Tuesday Brings More RTW Drama
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana’s House Democrats said they would be back in session Tuesday as a right to work bill came up for a vote, but when time came they were not in the House chambers.
Democrats said last week they planned to introduce an amendment to the right to work legislation, House Bill 1001, which would put the issue to Indiana voters later this year.
Minority leader Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) says his party needs more time to come up with legislation that will pass constitutional muster. He and others learned Monday from the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency that the referendum amendment may not be constitutional.
Bauer said he believes Republicans asked the LSA to review the amendment.
“That’s not playing fair,” Bauer said.
Bauer met with House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) last week to call a truce, agreeing to let Democrats have debate on the bill in session and to allow them to offer the amendment.
Tuesday’s no show amounts to a broken promise, Bosma said.
“I’m done with delays and excuses. We’ll start fining tomorrow if they are not here,” the speaker said.
Under rules adopted in the 2011 session following a five week walkout by Democrats over the same right to work proposal, Bosma said he will impose fines up to $1,000 a day for each day lawmakers do not show up to session starting Wednesday.
Tuesday’s statehouse drama was the latest in a line of disagreements over the right to work legislation, which seeks to bar companies and unions from forming agreements to require non-union employees to pay a fee as a condition of employment. Democrats and opponents call it “right to work for less,” arguing it will lower Indiana wages.