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Daniels says 'right-to-work' law would help Indiana

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Gov. Mitch Daniels says Indiana could see an economic boost from a contentious "right-to-work" proposal, but stopped short of saying he wants state legislators to approve it.

A legislative study committee voted 5-4 along party lines last week to support a proposal that would prohibit workers from being required to pay union representation fees. A bill on the issue sparked this year's five-week walkout by House Democrats.

The Republican governor told the Kokomo Tribune's editorial board on Thursday that a "right-to-work" law would make the state more competitive.

"We know there is about a quarter of the opportunities that won't look at us because of the lack of this law," Daniels said.

While Daniels hasn't publicly endorsed the proposal, his state commerce secretary testified in favor of it during a study committee meeting in July.

Opponents maintain that such a law is simply an attack on labor unions that would depress wages and do nothing to attract good jobs.

Daniels disputes that.

"Some will say the average wage in right-to-work states is lower, that's right but they've been adding jobs and income faster than the rest of the country," he said. "Every state needs jobs, and we're no different. If there are reasons not to proceed, that is not the reason."

Thousands of union members attended protest rallies at the Statehouse during the Democratic boycott that halted legislative action.

Daniels expects another heated debate during the 2012 session that starts in January.

"Up to a point that's fine, but obviously I don't agree when people who try to wreck the whole process, really subvert democracy," he said. "Noise and expression of strong disagreement is perfectly fine, but last year they went too far. I hope we don't go through that again."

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  • Surplus?
    What is the point of having a surplus while we're gutiing education, stripping bare our scholarship programs, yet giving tax breaks to "potential job creators" like LiteBox? When is anyone going to realize that the "potential job creators" are teachers via their students...?
  • oh right
    How can Mitch convince anyone that he listens to his wife or for that matter anyone else. I beleive that our "billion" dollar surplus is smoke and mirrors. In addition, I have not viewed any stats that show that "right to work" helps anyone except the 1%. You go Mitch, make deals with companies that do not exist. Lots of jobs thousands and thousands. I am so impressed. You could not be elected president of my high school class. People would ask you questions, and you might have to answer them.
  • Mike Alte Not a Republican
    Sorry Mike,
    You are not a Republican if you "Mitch and his boys out of politics forever" The fact is that our state is in such great fiscal shape because of Mitch and his boys. The real tragedy is that his wife wouldn't let him run for Pres. There is NO question that he would be leading to become the nominee had he won. Instead we have Flop-flip Mitt and a bunch of clowns who are going to screw the perfect opportunity to get Obama out of office, who is a nice guy but can't lead this country out of 3 ft tunnel.
  • right to work
    I think Mitch is on his way out, so why is he still ruining indiana. We need to vote Mitch and his boys out of politics forever. Yes, I am a republican----Mike Alte

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