Dems Could Be Fined Today In Right-To-Work Walkout
Republicans To Review Legislation Friday
8:58 AM, Jan 6, 2012
If House Democratic lawmakers don't show up for work today, they could be fined $1,000.Democrats have shown vociferous opposition to a right-to-work bill championed by Republicans, who have control of the House, Senate and governor's seat.Republicans established the $1,000-a-day fine last year after Democrats bolted to Illinois for five weeks to keep right-to-work off the table that session.Democratic seats in the House are expected to stay empty Friday. Republicans enjoy a 60-40 majority in the chamber, but the absence of Democrats keeps the GOP from having enough people for the chamber to conduct business.More union members are expected to show up at the Indiana Statehouse to protest the legislation, which they said would attack unions and drive down wages.Republicans set aside four hours for Senate and House labor committees to meet in a joint public hearing on the proposal, which would prohibit contracts between companies and unions that require workers to pay mandatory fees to be in the union.
"That's one way we'll continue to get this out, despite the reluctance of the majority to let the people know what this bill's about the most anti-worker bill since I've been here," said House Minority Leader Pat Bauer, D-South Bend.Democrats lost seats in the House after taking a stand on right-to-work, and Republican lawmakers contend that public sentiment in Indiana is strongly in favor of the bill.Democrats have avoided the House floor since Wednesday, when the legislative session began. It's unclear when they might return.There were more barricades at the Statehouse early Friday morning, indicating that a larger number of protesters are expected.