Our Statement on Right-to-Work and the Standoff

Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar comments on right-to-work and the continued legislative standoff:

While there is overwhelming evidence that passing right-to-work is the one General Assembly action that could do the most to stimulate Indiana’s economy this year, the Indiana Chamber respects the decision by legislative leaders to continue the discussion in a study committee. Any policy that can help create more jobs, raise the per-capita income of Hoosier workers over the long term and has the support of seven out of every 10 voters deserves full consideration.

"Even though the determination by House Democrats to stage a walkout and leave the state was never over this one issue, we strongly encourage an end to this stalemate. Voters elected their representatives to serve as part of the legislative process, not shut down the system of helping lead our state. There is too much at stake – for all Hoosiers – to continue this standoff.

Quotables from House Dems’ Road Trip

A nice article here from Eric Bradner of the Evansville Courier & Press on the Democratic border blitz yesterday. I’ll just defer to the article, which has some attention-getting quotes:

The 37 missing Democrats were holed up together Tuesday night at a hotel in Urbana, Ill., and would not say when they will return to Indiana.

“I don’t know when we’ll come back,” said Rep. Gail Riecken, D-Evansville. “We’ve been pushed with our backs against the wall, and it’s time for them to listen to us.”

After Democrats sent back a list of 11 bills to which they object, though, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, did not sound interested in listening.

“This is the most ludicrous political stunt I have ever seen,” he said. “Let them stay in Illinois. They’ll fit right in. Maybe they can vote for a couple of tax increases while they’re over there.”

Democrats left the Statehouse as hundreds of labor union members rallied for the second straight day. They held signs, chanted and marched around the House and Senate chambers.

Drawing most of their ire was a measure that proponents call “right to work.” It would allow workers to opt out of paying union dues – a move, protesters said, that would undermine those unions’ funding and negotiating power.

They also objected to several other labor-related measures and to most of Daniels’ education reforms – especially one that would limit the scope of teachers’ collective bargaining rights.

Democrats cited those bills as well, saying they want them killed for the rest of the session, or else they might not return. And Nancy Guyott, the Indiana State AFL-CIO president, said the union protesters approve of Democrats’ tactics.

Late Tuesday night, Bosma learned that Democrats had left the state, and was handed the list of bills from House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, at the same time.

“Maybe voters need to go over there, drag them back here and get them to do their jobs,” Bosma said. “They need to get their butts back here.”

Or, he said, there is another option.

“They should step down. I mean it. If they’re not willing to do their work here and they’re leaving the state, they should vacate the office and let replacements who are willing to come here and do the people’s business be selected,” Bosma said.