Leading Republicans Lose Positions For Opposing Right-To-Work


Right-To-Work legislation has been controversial in New Hampshire

While overriding Governor Lynch’s veto of Right-to-Work failed yesterday, Kevin Landrigan of TheLobbyNH.com reports the fallout continues today:

“Four members of House Speaker William O’Brien’s extended leadership team will be sacked for their opposition to Right-to-Work legislation, TheLobbyNh.com has learned.

House Fish and Game Commission Chairman Gary Hopper, R-Weare, has already turned in his letter of resignation from running the panel.

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, R-Salem, is also expected to ask for resignations from three assistant majority whips who also opposed O’Brien’s desire to override Lynch’s veto of the anti-union bill, HB 474.

They are Nashua Rep. Michael McCarthy, Whitefield Rep. John Tholl Jr. and Kingston Rep. David Welch.

None of these changes have been publicly announced.”

One of O'Brien's high priorities since becoming Speaker has been instituting a Right-To-Work law in New Hampshire

And they weren’t the only Republicans who didn’t go along with the veto override vote.  NHPR’s Dan Gorenstein reports that 41 Republicans joined Democrats in voting down the measure.  The vote was 240-139 in favor of overriding the veto.  If just seven Republicans hadn’t split from the party line, New Hampshire would have joined the ranks of Right-to-Work states.

And, Gorenstein reports, O’Brien worked hard to try to rustle up those final votes:

“House leaders spent months trying to get Republicans in line.

They even tried to sway lawmakers like Republican Susan Emerson- who’s had very public run-ins with O’Brien.

‘Oh, my god. I was told I would be put back on Health and Human Service, the committee I was kicked off, if I changed my vote. I was told that I would be redistrict if I didn’t change my vote on Right-to-Work.’

Emerson shrugs, and says if more conservative Republicans go after her in the primary, so be it.

She knows this issue isn’t going away, and she’s bracing herself.”

While the language of Right-to-Work laws can vary from state to state, the gist is that, in most job sectors, an employee can’t be required to join a union or pay union dues.  So far, 22 states have passed Right-to-Work laws.



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