• Indiana House flagged for flase start

    January 05, 2012 No comments

    What should have been the first day of the new Indiana House legislative session yesterday resulted in a false start.

    The session ended after most House Democrats remained behind closed doors to discuss the “right-to-work” bill pushed by majority Republicans.

    While the unions and Democrats may have won Wednesday’s battle, it will be an uphill fight to win the war. At first, it was hard to tell how many people would show up for the first day of the 2012 legislative session. But then the buses began to pull up and the union faithful from across the state disembarked.

    The line to get inside the Statehouse stretched from the Capitol Ave. entrance all the way to Washington Street. It still took several hours for the protesters to get inside. Each person has to go through a security screen.

    Statehouse visitors were low key until Speaker Brian Bosma tried to gavel the House into session. That’s when it became readily apparent that there were few Democrats in their seats – not enough to conduct business.

    The House Gallery erupted in applause and the Speaker cautioned them. Then the chanting spilled over into the hallways and began to echo throughout the Statehouse.

    One year ago many of these union members stood shoulder to shoulder at the Statehouse and were successful in getting “right to work” tabled until this year.

    While the Democrats in the Senate were willing to fight, there is little they can do. Over in the House, minority Democrats could do something to derail the controversial labor legislation. Once again they elected not to show up. Speaker Bosma had hoped to hear the bill on Friday but now he will have to try again.

    Last year Democrats hid out in Illinois for five weeks. Now the fine for walking out is $1,000 a day so they are caucusing in the Statehouse. Once again, they have union support.

    A last-ditch option for House Democrats is trying to sway at least 10 Republicans to their side. Republicans hold a 60-40 majority in the House and would need at least 51 votes to pass the measure.

    The Indiana AFL-CIO has been airing TV and radio ads targeting Republicans who may be vulnerable in the 2012 elections if they vote in favor “right to work.” Bosma and Gov. Mitch Daniels have been airing their own ads throughout the state in support of the measure, and the National Right to Work Committee has sent staffers to the state to build grass-roots support for the measure.

    Posted by in Local News

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