Indiana Legislative No Show

By Scott Sarvay
By Megan Trent

February 22, 2011 Updated Feb 22, 2011 at 8:05 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Where have all the democrats gone? The Indiana Statehouse is at a stand-still as House Democrats reportedly flee the state.

Lawmakers in the House were scheduled to debate the very controversial Right-to-Work bill.

But House Democrats were nowhere to be found for the morning session, leaving the chamber without a quorum to do business. But the missing Democrats appeared for the 2 pm roll-call only to then walk out.

Some say they've headed for Illinois or Kentucky, but our insiders say many are staying put in Indianapolis. Those who stayed don't believe that Governor Mitch Daniels will task state police with finding the legislators and forcibly bringing them back to the Statehouse to cast their votes. He does, however, have that power although he said in a statement Tuesday that he would not use it.

Governor Daniels says he hopes the Democrats will return to work on their own given that their salaries are paid by the taxpayers.

Since today is the deadline for the House to do business, the absent Democrats could effectively kill the bill that would stop unions from requiring membership and give workers the right to choose if they want to join and pay dues.

Supporters argue this bill will make Indiana more attractive to companies and create new jobs. More than 4,000 of those supporters showed up to protest at the Statehouse on Monday and again on Tuesday.

Opponents fear the bill will severely weaken the power of unions and let businesses cut wages and bring in cheaper labor.




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