Indiana House Democrats are back at work after a five-week boycott to protest a Republican effort to pass Right-to-Work (for less) legislation, a permanent ban on collective bargaining rights for state workers and several proposed educational reforms.
While Republicans have reportedly agreed to scrap both labor bills, the Democratic victory is a bittersweet one. Republican Governor Mitch Daniels said while he supported the bills, passage would “wreck” his other top priorities, mainly a bill to pass a school voucher program slated to become one of the most expansive school voucher programs in the country. Democrats were able to win some concessions in that piece of legislation; however, the bill is still on the table and the threat to undermine the state’s public school system remains.
The Indiana standoff became one of the longest legislative walkouts in recent U.S. history. The Hoosier State’s boycott began one week after Wisconsin’s Democratic Senators went to Illinois in their three-week boycott against a law barring most public employees from collective bargaining.