Indiana House approves right-to-work bill

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The state's Republican-controlled House of Representatives has cleared the way for Indiana to become the first right-to-work state in the traditionally union-heavy Rust Belt.

The House voted 54-44 Wednesday to make Indiana the nation's 23rd right-to-work state after Democrats ended a periodic boycott which had stalled the measure for weeks. The right-to-work proposal would ban unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers.

Indiana would mark the first win in 10 years for national right-to-work advocates who have pushed unsuccessfully for the measure in other states.

The measure is expected to face little opposition in the Republican-controlled Indiana Senate and could reach Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels' desk shortly before the Feb. 5 Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Republicans have struggled with similar anti-union measures in other Rust-Belt states like Wisconsin and Ohio where they have faced a massive backlash. Ohio voters overturned Gov. John Kasich's labor measures last November and union activists delivered roughly 1 million petitions last week in an effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Hundreds of union protesters packed the halls of the Statehouse again Wednesday, chanting "Kill the Bill!" and cheering Democrats who had stalled the measure since the start of the year.

"We did better than anybody ever expected," House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer told The Associated Press before debate began on the issue, adding that outnumbered Democrats fought the best they could in the divisive labor battle.

Republicans foreshadowed their strong showing Monday when they shot down a series of Democratic amendments to the measure in strict party-line votes. Democrats boycotted again for an eighth day

Republicans handily outnumber Democrats in the House 60-40, but Democrats have just enough members to deny the Republicans the 67 votes needed to achieve a quorum and conduct any business. Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma began fining boycotting Democrats $1,000 a day last week, but a Marion County judge has blocked the collection of those fines.

The measure now moves to the Indiana Senate, which approved its own right-to-work measure earlier in the week. Gov. Mitch Daniels has promoted the bill and said he would sign it into law.


    Great job Republicans!
    This is why I vote republican. They fight the good fight for the people of this state and stick it out until they get done what the voters put them in there to do.
    • Deal with it...
      ...and stop whining. While you're at it, take a night course in grammar and spelling. It just might help you advance your career and will be a good use of the money you'll save by not paying union dues. Invest that money in yourself.
    • Come on people...
      Everyone, take a moment and ensure subject/verb agreement. Now, exhale. Good. I am more impressed that everyone stayed and slogged it out to come to a conclusion on something. Now the State's business can continue to move forward. Nicely done Members.
    • FINALLY!
      A couple of years too late for me, but maybe now some of my colleagues who are still forced to pay into a union will be able to get out from under!
    • Lower unemployment, lower cost of living
      Let's look at the stats compared to our neighboring states in a couple years. If our outcome is comiserate with the u.s. labor bureau stats for other RTW states, the upside exceeds the downside by a significant enough margin to make the struggle worthwIle.
    • Great comments......
      How about proofing them. Talk about backward? Learn to write.
    • stupid Repulicans
      Well thanks Republicans, Mitch ruin Indiana by bringing in foreign companies. Ram it down our throats without the voter input. I know who I am not voting for this election. And all you who is for the RTW bill I know who will be You have just live up to the nick name of Indiana, THE BACKWARD STATE.
      • typical lazy, slanted reporting
        If I understand the bill correctly, it also keeps the State from acting as the collector of said union dues on behalf of the union (in the case of the public employee union). I am happy to be corrected, but if this is indeed the case, then clearly there is additional benefit to all Indiana taxpayers to not have the State operating on behalf of the union to perform this administrative task (If the union wants its dues, it can send the bill to the member directly, and the member will happily pay. if the member does not pay, the union can revoke/cancel their membership and delivery of service to that member).

        "Republicans have struggled with similar anti-union measures in other Rust-Belt states".

        The writer could have very simply left out the term 'anti-union' and this would be a neutral statement.

        It seems to me an 'anti-union' bill would be one that seeks to eradicate the union. As far as I can tell, the unions will still exist, they'll just have to develop their membership and collect dues more like any other non-profit org.

        How is this a bad thing?

      • no overtime
        If it eases your mind, Rand Fan, the legislators are exempt - they are paid a salary rather than by the hour and don't receive overtime. I agree it would a real kick in the teeth if they could get overtime as a reward for their stalling tactics.
      • Correction
        The court did not block collection of the fines - the court rules only that the fines could not be deducted from the legislator's paychecks. The fines can still be collected - the legislature just has to take a different approach.
      • overtime
        The anti-democracy legislators will clamor for overtime pay because the other legislation that was to be debated will not be completed when the regular legislative session is scheduled to be over. Their refusing to represent their constituents will get them more pay from us taxpayers.

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