Caucus thanks Representatives who have been outspoken in support of important equalizing effort

CONCORD, N.H.―The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire applauds the efforts of House Speaker William O’Brien and the Republican majority that is standing strong for good governance against the bullying tactics of public sector union special interest groups.

Especially respectable is the leadership of Rep. Neal Kurk of Weare and the other principled state representatives standing with his amendment to House Bill 2, which will give the state, cities and towns more leverage in their negotiations with public sector union employees. No longer will public unions be able to drag their feet in negotiations to force more money out of taxpayers’ wallets. If HB 2 passes as amended, public unions will have to come to the table with more reasonable expectations like their private sector counterparts.

“I am proud to finally watch a group of Republican legislators stand up against what might be politically expedient in order to do what’s right, despite massive amounts of pressure from the public sector unions,” said Andrew Hemingway, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “These Republicans ran on a set of principles about how government should be run, and by voting for a balanced budget and the accompanying policy bill with Rep. Kurk’s union contract amendment, they are standing by those principles.”

When it comes time for the 2012 elections, voters will be looking to re-elect the real leaders in the Republican Party who acted prudently and served the people with their House and Senate votes during this economically difficult time. Voters won’t support Republicans who caved to the pressure of well-connected special interest groups. House Bill 2 and the Kurk Amendment in particular will be at the top of the list of bills RLCNH uses when considering which Republicans to target for defeat in their 2012 primaries.

"Republican primary voters know that public sector employees live in a dream world, where they are rewarded for sticking around a long time or using political muscle, while their private sector counterparts fund their own retirements, pay a higher share of the benefits they receive, and advance in their careers through hard work and merit," said Hemingway. 

According to the Reason Foundation, a non-partisan, free-market public policy group:

  • Public sector workers earn 35 percent higher wages and nearly 69 percent superior benefits than their private sector counterparts.
  • Average state and local government compensation has been increasing at a faster rate than average private sector compensation during the past 30 years.
  • In 2008, private sector workers put in 12 percent more hours than their public sector counterparts.

“It is time for the special treatment of public sector employees to come to an end,” Hemingway said.

“The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire urges all of our elected representatives, but particularly those dedicated to liberty and the people they serve, to remove the protected-class status of public sector unions. Not only do we have massive unfunded liabilities in the state employee retirement system, we have also seen many taxpayers struggling to stay in their homes and provide for their families because they are forced to pay for the inflated pay and benefits of unionized state employees. HB2 isn’t just a typical vote, it is a moral imperative.”