Saturday, January 7, 2012

Another round of denying a quorum

It's a puzzle why this isn't getting in the news. I've heard on NPR that Indiana will be considering a Right to Work bill. To be clear, that kind of law has a misleading name. Several (all?) states in the South have such a law. What it means is that a factory worker is not required to pay union dues. And that means the union becomes ineffective and the corporation is free to take advantage of its workers.

Michigan Public Radio is reporting on the bill because if it is successfully enacted in Indiana, Michigan -- and its strong unions -- is next.

The GOP controlled legislature in Indiana is trying to expedite the bill. They started by holding House and Senate hearings together. Now it is time for a vote.

Democrats in the House are following the example of Wisconsin last winter and are staying away from the House chamber (though they haven't left the state), denying the GOP of a quorum. However, there is a catch. When Wisconsin Dems stayed away last year the GOP in Indiana rushed through rule changes that say if a legislator misses 3 consecutive days a fine of $1000 is assessed for every additional day. And the House Speaker is itching to do just that.

The response of Vanessa Summers of Indianapolis: go right ahead. I may have to move in with my mother, but I'm on the right side of history.

The mess is preventing the state GOP from doing the deed quickly. There is a good reason for the desire for speed -- The Super Bowl will be played in Indianapolis and they don't want national scrutiny on the issue during the game. Football in town means the NFL Players Association is campaigning against the law.

Dems vacate the statehouse in Wisconsin and get national attention. Dems vacate the statehouse in Indiana and the mainstream media says nothing. Is the difference only the crowds that occupied the statehouse in Wisconsin?

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