This year’s drama over proposed Right-to-Work legislation hit a climax today when the Senate voted to table HB 1677, the latest version of this anti-labor proposal that has been kicking around the State House for decades.
This was not the defeat we would have preferred, but as NH AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie said at an impromptu rally on the State House steps, it’s a “step in the right direction.”
HB 1677 was the third bill on the Senate agenda this morning. As soon as it came up, Senator Jim Forsythe moved to table it. The non-debatable motion was quickly approved on a voice vote, with no apparent dissent. Dozens of labor activists in the Senate Gallery seemed a little stunned by how quickly it had happened.
HB 1677 can be removed from “the table” and put back on the Senate agenda any time by a majority vote, but this bad idea seems to be dead for the year. Unlike their House colleagues, Senate Republicans apparently decided there was not point in waging a losing battle since their prospects for over-riding a promised veto were slim.
“Hopefully, we won’t see 1677 again,” MacKenzie said .
The message of today’s vote is that the attack on the rights of workers “will not stand in the state of New Hampshire,” said the Rev. Gail Kinney.
Still alive in the Senate is HB 383, a version of “right to work” that applies only to state employees. This one should meet a similar fate.