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Bosma plans fast start for bill

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

(Photo)
Brian Bosma
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana's Republican House leader on Tuesday promised swift movement on a push to make his state the first in more than a decade to ban labor contracts that require employees to pay union fees.

Speaker Brian Bosma of Indianapolis told the Associated Press he is confident he can push the "right-to-work" bill through his chamber during the 2012 session that begins Wednesday and is spending a lot of "personal capital" to do so.

"We assume nothing," Bosma said. "I don't assume we have all the Republicans' votes, in fact I know I don't, and I don't presume we don't have some Democrat votes either."

Bosma, who has been the measure's most ardent supporter, said he hadn't yet taken a formal tally of supportive votes, but added he "also wouldn't bring it forward if I wasn't confident of success."

The proposal would bar private employee unions from seeking contracts that mandate all workers pay union fees regardless of whether they are members. Supporters say the law would help attract new business to the state. Opponents call it an attempt to weaken organized labor.

Indiana's House Democrats successfully blocked the measure last year with a five-week walkout that denied House Republicans the numbers needed to conduct daily business. Democratic leaders have so far declined to say whether they'll walk out again this session.

If Bosma and other right-to-work supporters are successful this time around, they would hand national conservatives and business groups a major win on an issue that has recently eluded them elsewhere. It also would deal another blow to organized labor, which has seen mixed results in its fight against initiatives to curb union rights nationwide that followed Republican wins in Statehouses across the country in 2010.

Indiana would become the 23rd state to enact a right-to-work law, but the first to do so since Oklahoma in 2001. More than a dozen other states considered such legislation last year, but none managed to adopt the measure. New Hampshire lawmakers came closest when they were able to pass a bill but couldn't find the votes needed to overturn a veto from Democratic Gov. John Lynch.

Republicans hold wide margins in the Indiana Legislature: 60-40 in the House and 37-13 in the Senate and GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels has come out with strong support for the measure.

The procedural push starts in earnest with a joint hearing of the House and Senate labor committees Friday, just two days after lawmakers return for their 2012 session. But Bosma has been pushing the measure hard since the middle of November, when he declared it would be his top legislative priority.

"We have a limited period of time to do a lot of work this session and the Super Bowl in the middle of the session complicates it just a bit," Bosma said. "There's no time to sit around and wish that things were moving forward, we're going to move them forward expeditiously."

This year's Super Bowl is Feb. 5, in Indianapolis, just a few blocks from the Statehouse.


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they pass this bill i can pretty much guarantee everybody all the jobs that they say will come will be very low paying jobs with no insurance!!!! Now my next question is how are these low income people going to survive when all you so called businessmen keep raising your prices to make more profit in your pocket and forget how these people have to pay for it ALAS due to the greediness of businesses we are heading for a depression like noone has ever seen before

-- Posted by brazil citizen on Tue, Jan 3, 2012, at 10:10 PM

by the way do you know this bill takes away your right to negotiate a fair wage ; you will only get what they give you and if you look around they are cutting wages not increasing them any

-- Posted by brazil citizen on Tue, Jan 3, 2012, at 10:13 PM

Have you read the Bill?? NO!! You are just spreading false statements.

-- Posted by xray on Wed, Jan 4, 2012, at 8:04 PM

RTW is wrong for Indiana it will lower wages and benefits.I have lived in the right to work states and this is bad for our entire country.

-- Posted by Combat VET on Fri, Jan 6, 2012, at 7:40 PM

Bosma is a union buster!!! And that don't work in theses here parts...of the country.Teamsters!

-- Posted by Combat VET on Sat, Jan 7, 2012, at 7:59 AM

RTW is a bad bill.

Unions = Good Paying Jobs, Protection, benefits

Together we negotiate, alone we beg. You people better wake up.

-- Posted by reddevil on Sat, Jan 7, 2012, at 6:18 PM

If Unions are so great, why would they mind giving the worker the option of paying dues to be in the union, or not paying dues to work the same job. It seems to me having more options is the way to go for the worker. I have paid union dues in the past, while working for a defense contractor. My union dues helped support a democrat for president who immediately cut all defense contracts, and I got laid off. Tell me again why I would like to give money to the union leaders if I just want to do an honest days work for an honest days pay?

-- Posted by almostfootballfree on Mon, Jan 9, 2012, at 7:37 AM


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