FYI:Labor ,Voting, Election Bills Coming Up

The New Hampshire House of Representatives will finish up last year's work -- and begin consideration of this year's bills -- Wednesday and Thursday, January 4th and 5th. HB 383 is a version of "Right to Work" that weakens collective bargaining rights for state employees, but could be amended to affect a larger pool of Granite State workers. The House is scheduled to vote on this bill tomorrow, Wednesday, January 4th. Some of the other bills on this year's agenda: 

* Public Employee Labor Relations: HB 1645 would repeal New Hampshire's Public Employee Labor Relations Act, which was enacted back in 1975. The bill would prohibit collective bargaining agreements between public employees and the State, counties or municipalities.
* County Budgets: HB 1200 would require Commissioners to consider a 10% reduction in their County budgets each year. If the budget is reduced by 10% each year, after seven years the budget will be less than half its current size. 

* County Employees' Labor Negotiations: HB 1174 would require that a state representative "meet with and observe" all collective bargaining negotiations for county employees.
* State Employees' Labor Negotiations: HB 1237 would allow Legislative Leadership to appoint the committee which advises the Governor on contract negotiations. The bill would also remove the State's Employee Relations Manager from that committee.

* Public Employee Labor Relations Board: HB 1513 would transform the New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board, which is responsible for resolving disputes between public sector employers and unions. Currently, the Board is balanced with representatives from both management and labor. Under this proposal, the Board would be composed entirely of private business owners: four appointed by Legislative Leadership and one by the Executive Council.

* Lunch Breaks: HB 1574 would repeal the state law guaranteeing a half-hour lunch break to employees who work more than five hours.

* Voting Rights: HB 1161 would take the first step toward allowing non-resident property owners -- including residents of other states -- to vote in local elections.

* Right to Serve in Elected Office: HB 1344 would prohibit public employees from being candidates for state senator or representative. Firefighters and other public employees who currently serve in the NH General Court would no longer be eligible to hold office. However, because of an exemption, state and municipal Department Heads WOULD be allowed to serve as state representatives and senators.