Democratic legislators in Indiana, mirroring their Wisconsin counterparts’ desperation, fled the state and its police jurisdiction Tuesday in order to deny Republican lawmakers the quorum necessary to proceed on a “right to work” bill, legislation that would prevent employers and unions from signing contracts that require non-members to pay fees for representation. “There’s a line in the sand for us,” said Dan Parker, the chairman of Indiana’s Democratic Party. “When something so much violates your principles… you use your last resort.”
Republicans have killed a controversial labor bill that has sparked a Democrat work-stoppage and large union protests at the Statehouse.
Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said that he, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and Gov. Mitch Daniels all agree that the matter instead should be studied by a legislative committee later this year.
As I explained last night, Governor Daniels has been against the measure from the beginning, not because he is philosophically opposed, but because the divisive issue comes with enough political baggage to ground his whole agenda. Right to work’s demise doesn’t mean Democrats and their labor allies are ready to cuddle up with the Indiana GOP. Sensing opportunity, they remain at a distance. Democratic legislators are so far still holding out beyond Indiana’s borders, demanding changes to an assortment of proposals including other labor bills, the Republican budget plan, and an education proposal that would direct tax dollars to private schools.