The New Hampshire House has passed a bill giving lawmakers final say on collective bargaining agreements with the State. The legislation is just the latest effort by Republicans in Concord to rein in the costs of public employee contracts.
"This gives the legislature the ability to look at an entire contract and say whether it is fair, and whether we should fund it," says Republican Neil Kurk of Weare.
Collective bargaining contracts with the State have historically been the responsibility of the Executive Branch. Opponents of the measure say putting the legislature in the middle of the eight different contracts that the State negotiates with employees will muddy the process.
"I just think this is going to cost the state a lot of time, a lot of money," says Representative Ben Baroody, a Democrat from Manchester. "And it is going to cost this Legislature a lot of time, and a lot of money, and a lot more grief."
This measure is just one of many pending in Concord that would affect the collective bargaining process.