House votes no to approving NH union contracts

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire's House has killed a bill that gave a special joint, 10-member legislative committee final say over cost items in collective bargaining agreements negotiated with state workers.

The House voted 191-135 Wednesday to kill the bill sponsored by Senate President Peter Bragdon, a Republican from Milford. The bill required the Fiscal Committee to vote on the contracts before they took effect.

Opponents argued there is adequate oversight in the budget process and requiring approval by lawmakers could politicize agreements with public employees.

Supporters argued the state should do what local governments do and act as a check on the collective bargaining process.