“Right-to-Work” Divides Indiana Lawmakers as General Assembly Continues

by Rick Howlett on January 23, 2012

The Indiana General Assembly resumes today. There’s been very little business conducted in the House thus far because of Democrats’ opposition to a GOP-sponsored labor bill.

Most House Democrats have been boycotting the chamber to stall action on the “right-to-work” bill. The measure would prohibit mandatory union dues at private companies.

House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer says his members want the chamber to approve their amendment calling for a November referendum on “right-to-work.” The amendment was supposed to be considered last week, but Bauer said Democrats needed the weekend to inform the public about the proposal.

House GOP members were growing more frustrated last week with the Democratic tactics.

“Quit playing games,” said Republican Rep. Kevin Mahan in a floor speech.

But Bauer is unapologetic about the filibuster.

“It is the only tool of the minority against a majority that wants to thrust a crown of thorns upon the working people of this state,” he responded.

Bauer said Democrats will return to the chamber today if they’re convinced that Hoosiers have full knowledge of the “right-to-work” issue.

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