After passing through the house just shy of the majority needed to override a veto this week, New Hampshire’s proposed Right-to-Work law suffered a serious blow when Governor John Lynch vocalized anew his opposition to the measure.
“The situation regarding unions hasn’t changed here in decades. It’s worked very well, so the governor will veto right to work.”
Supporters of the legislation are now in a position to find 16 senators to turn. This is unlikely.
In-state labor reps suggest the law is outright wrong and should not require a veto so much as an unbiased, common sense approach to determining what’s best. According to the Economic Policy Institute, all signs point to keeping Right-to-Work out of New Hampshire:
For job seekers looking to relocate to a state with good employment prospects, New Hampshire would be a pretty good choice. The state’s 5.5% unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the United States, its per capita income is among the highest, and in recent years New Hampshire has enjoyed comparatively strong wage growth.
Right-to–work proponents often cite research by economist Richard Vedder, who studied trends in the 1977-to-2008 timeframe as a basis for concluding that states with right-to-work laws are better off economically. In fact, Vedder’s own research shows that this is not the case for New Hampshire. Vedder’s data show that per capita personal income in New Hampshire grew by 78.8% between 1977 to 2008. That was the fifth-fastest growth rate of all states, and faster than 21 of the 22 right-to-work states (only incomes in North Dakota grew faster).
In The Compensation Penalty, another new EPI study, economists Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz show the depressing effect Right-to-Work has on both union and nonunion workers, finding significantly reduced wages and benefit coverage.