New Hampshire Battles to Become the 23rd Right to Work State — New Hampshire’s pro-Right to Work House speaker, William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon), has vowed to make a strong push to secure enough votes in his chamber to override an all-but-inevitable veto of H.B.474.
Time was when New Hampshire had the reputation, largely justified, of being an island of brisk economic expansion among the generally slow-growing New England states.
Unfortunately for Granite State citizens, in recent years, several key indicators show that New Hampshire’s economic performance has been poor by any standard.
For example, from 2000 to 2010, personal income as reported by the U.S. Commerce Department grew by less in New Hampshire than it did in 44 of the other 49 states.
Adjusted for inflation according to the U.S. Labor Department’s consumer price index, aggregate personal income in New Hampshire grew by just 8.4%, barely more than half the national average of 15.7%.
However, thousands and thousands of freedom-loving New Hampshire citizens who have banded together in recent years are now close to making a policy change that, judging by experience, will give a major boost to their state’s future income and private-sector job growth.
These citizens’ goal this spring is to make New Hampshire America’s 23rd Right to Work state by overriding Big Labor Gov. John Lynch’s (D) veto with two-thirds majority votes in both chambers of the Legislature in Concord.
Bottom 18 States in Income Growth Allow Compulsory Unionism
NRTW President Mark Mix, “Leading labor economists such as Dr. of Ohio University have shown repeatedly that forced unionism hinders economic growth.
“The latest data bear out these economists.
“Fourteen of the 22 Right to Work states experienced real 2000-2010 personal income growth of 20.0% or more, compared to the national average of 15.7%. And not one of the 18 states with real personal income growth of under 15.0% has a Right to Work law on the books.”
Eleven Non-Right to Work States Suffered Young-Adult Population Declines
Mr. Mix continued: “An even more telling sign of New Hampshire’s economic malaise is the 15.7% decline in the number of young adults aged 25-34 living in the state in 2009, as compared to a decade earlier.
“Nationwide, there were 9.6% more 25-34 year-olds in 2009 than there had been in 1999. The increase for the 22 states that now have Right to Work laws on the books was 20.0%, due to millions of young people and their children ‘voting with their feet’ for Right to Work in recent years.
“But New Hampshire and 10 other forced-unionism states actually saw declines in their young-adult populations. And Census data show these declines were overwhelmingly the result of out-migration from forced-unionism states, and not other factors such as disparate birth rates in previous decades.
“For example, in 1975, 1979 and 1983 combined, just 36.8% of all births nationwide occurred in states that now have Right to Work laws. But by 2009, 40.7% of all 25-34 year-olds lived in these states.”
As powerful as the economic case for a New Hampshire Right to Work law is, and as determined as the citizens’ movement to pass one is, it seems nothing can dissuade union-label Gov. John Lynch from using his veto pen on H.B.474.
Mr. Lynch relied heavily on Big Labor’s forced dues-fueled political support to win the Granite State governorship for the first time in 2004.
Last year, the union political machine ran at full throttle to secure him a fourth two-year term, even as dozens and dozens of pro-forced unionism legislators in New Hampshire went down to defeat.
Ever since H.B.474 was first debated and voted on in the state House this winter, Mr. Lynch has publicly parroted union-boss propaganda about the legislation and vowed to veto it.
Strong Legislative Leadership May Make the Difference
As a consequence of Mr. Lynch’s venomous opposition, in the face of overwhelming support for the Right to Work principle among his constituents as well as in the Legislature, House and Senate veto overrides are almost certainly the only way H.B.474 can become law this year.
“Once Gov. Lynch vetoes H.B.474, both legislative chambers will have to pass it again, with the support of at least two-thirds of those present and voting, for it to become law over his veto,” explained Mr. Mix.
“Under any circumstances, that’s a tall order.
“However, a Right to Work veto override may happen in New Hampshire this year, thanks both to the effectiveness of grass-roots lobbyists in the state and the strong leadership of key elected officials.
“For example, just before this month’s Newsletter went to press, New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien [R-Mont Vernon] was publicly vowing to make a ‘strong push to find the votes to nullify’ the governor’s veto threat, as Foster’s Daily Democrat [Dover, N.H.] reported April 25.
“Mr. O’Brien has refused to let himself be intimidated by the governor or the union hierarchy.
“His commitment to principle offers a refreshing contrast to the opportunism of the House speaker in another state that was a top Right to Work battleground this year.
“In Indiana, majorities of legislators in both chambers have signaled they are ready to vote for a Right to Work law. And GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels admits that Indiana’s lack of a Right to Work law is hurting its economy. Nevertheless, he decided months ago, for reasons he has yet to adequately explain, that he did not want Right to Work to pass this year.
“Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma [Indianapolis], despite having once told Right to Work supporters he would do everything in his power to pass a forced-dues ban as soon as he got a chance, quickly fell in line with Mr. Daniels.
“Mr. Bosma kept Indiana’s 2011 Right to Work Bill bottled up in committee until late February, the last day before all measures that had not been approved by the entire House would automatically die.
“That made it remarkably easy for Big Labor politicians to kill the measure, and explains why Indiana isn’t America’s 23rd Right to Work state today.”