Follow through on pledged Republican Agenda Issue
Concord—In January, House Republicans presented a five-point agenda that would serve as a guide for legislation during the coming session. Today in Concord, they delivered on one of their major promises to repeal the so-called Evergreen bill (SB1), in a 282-70 roll call vote.
The legislation, passed under Democrat leadership in 2008, allows pay plans for public employees to continue after contracts expire, effectively ensuring teachers and other public employees that they will receive salary step increases based on years of experience instead of having their wages frozen when negotiators cannot agree to a new deal.
House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) called the legislation a “key” piece to the House Republican Agenda. “This law clearly shifted the balance of power to unions during contract negotiations. This will help our municipalities in protecting their budgets from costs not within their control,” he said.
In January, the legislation was passed by the Senate by an overwhelming 19-5 vote. Following today’s vote in the House, the bill will next head to the governor’s desk for his signature. If the evergreen repeal is signed into law, only contracts with specific evergreen language negotiated by unions and employers would continue to be subject to evergreen provisions. For all other contracts, whether they were signed while the evergreen law was in place or after it was repealed, public employees would not see automatic salary step increases once the contracts expire.
“We will continue to adhere to our Republican Agenda,” added Bettencourt. “The people of this state have given us a trust and today is just one example of how we intend to follow through with our promises. I urge Governor Lynch to do the right thing for our cities and towns and promptly sign this into law.”