Indiana Senate Approves “Right-to-Work;” House Democrats Caucus After Amendments Session

by Rick Howlett on January 23, 2012

The Indiana Senate has approved a controversial “right-to-work” bill but it’s unclear when the measure will get a House vote.

The Senate voted 28-22 for the bill, which would prohibit the collection of mandatory union dues. Nine Republicans voted against the GOP-led proposal.

In the House, most Democrats left the chamber in anger when Speaker Brian Bosma gaveled the bill closed after more than five hours of debate today. Bosma had asked once if there were additional amendments; a Democrat spoke up just as the gavel was struck, but Bosma did not reopen debate.

One proposal sponsored by Democrat Scott Pelath to kill the bill was defeated in the Republican-controlled chamber. Pelath suggested the matter could get a public airing during this year’s election campaigns.

“We have many issues at hand and sadly, as too many of us have predicted, this has been an unpardonable interruption,” he said.

Republicans also voted down a flurry of other Democratic amendments, including one that would allow voters to decide if the state should adopt the policy. A final House vote on the bill is scheduled for tomorrow if Democrats return to the chamber. They have previously boycotted action on the bill.

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