Political Notebook

  • Fries gets Farm nod
    Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries has received the endorsement of the Indiana Farm Bureau ELECT in his primary election race for the District 15 Indiana State Senate seat.
  • Wyss honored by commissioners
    The Allen County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday paid tribute to retiring state Sen. Tom Wyss at its legislative recap breakfast.
  • 3 Democrats to talk taxes
    Democratic candidates for state auditor, a state Senate seat and Wayne Township trustee will have a joint appearance Monday to talk about Earned Income Tax Credit programs and helping low-income Hoosiers file their tax returns.
Advertisement

Right-to-work bill top priority for GOP

GOP legislative leaders announced Monday that passage of a right-to-work bill will be the top priority in the 2012 session.

"We have to do everything we can to push the envelope of economic development," said Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne. "It's about jobs. Period."

The issue set off a five-week walkout by House Democrats last year, and it promises to be volatile again in 2012.

Both Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma said legislators need to stay in their seats this year debating and voting on the measure.

"I don't expect a free-for-all. I do expect an intense debate," Bosma said.

Right-to-work legislation would prohibit agreements between unions and employers that require all workers to pay union or representation fees.

Opponents say such bans are unfair because under federal law, union contracts still cover all employees regardless of whether they are members. They also allege wages will drop in the state because of the policy shift.

Currently, 22 states have right-to-work laws.

House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer responded to the GOP announcement Monday by saying his caucus is “willing and able to do what is necessary” to halt the right-to-work movement.

But he would not be specific about whether his members would shut down the session again through a walkout.

“Many of us are aware that this could be the eventual decline and fall of Indiana’s economic viable state, and that’s important to everybody,” Bauer said.

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.

Advertisement