Veto Message of Governor John H. Lynch Regarding Senate Bill 249

From the Office of Governor John Lynch

By the authority vested in me as Governor of New Hampshire, pursuant to Part II, Article 44 of the Constitution of New Hampshire, on May 26, 2006, I vetoed SB 249, an act allowing a master electrician to have 2 apprentice electricians under his or her supervision.

Above all, electrical services have to be safe, and mistakes can cost lives. New Hampshire has a time-honored tradition of apprenticeship for electricians. Through this training relationship between apprentice and master electrician, our trades workers receive the safety instruction, job skills, education and direct supervision that is necessary to provide electrical services with the highest degree of competence and safety.

I cannot support SB 249 because it will undermine public safety and reduce the nature and quality of training that apprentices receive from master electricians. That is why the Bureau of Electrical Safety and Licensing of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Department of Labor, and the State Apprenticeship Council oppose this bill.

No states in New England have less than a one-to-one ratio between apprentice and electrician, and some even require greater than one-on-one supervision. SB 249 eliminates direct supervision of one apprentice by one master electrician, and by doing so, risks long-term public safety. Today, the retention rate for apprentice electricians is very low, and this bill is likely to increase the drop out rate for apprentices who will no longer receive the guidance and one-on-one practical skills training they need to be successful and permanently enter the trade. For these reasons, I am vetoing SB 249.