work, and push back against the greedy businessmen to ensure a fair wage.

If MacKenzie wants to call this extreme, so be it. But we think all this is rapidly becoming mainstream, if it is not already.

I would say that it is not mainstream.  The people support unions, and believe that collective bargaining is needed.  In last years poll 62% of Granite Staters agreed.  Thanks to Governor Walker the slow moving attacks on unionized labor was brought to the main stage. People are talking about it and people are realizing that unions are still very much important.  We need unions to fight for all workers, fight for the 99%, and fight so we can all survive.

Working Families Are Welcoming Mitt Romney In Stratham Tommorrow 6/15

Working families are welcoming Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at his campaign stop in Stratham tomorrow with a few pointed questions about his campaign’s claims that taxpayers want him to lay off more teachers, firefighters and police officers.

New Hampshire workers – who are, let’s face it, taxpayers too – will show their suport for the public employees that Romney would love to fire and ask him a few simple questions:
1) What ideas does Romney have for fighting crime with fewer police officers?
2) Are classrooms of 40 middle school students acceptable?
3) Who will terrified homeowners call when their houses catch on fire?
It isn’t just public workers who should be worried about Romney’s taste for firing people.
A
new ad up on the New Hampshire airwaves reveals Bain’s little known role in triggering layoffs in the Holson Burnes’ plant in Claremont, NH. (embeded below) 
Bain doubled its 10 million dollar investment into the clock and photo supply company. But workers in NH lost their jobs as the company consolidated its operations overseas.
Overall, about 100 jobs were lost at Holson Burnes Claremont plant, according to the Associated Press.
Romney may try to peg Obama as out-of-touch with the American people tomorrow in Stratham. But if these recent revelations about Romney are right, then working Granite Staters should worry about Romney’s concern for them – regardless of whether they work in the private or public sector.

What Wisconsin Meant to Romney and What We Need To Do About It

Last Friday Romney said that there are too many fireman, policemen, and teachers and that he’d support more layoffs if elected President.

Romney will be speaking at Scamman Farm in Stratham THIS FRIDAY at 10:30 a.m. and it’s up to us to ask him why he wants to cut the New Hampshire advantage, endanger our communities and weaken our schools.

His campaign claimed this week that “taxpayers really do want to hear that there will be fewer teachers”. You and I both know that cutting back on these critical public servants will only mean larger class sizes and unsafe neighborhoods.

It’s up to us to welcome Romney back to New Hampshire with the message that we’re taxpayers, we support our public servants, and we don’t want to see more cuts to our schools or police and fire departments!

We’ll be setting up on Portsmouth Avenue/Route 108 at the entrance to the farm. You can RSVP and get more information here

To tie right into this is a message from Laura Hainey and John Ost from AFT.  

Last week at a campaign rally in Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said:

“He [Obama] says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

While job security and economic stability remain foremost on the minds of most Americans, Romney showed last week he remains focused on attacking the men and women working to support kids and their communities—teachers, first responders and other public employees.

He’s wrong. Do you think cutting the number of police officers, firefighters and teachers in your community will help or hurt us?

President Obama stands in stark contrast to Romney, both in his record of saving teacher jobs and in his latest call to Congress. In his weekly address, Obama urged Congress to take action to put teachers back to work in their classrooms and stated, “The best predictor of individual and American success in this economy is a good education.

So, tell us: How would cutting police officers, firefighters and teachers affect your community?

These are two polar-opposite views of what our communities need, and the contrast is further proof that President Obama continues to be the one standing with middle-class and working Americans.

In unity,
Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

John Ost
AFT Political Director

P.S. Was this the final straw? Can we Count You In this election?

NH Labor News 6/7/12: CACR 12 Fails, CACR 13 Passes, One More House Session, Unions Under Attack Next Term, and more

Constitutional ed funding question fails | Concord Monitor: “The amendment had the support of Democratic Gov. John Lynch but not his party. After the vote, House Speaker Bill O’Brien, a Mont Vernon Republican, blamed Lynch for failing to get enough Democratic votes to pass the measure. Also missing, however, was sufficient support from Republicans, who hold a super-majority in both chambers.

“We needed a bipartisan solution . . . that Gov. Lynch didn’t provide,” O’Brien said. “Gov. John Lynch just couldn’t fulfill his side of the compromise.”

Lynch responded in kind in a written statement.”To make progress on an important public policy issue such as this, all sides must work together, and that can only happen if an element of trust exists,” the statement said. “Clearly, there is a fundamental divide among House members on this issue, not only between the two parties, but also within the Republican caucus. Cooperation and trust are fundamental to building the coalitions needed to pass an amendment such as this one. Unfortunately, those essential qualities were missing from today’s debate.””


Wrap-up day yields some surprises – NashuaTelegraph.com: “CONCORD – During a marathon final day of regular business, the New Hampshire Legislature dispensed with remaining contested issues for the 2012 session.
As expected, lawmakers sent a bill legalizing medical use of marijuana to Gov. John Lynch, who has vowed to veto it.
Lynch said he supports significant changes to state grants for school construction projects. A moratorium on such building aid has been in place for the past three years.”


States that could be new union battlegrounds – Boston.com: “NEW HAMPSHIRE: Last year, Democratic Gov. John Lynch vetoed a bill last year that would have made New Hampshire a right-to-work state. The House passed it again this year, but it died when Republicans realized they did not have a veto-proof majority. House Speaker William O’Brien says he will try to pass the measure again next year, when the state could have a Republican governor.”


John DiStaso’s Granite Status: Did Lynch work for the failed ed funding amendment? | New Hampshire NEWS0602: “LYNCH’S (TARNISHED?) LEGACY. John Lynch will leave office in January as one of the most popular governors in New Hampshire history.

But flexing political muscle has never been Lynch’s forte, and yesterday the votes on the proposed compromise education constitutional amendment were taken. Was it by design that the Democratic governor whose support was so intensely coveted by some Republican leaders — literally for years — turned out to be a non-factor?”


NH Legislature approves voter ID bill – Boston.com: “CONCORD, N.H.—New Hampshire voters would be required to show photo identification at the polls starting next year under a compromise bill approved by the House and Senate.

The bill approved Wednesday essentially calls for starting with what the Senate had proposed, followed by the House.

That means a wide range of identification would be acceptable this fall — including student IDs — but in later elections, only driver’s licenses, state-issued non-driver’s identification cards, passports or military IDs would be allowed. Those who don’t have photo identification would sign an affidavit and be photographed by an election official.”


On The Ground in Wisconsin: Lessons From The Losing Side | New Hampshire Public Radio: “
*Don’t make assumptions about union households: Democrats at the table were stunned by the exit poll statistic showing that 38 percent of voters with a labor union member in the family voted for Walker. “You can’t assume just because a person is a union member, they are also a Democrat,” said Kristin Hansen, a volunteer here for Organizing for America, Obama’s re-election organization. “I’m shocked because I thought the unions were talking to their people.”

*Stricter voting registration laws are affecting turnout: Republican efforts in Wisconsin to enact a law that would require voters to present identification at their polling places are currently on hold while under court scrutiny. But myriad other ballot and voter registration changes enacted by the GOP-controlled Legislature since Walker was elected in 2010 have limited opportunities for registering voters.”


The Message From Wisconsin – NYTimes.com: “How did he do that? With the aid of more than $45.6 million, most of it from outside the state, that paid for ads praising him for his “courage” in taking on unions and attacking labor for its “selfish” intransigence. As one ad put it, “Labor union mobs led by Barack Obama’s Organizing for America are trying to intimidate and harass Governor Walker and lawmakers in Madison, simply because they’re finally doing the right thing.”

Mr. Walker’s campaign raised seven times as much money as Mr. Barrett’s, much of it in six-figure checks from some of the same business interests contributing millions to Republican “super PACs” and advocacy groups this year, including Sheldon Adelson and Bob Perry.”


Why We Need Unions: “Unions are much more than a political mechanism by which teachers and policemen and firemen can be scapegoated. They are not limited to industries under the direct control of a governor’s diktat. There is a simple reason why all those huge employers of retail and service workers—Target, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, and countless others—are so emphatically anti-union: fear. These companies know that unions represent a sort of power for their workers that their workers will otherwise never have. That power translates to better working conditions and higher wages. That, in turn, eats into a company’s profits, as all expenses do. For some companies, this is merely a nuisance, a potential hit to the stock price. For others—like Wal-Mart, which has built the world’s largest retail chain by squeezing every last cent out of its costs—it is a potential existential threat.”

AFT-NH -CACR’s 6 and 12-DEFEATED!

AFT-NH
BREAKING NEWS
CACR’s 6 and 12-DEFEATED!

June 6, 2012

I am very pleased to report that CACR 12, the proposed constitutional amendment on education funding to undo the Claremont decision failed to pass the NH House this afternoon—twice. The House needed to pass the amendment by 60% and fell short on a vote of 224-144 (they needed 237). Rep. Mirski moved to reconsider the vote which resulted in another vote which again failed to garner the necessary support failing by a 224-141 margin.

AFT-NH members and allies sent hundreds of letters and made phone calls to their state representatives—it made a difference.

Speaker O’Brien was not too happy with this defeat and tried to resurrect previously defeated CACR 8 which would give the legislature the exclusive authority to authorize schools. That effort failed miserably!

We cherish our schools and public education in NH and our members will defend their schools with all they have.

More Great News! I am also pleased to report that an equally devastating proposed constitutional amendment, CACR 6 (a 3/5 vote is required to pass legislation imposing new or increased taxes or license fees) failed to garner enough support in the House to be placed on the November ballot. That vote was 220-132.

We will see on the ballot this fall CACR 13 which would prohibit an assessment, rate, or tax on personal income and would provide that no assessment, rate, or tax on income earned by a natural person shall be levied by the state of New Hampshire except taxes in effect on January 1, 2012 and adjustments to the rate of such taxes.

CACR 13 aims to ban any new tax on a person’s income but would have consequences will beyond that. It would:

  • Lead to prolonged legal wrangling in the courts over definitions of certain words and concepts.
  • Deny future generations the right to make decisions about how best to meet the needs of the state and to hold their elected officials accountable
  • Freeze the state’s tax system in place, making it much more difficult to address New Hampshire’s reliance on property or business taxes.

AFT-NH opposes this proposed amendment.

THANK YOU to everyone who took action. Your calls and letters made a huge difference. You can see how close these votes were today.

Keep up the great work and thank you for all you are doing! They know that AFT-NH members care and won’t forget these attempts by the extremists to undermine our valuable public education system and critical public services. We look forward to discussing these very important issues in the fall.

For late breaking news and all updates, please visit AFT-NH on Facebook and “like us!

Thank you!

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey

NH House Kills CACR 6 and Passes CACR 13

The NH House also defeated CACR 6, by a 220-137 vote.  This was the amendment that would mandate 3/5th majority to increase any taxes or fees.  This would have crippled the state in the coming years and I am glad to see it failed.  There was much discussion on CACR 6 and how this would effect the NH Bond ratings.  Either way it has failed. 

We cannot celebrate too much today.  The New Hampshire House did get one of the three Constitutional amendments through the house.  CACR 13 passed through the house.  CACR 13 is the ban on any new taxes on personal income.  The language of this amendment is very poor and hopefully we can get our message out to the people before November.

From press release published by Union Leader

– House Speaker William O’Brien: “This is one more step in transforming state government to protect what is special about our state and ensure that our prosperity is secured long after we are gone.”

Speaker O’Brien is right, if this passes we will be cursing his name for years to come.

– House Majority Leader Pete Silva: “This amendment guarantees that our children and our future generation will be free from the threat of an income tax. ”

The amendment also guarantees that our children will see the highest property taxes in the entire country.  With out the option to have an income tax, property owners will have to make up the funds needed to run our schools and pay our public workers.

AFT-NH — IT NOT OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER!

AFT-NH
Fighting for our Future!
IT NOT OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER!
May 18, 2012

While we had a collective sigh of relief this week when the Senate tabled HB 1206, the automatic increase in insurance contributions, there are still a few weeks left in this session. We will be tracking tabled and amended bills very carefully as Committees of Conference for the House and Senate begin their work.

Here is what we know as of now.  May 17th was the last day to act on bills for both the House and Senate but they still have until  May 24th to form Committees of Conference. We know that we will need to remain vigilant on all of the Committees of Conference since at any time a committee member can still try to add on language from other bills.

Keeping all of this in mind,  IT’S NOT OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER. The legislature has until June 7th to act on all Committees of Conference reports. We will keep you informed and let you know of requests for action which will definitely be with short notice given the nature of conference committee work.

A summary of the status of our key bills is provided below.

Let’s not slow down now—the commitment you have shown since the legislature convened in January, 2011 has been remarkable. We are stronger as a result of these attacks and we will march to victory in November.

In Solidarity,

Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

ATTACKS ON COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS

Here’s where we are:

HB 1677 relative to choice as to whether to join a labor union and eliminating the duty of a public employee labor organization to represent employees who elect not to join or to pay dues or fees to the employee organization.—PASSED BY THE HOUSE AND TABLED BY THE SENATE

HB 1685 relative to public employee opt-outs from labor organization membership and dues payments. TABLED BY THE HOUSE

HB 1206 relative to continuing obligations under expired public employee labor agreements.   PASSED BY THE HOUSE TABLED BY THE SENATE

HB 1645(New Title) relative to decertification of a bargaining unit. PASSED BY THE HOUSE AND  REFERRED TO INTERIM STUDY BY THE SENATE.  THE HOUSE THEN PUT THE LANGUAGE OF THIS BILL ONTO HB 378 allowing municipalities to remove snow from private roads and driveways and class VI highways, and relative to decertification of a bargaining unit.

We have not learned yet what the Senate intends to do with HB 378 now that is has been amended. They can either agree with it (which then it would move to the Governor’s desk for signature or veto), not agree (which would kill the bill) or ask for a Committee of Conference.

Late yesterday,  HB 1704,  relative to political contributions and expenditures, reporting by political committees and nomination of political organizations,   WAS TAKEN OFF THE TABLE BY THE SENATE and passed as amended. We are reviewing the implications for our organization and the fall elections.

EDUCATION BILLS
We have the two education tax credits bills,  HB 1607 and SB 372. The Senate passed HB 1607 by a vote of 17 to 7. While the House passed HB 378 by a vote of 236 to 97. The next step is to see if either side concurs or non- concurs with the other. If either side concurs, then that bill passes and goes to the governor. If either side non- concurs, they can ask for a committee of conference or the bill dies.

At this point, we don’t know what they will do or what will happen. We do know they have until May 24th to form a Committee of Conference.

We do know that CACR 12’s  (educational funding constitutional amendment) Committee of Conference will be meeting May 22nd and 23rd to try to work something out. We also know that there is new proposed language circulating for the amendment.  It has been developed entirely by House leadership and its advisers and the speaker is working hard to get Republicans behind it.  The Senate is said to have agreed to this language, but the Governor has not made a public announcement.

RETIREMENT BILLS
There is much to review in regard to all the pension bills and a complete pension update will be forthcoming this weekend.
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