The House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have made right to work the law of the land in New Hampshire.
Union workers broke into raucous applause after Speaker of the House Terrie Norelli announced the tally of votes on the right to work bill brought before the full House on Wednesday.
“The House will be in order," said Norelli, as she slammed her gavel.
The bill was defeated, 212 to 141. The vote fell mostly along party lines.
The bill would have let non-union workers opt out of paying agency fees as a condition of employment in a union shop.
Just before the vote, former Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien made an impassioned plea to House colleagues to support his legislation.
“It is outrageous to have to pay a private, politically charged organization in order to obtain and keep taxpayer-funded public employment.”
But with a Democratic majority in the House, the bill stood little chance of making it to the Senate.
Christopher Andrews is a Democrat and member of the professional firefighters of New Hampshire.
“Right to Work in New Hampshire would lower New Hampshire workers’ wages, reduce benefits and threaten the state’s small businesses and health care sectors, while doing nothing to boost job growth.”
Democrat Doug Ley of Jaffrey says supporters failed to make an argument for how it would help the state’s economy.
“They provide us no credible evidence on job creation. They provide no credible evidence of firms waiting to cross the border to come into New Hampshire once we pass this bill.”
The House and Senate passed right to work legislation in 2011, but failed to overcome a veto by then-Governor John Lynch. And the Senate last year tabled a bill passed by the House.