After two hours of debate, and despite nine Republicans and all Democrats voting against the bill, Indiana’s GOP-led Senate voted 28-22 in favor of right-to-work (RTW) legislation. The Senate voted while 10,000 workers, representing the overwhelming opposition throughout Indiana, packed the Statehouse.
The measure now moves to the House, where Republicans have a 60-40 majority. There could be a vote as early as today, depending upon whether enough Democrats show up to make the needed quorum. Democrats have had to use this tactic repeatedly this session.
If the law passes, Indiana would become the first RTW state in the traditional manufacturing belt of the United States. Twenty-two other states have RTW laws, mostly in the South and West. Indiana would also become the first state in more than a decade to enact right-to-work legislation.
Missouri has also introduced RTW bills, but lack of sufficient support has slowed its momentum considerably.
While reports show that middle-class workers, union and non-union alike, make less money in RTW states than workers in non-RTW states, the GOP has made it clear that attacking working families continues to be their main concern in 2012. To give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address, the national GOP chose Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, the guy who has said RTW legislation is a top priority.