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Associated Press photos
Protestors gather outside the windows in the House chamber during a joint committee hearing Friday on the right-to-work bills.

Senate panel advances Indiana right-to-work bill

AP
Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, talks Friday about the failure of the House to reach a quorum for the third day.

INDIANAPOLIS – A Republican-dominated Indiana Senate committee endorsed the right-to-work bill that has prompted a three-day standstill in the Indiana House.

The Senate labor committee voted 6-4 to send the bill to the full Senate, where the GOP holds a 37-13 majority and the party's leader has made its passage a top priority. The bill would prohibit contracts between companies and unions that require workers to pay representation fees.

Minutes after that vote, the House again was unable to convene as most Democrats stayed away in protest of the proposal.

Republican Sen. Brent Waltz of Greenwood joined the committee's three Democrats in voting against the bill. During testimony, Waltz question experts who back the proposal, saying he is not convinced of the measure's economic benefits.

Patrick Bauer said Friday that his caucus might return to Indiana's House chambers as soon as Monday.

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