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Indiana Senate rejects right-to-work referendum

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Senate has rejected a proposal for a statewide voter referendum on the right-to-work bill that has prompted the boycott by Indiana House Democrats.

The Senate voted 36-14 nearly along party lines Friday against the referendum proposal, which one Republican senator described as “deeply constitutionally suspect” since the Indiana Constitution requires all laws to be approved by the legislature.

The Democratic proposal would have the law take effect the day before the Nov. 6 election, and expire Nov. 7 if voters didn’t endorse it. Democratic Sen. Karen Tallian of Portage compared it to referendums that allowed counties to opt out of a 1990s law permitting casinos.

House Democrats are backing the same referendum proposal.

Sen. Vaneta Becker of Evansville was the only Republican to vote for the referendum proposal.