Morris: The State of the General Assembly

Thursday, January 19, 2012 7:00 pm

Start Date:  1/19/2012    
End Date:  1/19/2012    

The words used to describe the state of the General Assembly should be civil, democratic, and productive.  The majority of House Democrats’ actions over the past three weeks, though, have all but ensured these words come to no one’s mind when describing the 2012 legislative session. They have continuously halted the flow of the people’s work and have once again this year neglected the duties and responsibilities of their job.


We were all elected to do a job. We were all elected to show up. We were all elected to participate in the democratic process. I keep finding myself asking the question, in what other job could someone not show up and still keep their job?


It is no secret they are fighting the proposed Right-to-Work bill. I do wonder why, when the legislation is pro-jobs and pro-freedom. This legislation simply preserves everyone’s right to join a union or pay dues if they feel it is in their best interest.  All that changes is that no one would be forced to join a union if they don’t want to. The freedom to choose is a fundamental American principle.


This bill is key to giving workers the freedoms they deserve and, is also key to getting more Hoosiers working. If Indiana became the 23rd Right-to-Work state, we would be a magnet for jobs. Economic development experts have told us that up to 50 percent of businesses currently do not even consider bringing jobs to Indiana because we are not a Right-to-Work state.  At a time when 300,000 Hoosiers are desperately seeking employment, we must do all we can do to bring jobs to our state.


The Democrats are now calling for this decision to be put to a referendum vote. However, our state government operates as a representative government. Officials are elected to vote on the tough issues. 


It is the members of the General Assembly’s job to vote on this piece of legislation and I hope I soon get the opportunity to do so. The House Republican Caucus remains ready to work and untied under the exemplary leadership of House Speaker Bosma. Our caucus is not fractured, as others, but committed to doing the people’s work.  


We will continue to show up on the House floor every day ready for the conduct of business.  Right-to-Work is not the only bill on the table this session. Hundreds of key pieces of legislation are currently being jeopardized.  The Democrats’ walkout is prohibiting all legislation from moving forward and doing nothing to improve the state of the General Assembly.