[r88]Right to Work Legislation Advances (1/23/2012)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Start Date: 1/23/2012
End Date: 1/23/2012

STATEHOUSE - Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) authored and House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) co-authored House Bill 1001, Employee’s Right to Work which would give workers the freedom to choose whether or not to financially support a union. 

“With an unemployment rate stubbornly hovering around 9 percent we can’t afford to not address this issue this session. We are one step closer to bringing Hoosiers back to work,” said Speaker Bosma.

HB 1001 was finally heard on second reading on Monday after the majority of the Democratic Caucus boycotted the first few weeks of session by failing to show up to work. Members of the House Republicans attempted to address Right to Work last session however the Democrats denied the House a quorum by fleeing to Illinois for five weeks.  The issue was tabled and further studied in  the Interim Study Committee on Employment. In total, last year, over 25 hours of public testimony was received and discussed.

This session, the House conducted joint hearings with the Senate on the bill and heard over five hours of testimony. The bill passed out of committee two weeks ago.

The bill states that an employee is not required to pay a charity or other third party an amount that represents dues, fees or other charges as a condition of employment.

“In these challenging times we must give ourselves every advantage available when it comes to bringing new jobs to Hoosiers, said Rep. Torr. “There are currently 22 states that are “Right to Work” states, and it is essential that Indiana becomes the 23rd Right to Work State to ensure that Indiana stay competitive." 

Nearly sixty amendments were filed on HB 1001. Speaker Bosma oversaw an open debate on all amendments offered lasting nearly five hours. After a long debate two amendments ended up being adopted.
An amendment providing for a statewide referendum was offered and was voted down. 

“We have a representative democracy in Indiana. The people of Indiana vote for elected officials who in return make difficult decisions on tough issues rather than passing them off to others. Those states that decide major issues by referendum, like California, have found themselves in much more difficult circumstances. With decisions being made based on thirty second commercials rather than through open debate and vote by those elected to lead,” said Speaker Bosma.

“There are several other Right to Work states that have a higher union representation than Indiana has at 10.9 percent of the workforce,” said Rep. Torr. “Right to Work is simply giving employees the freedom to choose how their wages are spent.”

“Right to Work isn’t about Unions – it is about freedom and economic opportunity,” said, Speaker Bosma.  “Our number one priority this session is to bring jobs to Indiana and I believe that now is the time for Right to Work in our state.”

As long as a quorum of 67 members is present, Employees’ Right to Work bill will now move forward to a third reading where the House will vote on the bill.

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RTW Advances.docx